MSNBC Makes Shift to Daily Web Shows

By Chris Ariens 

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ShiftMSNBCIt was born in the early days of the internet as a place to get news around the clock, online and on TV. Eighteen years later, MSNBC is expanding its television production capacity and its online omnipresence with a series of web-only shows that fit the network’s progressive leanings.

Shift, as it’s called, launched this morning with “The Briefing.” Hosted by NBC News Washington correspondent Luke Russert. The one-hour show will look ahead to the week in politics.

Other programs include “Road Map,” hosted by MSNBC foreign correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin, who recently relocated to New York, where he will also be anchoring more hours on MSNBC TV.

Krystal Ball will host women’s issues show “Krystal Clear;” Janet Mock will host a pop culture show called “So Popular!;” “Left Field” explores the sports world; “Three Cents” is a business show hosted by Josh Barro; and “Code Forward” is a technology show in partnership with Re/Code, which includes NBCU as an investor.

More than a name, shift is what MSNBC is trying to accomplish, in an effort to grab more online eyeballs.  “It’s a great introduction to msnbc for a whole new audience,” says MSNBC president Phil Griffin. Last week, Griffin told TVNewser the network is now not just competing with CNN and Fox News, but Vice and Fusion, and YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, places where younger, mobile-first audiences are finding their news and information. The launch of shift follows behind-the-scenes changes at the 18-year-old network, which includes the Bridge, combining digital and TV editorial teams.

ExxonMobile appears to a launch sponsor. As we browsed the offerings, the company’s ads dominated the pre-rolls. “We are excited to extend MSNBC’s expert reporting experience for our viewers wherever they consume it,” says Scott Schiller, Executive Vice President of Digital Advertising Sales for NBCUniversal.

@shiftmsnbc is the Twitter home, with 918 followers as of this writing.