MSNBC has announced that Chris Hayes will take over the 8 PM slot on the channel starting April 1. Hayes currently hosts “Up with Chris Hayes” on Saturdays and Sundays, and has long been viewed as a “next generation” talent for the network, at the age of 34. MSNBC plans to reveal more details on the new show in the coming weeks.
“I am thrilled to be joining Rachel and Lawrence in primetime,” said Hayes in a statement. “I’ve absolutely loved hosting UP on the weekends and I’m looking forward to thinking through the news five nights a week.”
Hayes will be taking the place of Ed Schultz, who will shift to MSNBC’s weekend lineup next month, part of an expansion of weekend programming at the channel.
“Chris has done an amazing job creating a franchise on weekend morning,” said MSNBC president Phil Griffin in a statement. “He’s an extraordinary talent and has made a strong connection with our audience. This is an exciting time for MSNBC.”
Hayes joined MSNBC in 2011, and has served as a regular fill-in host for Rachel Maddow and “The Last Word with Lawrence o’Donnell.” The Times’ Brian Stelter spoke to people at MSNBC, and gathered why the channel decided to go with Hayes:
The change is predicated on the belief that MSNBC can win a wider audience with Mr. Hayes than it did with Mr. Schultz, a champion of the working class whose bluster didn’t always pair well with Ms. Maddow and the channel’s other prime time program, “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell.” Mr. Hayes, on the other hand, is just as wonky as Ms. Maddow and Mr. O’Donnell, and is a regular contributor to both of their programs.