MSNBC’s Upcoming Weekend Expansion

By Alex Weprin 

Somewhat lost in the Ed Schultz news is that MSNBC is planning an expansion of its studio programming on the weekend. Right now the channel airs long-form documentary programming starting at 5PM and continuing through the night. When Schultz moves to the 5-7PM slot next month, all of that will change.

MSNBC’s weekend programming, including “Lockup” and “Caught on Camera,” has been the subject of much scorn over the years. On typical weekends, when there is little news, the shows often rate higher than anything on CNN or Fox News in the core adults 25-54 demo. That said, the programs don’t exactly mesh with the rest of MSNBC’s lineup, and when news has broken the channel has sometimes been reluctant to break in.

The network has slowly chipped away at the taped programming, quietly removing the 10 PM Friday editions in favor of new episodes of “The Last Word.” On the weekend, the channel has been adding hours of programming that fit in line with its brand, as well as new news hours.