MSNBC’s Evolving Experiment With Live News at 11

By Mark Joyella Comment

On Monday night, MSNBC again had an hour of live news at 11 p.m. ET, with Ari Melber anchoring—a hint of what the network may be planning for late nights between now and Election Day.

As TVNewser reported Monday, MSNBC—looking to capitalize on strong ratings since the summer political conventions—has begun experimenting with live late-night programming in the 11 p.m. ET time slot.

Screen Shot 2016-08-16 at 8.48.04 AMBut unlike the “live special editions” of All In with Chris Hayes and Hardball with Chris Matthews, Monday night’s hour did not carry the branding of an existing MSNBC show. It was instead packaged as a countdown to election day, with a produced open featuring clips from the campaign trail and “85 Days Until the Election” graphics.

The hour, which featured round-table political discussions with politicos and journalists in an open newsroom set, certainly bore some resemblance to the network’s politics-heavy Morning Joe.

Network insiders say MSNBC bosses see an audience for live news and politics at 11, but have yet to settle on specific plans for the hour. CNN reports Brian Williams may host a live half hour at 11 between Labor Day and Election Day. “The Williams program has been under consideration for weeks inside MSNBC,” according to the report.