MSNBC Builds Show Around Ronan Farrow

Celebrity scion, activist’s 1 p.m. show launches Feb. 24

MSNBC on Monday announced its new daytime lineup, shifting Andrea Mitchell out of the 1 p.m. time slot in favor of newcomer Ronan Farrow.

The son of Woody Allen and Mia Farrow and a former member of the Obama administration, the 26-year-old New Yorker joined MSNBC in October 2013.

While rumor had Farrow lined up for for a weekend spot, it appears that MSNBC president Phil Griffin is betting the farm on the journalist, who went from a role as a political operative to author of numerous op-eds for publications as diverse as Foreign Policy and The Atlantic, to the NBCUniversal news net.

Farrow’s new show launches Feb. 24, at which time Andrea Mitchell Reports will move to the noon slot. Leading out of Farrow’s hour-long program at 2 p.m. is a new show hosted by MSNBC contributor Joy Reid.

The moves coincide with the conclusion of NBC’s coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympics on Sunday, Feb. 23.

“One of the highlights of this job is finding new talent,” said Griffin, by way of announcing the moves. “Ronan and Joy are two of the most thoughtful and impressive journalists out there and I’m excited for what they will bring to the afternoon.”

A committed activist, Farrow has written about human rights violations, the partisan finger-pointing that arose in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi and youth outreach in the wake of the “Arab Spring” demonstrations and protests that began breaking out across the Middle East in 2010.

While his resume is impressive, Farrow is perhaps best known for his humorous, sometimes acerbic Twitter feed, from which he has launched barbs at his estranged father. He recently treated his 191,000+ followers to a live deconstruction of the 2014 Grammy Awards.

The 1 p.m. slot will give Farrow an opportunity to find his voice while not putting undue pressure on him to boost ratings in the same way a prime time job would entail. Per Nielsen, Mitchell’s show has averaged 303,000 viewers since the year began, or about three-quarters (77 percent) of MSNBC’s total-day average of 392,000 viewers over the same period.