MSNBC is making some important changes to its dayside lineup, highlighted by the expansion of Nicolle Wallace‘s Deadline: White House to two hours. July’s most-watched cable news program in the 4 p.m. hour will now air from 4-6 p.m. ET.
Chuck Todd‘s MTP Daily will move from the 5 p.m. hour up to 1 p.m., sandwiched in between fellow politics-focused programs Andrea Mitchell Reports and MSNBC Live with Katy Tur.
These changes go into effect Monday, Aug. 17.
MTP Daily has been underperforming in 2020 relative to its rivals. Yes, the show is up year over year in Total Viewers, but it is losing a fair chunk of its 4 p.m. audience, whereas Fox News and CNN are building on their 4 p.m. audiences. The network hopes a second hour of Wallace, who has thrived at 4 p.m., will provide a stronger lead-in for The Beat with Ari Melber and consequently MSNBC’s evening slate, which is in need of a jump start right now.
The Five has dominated the 5 p.m. hour for years, and The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer regularly beats MTP Daily in the key A25-54 demo (although MTP Daily traditionally averages more Total Viewers than Situation Room). While The Five will likely continue to win the hour, MSNBC hopes a second hour of Wallace will at least make things interesting.
MTP Daily is not only moving up to lunchtime, but Todd is expanding the franchise to streaming video.
Starting in September, he will launch a weekly political program on both the streaming news service NBC News Now as well as NBCUniversal’s new streaming service Peacock, just in time to dovetail with what is likely to be rising interest in the 2020 presidential election.
He will also start anchoring pre- and post-event programming around big political-news nights, starting with the Democratic and Republican conventions later this month, and, in coming weeks, around debates and Election Night.
Todd will have an additional dedicated team producing the Peacock and NBC News Now-based series, in addition to the 40+ member team that produces Meet the Press on Sundays and MTP Daily during the week on MSNBC.
Ayman Mohyeldin, a foreign correspondent who has recently co-anchored an early-morning show on MSNBC at 5 a.m., will move to 3 p.m.
The New York Post reported at the start of the new year that a move like this could be on the horizon, although that story speculated moving MTP Daily from 5 p.m. to 9 a.m., not 5 p.m. to 1 p.m. Eight months later, here we are.