MSNBC Changes ‘Will Strengthen the Flow of our Programming,’ Says Griffin

By Chris Ariens 

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msnbclogo_304x200News in the morning. Opinion in the afternoon. That sums up the changes coming to MSNBC’s daytime schedule.

The network’s progressive turn, which is a proven success in the evenings, will now begin much earlier, at 1pmET as diplomat and writer Ronan Farrow joins the schedule. Joy Reid, who often filled in for Martin Bashir, follows at 2pm. “The Cycle,” a politics and pop culture chat show remains at 3, and Alex Wager’s “Now” stays at 4pm.

“I’m confident the changes and additions to our lineup will strengthen the flow of our programming, ” MSNBC president Phil Griffin writes in a note to staff, obtained by TVNewser.

The afternoon additions will also create flow in the mornings where “Morning Joe” leads into Chuck Todd’s DC-based politics hour, following by Chris Jansing’s newscast. Tamron Hall’s “NewsNation” follows at 11am with Andrea Mitchell moving back an hour to Noon. “Andrea Mitchell is so critical to msnbc and I’ve always thought her show should be at noon,” Griffin says. “Andrea brings on the biggest newsmakers of the day and the new time slot will help showcase her work.”

As previously reported, former CBS, ABC, and CNN executive producer Kathy O’Hearn will oversee Farrow’s show. MSNBC original Omnika Thompson will be joining as senior producer. Thompson had overseen Thomas Roberts’ show before he moved to the mornings.

Griffin’s note to the staff after the jump…

Team –

MSNBC is off to a great start in 2014. We’ve broken news, done important reporting and lead the way on a variety of stories this month. And the audience has responded with some of our highest ratings since the 2012 election. I’m proud of the fantastic work all our teams are doing, particularly those of you who have been juggling multiple assignments. Thank you for your hard work and flexibility.

I’m pleased to announce our new daytime schedule will launch on Monday, February 24 following the conclusion of the Sochi games. Starting Feb. 24, Tamron will move to 11 a.m. with Andrea moving to noon. Ronan Farrow will host the 1 p.m. hour and I’m happy to announce that Joy Reid will host at 2 p.m. I’m confident the changes and additions to our lineup will strengthen the flow of our programming.

I’d also like to share that Kathy O’Hearn has been hired as executive producer of Ronan Farrow’s hour. Kathy has an impressive background launching, developing, and revitalizing news and talk shows on both broadcast and cable news networks Most recently, Kathy was SVP of events and video at The Daily Beast. She’ll work with me, Izzy Povich and Ronan as we continue to develop the 1p hour before launch.

Omnika Thompson, an MSNBC original who joined the network in 1996, will also be joining Ronan’s hour as senior producer. Omnika has been a key player on the daytime team for years and I know she’s going to excel in this new role.

We’re working now to staff Joy’s show and we’ll have more to say in the coming weeks.

Thanks again for all you do and here’s to continued success in 2014!