Health News Injected with Opinion

By Chris Ariens Comment

Snyderman_6.28.jpgBeginning at NoonET today, MSNBC is devoting an hour every weekday to health news with the new show “Dr. Nancy” anchored by Dr. Nancy Snyderman. The show continues MSNBC’s goal of programming with personality — crafting shows around known names in the TV news world and who come armed with a point of view. Howard Kurtz profiles Snyderman who spent 17 years at ABC News before leaving TV, then returning to NBC.

Feeling she had hit a ceiling at the network, where Diane Sawyer had gotten the “GMA” host’s job she coveted, Snyderman joined Johnson & Johnson for five years, during which she gave up her surgery practice. But she grew bored by the plodding pace of corporate life, and in 2006 NBC chief executive Jeff Zucker lured her to his network. ABC also wanted her back, and “I felt very disloyal not going home,” she says.

By tapping NBC’s chief medical editor, a former pediatrician and cancer surgeon who says she “hounded” her bosses for a cable show, Griffin is getting a highly opinionated woman who delivers her views with a soothing bedside manner — most of the time, at least.

And in addition to giving a health spin to the news of the day (the show could do a Jon & Kate segment asking “‘Is divorce better than separation?,'” says EP Shannon High), expect a lot on health care reform.

She has a view on almost every personal health question — dark chocolate is good for you, no one needs eight glasses of water a day — and is engrossed in the debate over President Obama’s health-care plan, which will be a major focus of “Dr. Nancy.” “We want the best health care in the world, we don’t want to pay for it…It’s easy to bash doctors, until you get sick,” she says.