Today, MSNBC debuted its new, two-hour morning political talk program The Weekend. Co-hosted by Symone Sanders-Townsend, Alicia Menendez and Michael Steele, the premiere went off without a hitch.
Among those joining the program were Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), who discussed Speaker Mike Johnson’s efforts to avoid a potential government shutdown, the Republican impeachment inquiry into President Biden and more.
Conservative attorney and cable news mainstay George Conway also appeared on the premiere episode to discuss former President Trump’s New York civil fraud trial and E. Jean Carroll’s second defamation case against the former president.
When the two hours of political conversation were all said and done, Sanders-Townsend made her first weekend handoff to Ali Velshi, who hosts the network’s 10 a.m.-12 p.m. hours on weekends.
Here’s their banter:
Sanders-Townsend: Well, that does it for our very first edition of The Weekend. I’m Symone Sanders-Townsend alongside my friends Alicia Menendez and Michael Steele. Join us back here tomorrow at 8 a.m. Eastern because we’ll be talking with Democratic Congressman Jamie Raskin. And he’s got something to say about his battles with House Oversight Republicans and his new demand that Donald Trump return payments that Trump’s businesses received from foreign governments while he was in office. Also, please be sure to follow the weekend on Instagram, Tik Tok and the site formerly known as Twitter.
Velshi starts right now. Hi, Ali. I would call you my bestie but I do not want Richard Louis to be upset.
Velshi: Fair enough… (laughter) Listen, I slept well last night. I got up early to watch the show this morning. I thought I’d give a little bit of a club vibe today and then, I thought I was doing pretty well, and then Eugene Daniels shows up on TV… (laughter)… It’s like, you know what, don’t play in a rink you can’t skate in.
Congratulations to the three of you. You are all separately great friends of mine and I love that this has come together so beautifully. We will be watching tomorrow and every weekend. Congratulations. And I’ll see you all later. Thank you.
“Congratulations to the three of you. You are all separately great friends of mine and I love that this has come together so beautifully. We will be watching tomorrow and every weekend.”
@AliVelshi congratulates the hosts of @TheWeekendMSNBC on their first show. pic.twitter.com/WXu3md6UJT
— MSNBC Public Relations (@MSNBCPR) January 13, 2024
The debut of The Weekend is part of a wider programming shift for MSNBC weekends.
Ayman Mohyeldin has taken over Mehdi Hasan’s Sunday 8 p.m. hour, expanding his workload to four hours across Saturday and Sundays (7-9 p.m. ET).
Alex Witt will front even more live, breaking news coverage, now anchoring Alex Witt Reports from 1-4 p.m. ET.
The network’s weekend 4 p.m. hour, currently hosted by Sanders-Townsend, is now occupied by a “Best Of” The Beat with Ari Melber hour.
Additionally, Jonathan Capehart now owns MSNBC’s 6 p.m. ET hour on Saturdays and Sundays. Katie Phang has moved from Saturday mornings to Saturdays at 12 p.m. ET, complementing Inside with Jen Psaki on Sundays in the same time slot. Ali Velshi remains in his two-hour timeslot (10 a.m.-12 p.m. ET) weekends on MSNBC.