“Maddow to Fox?”…And Other Recent Storylines

By SteveK Comment

maddow_8-21.JPGWas Rachel Maddow being shopped to Fox News? That’s what Radio Equalizer hinted at, and Jossip confirms from a “reputable insider” today.

“Maddow’s agent, Jean Sage at TV Talent (also Keith Olbermann’s agent), asked to send her tapes over to FNC’s head of programming, Bill Shine, we’re told by a reputable insider,” writes Jossip. “But Shine declined.”

Jossip does point out this very easily could have been, “negotiating tactics”…but FNC?

Meanwhile, a throwaway line during Maddow’s Tuesday night appearance on Countdown echoes a tactic employed by CNN. Of Maddow’s 9/8/08 premiere, Olbermann said, “it probably will start at like 9:02 or something like that. Your show and my show will sort of be indistinguishable for a couple of minutes there.”

As TVNewser reported last week, Lou Dobbs Tonight frequently employs this method leading into Campbell Brown: Election Center. This marks a major change at MSNBC, however, as Olbermann currently, “refuses to introduce,” the 9pmET program.

For reaction (Update: and more reaction) from various media writers to the Maddow move, click continued

• The New York Times‘ Brian Stelter writes, “MSNBC won’t quite acknowledge the shift. But in the twelve years that the cable news channels have competed head-to-head, the partisan lines have never been drawn so clearly.” But he quotes MSNBC spokesperson Jeremy Gaines, who says, “Don’t make a judgment about the show until you see it.”

• Jeff Bercovici writes for Portfolio.com’s Mixed Media, “This dance-with-the-one-that-brung-ya mentality could end up looking short-sighted after Nov. 4. Does MSNBC really want to be in the position of covering an Obama Administration with no one more neutral than Chris “thrill up my leg” Matthews in its evening lineup?

• The Washington Post’s Howard Kurtz writes that although, “her appointment is certain to draw criticism that MSNBC is moving further left,” it still means, “The 35-year-old commentator breaks into what has sometimes been derided as a boys club at the network.”

> Update: • The Huffington Post’s Rachel Sklar writes on Poynter.org about the entire timeline and relationship between Maddow, Olbermann and Abrams. Noting Abrams strong recent ratings, she writes, “If it’s not just about ratings, what, then, is it about? Simple: It’s about MSNBC moving sharply to the left.” Sklar also points out it was during Abrams tenure as GM in which, “Olbermann was first given the plum election-night anchor chair.”