Fox News has been the number one cable news network for years, its ratings far surpassing those of many lesser-watched networks put together. On Sunday, however, the New York Times noted that left-leaning MSNBC is rapidly gaining ground in what they deemed an "anti-Fox" groundswell.
Buried in a lengthy piece about the future of the network, the article hinted that there may be some major changes to the on-air talent.
The piece reads:
Several MSNBC employees, who spoke about programming plans on the condition of anonymity, said the most likely candidate for a new show was the Washington Post columnist Ezra Klein, a frequent substitute for Ms. Maddow. Mr. Klein may start with a weekend time slot, but these people said the 8 p.m. weekday time slot held by Mr. Schultz was also a possibility.
For those unfamiliar with Klein's background or why he would be a candidate, the Huffington Post relates:
Klein has been a fixture on MSNBC for some time now, and a reliable second-tier member of the network's on-air talent. So far, he's worked mostly as a substitute host and Election Night number-cruncher -- the kind of thing that a great many of MSNBC's talent did before getting full-time jobs. Klein has an on-air presence that's much more similar to the wonky weekend duo of Chris Hayes and Melissa Harris-Perry than it is to the brawling Schultz -- or to Bill O'Reilly, the network's biggest rival at 8 PM.
Schultz's ratings have also been solid, and MSNBC is riding high from its performance during the presidential campaign. But Schultz has been moved around before; he started at 6 PM, was shuffled to 10 PM, and then landed at 8 PM a little over a year ago. Moving the relatively inexperienced and more soft-spoken Klein into the marquee cable news slot would be, at the very least, a major bit of counter-programming.
MSNBC has denied the report, however, telling Mediaite: “We’re very happy with the performance of our primetime lineup, which topped Fox News Channel three nights this week. There are no changes planned.”