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MSNBC Shakeup: The Cycle, Alex Wagner, Ed Show Canceled — Disgraced Anchor Brian Williams to the Rescue

MSNBC is expected to announce big lineup changes coming to the network, as first reported last week. In an attempt to climb out of its disastrous ratings slump, the network is canceling three liberal programs and replacing them with straight news and breaking news coverage.

The coming line up change was first reported last week by Mediaite. Shows being canceled outright include The Cycle, a multiple-host show similar to Fox’s The Five, Now with Alex Wagner, and The Ed Show. Politico reports that MSNBC President Phil Griffin is expected to make the formal announcement as soon as Thursday.

Not all of the hosts of the three canceled shows are leaving. Alex Wagner is expected to remain with the network as is Ari Melber, one of the co-hosts of The Cycle. However, TV Newser reports that Ed Schultz, Abby Huntsman, Toure, and Krystal Ball are “out.”

The Ed Show, which aired at 5pm, will be replaced by a new hour-long program at 5pm hosted by Chuck Todd. Also coming to the network’s rescue is disgraced NBC anchor Brian Williams, who was pushed out of his job at the Nightly News in February when it became clear he had repeatedly exaggerated some of his reporting from Iraq and New Orleans (after hurricane Katrina).

The changes are being made by NBC News chief Andrew Lack in an effort to bring the network’s ratings out of the dump. MSNBC‘s ratings hit an 8-year low in May.

The network’s decline is being blamed on the heavy focus on progressive commentary over straight news. A Pew Research report published in 2013 found that MSNBC was 85% commentary and 15% “factual reporting.”

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