MSNBC Picks Rachel Maddow’s Successor
Political commentator, Rachel Maddow during an interview on December 21, 2016.
Lloyd Bishop/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

MSNBC has chosen Alex Wagner to succeed Rachel Maddow as host of its nightly program, marking a major change in leftist media.

MSNBC revealed the change on Monday regarding the 9 PM ET slot on Tuesday through Friday nights. However, Maddow intends to continue hosting the show on Mondays.

“I am absolutely thrilled and honored and generally upside down with excitement to come back home to @MSNBC to host the 9 PM hour, beginning August 16th. LET’S DO THIS,” Wagner tweeted.

Wagner also shared her excitement in a statement regarding the change.

“I’m honored to be anchoring a key hour of television in such a critical time for American democracy,” Wagner said. “In many ways, the stakes have never been higher, and there’s no better place to explore this moment than MSNBC. I’m thrilled to be coming home.”

MSNBC President Rashida Jones noted the importance of Wagner’s experience in political journalism as critical as the network prepares to cover midterm election issues in the months leading to November.

“This is not a show where our hair is on fire and we’re yelling past each other, and we’re creating these manufactured moments of tension,” Jones told The New York Times. “I really want the takeaway from this show to be a better understanding of what’s happening in the world.”

The report also noted Wagner as the only Asian American to host a prime-time cable news show.

Wagner had recently served as one of the program’s rotating guest hosts. The longtime journalist has also been the co-host of Showtime’s “The Circus” and wrote the 2018 memoir “Futureface: A Family Mystery, an Epic Quest, and the Secret to Belonging.”

Wagner’s background already included previous experience with MSNBC. She hosted a daytime show on the network, which was canceled in 2015, and has also served as a guest host for Chris Hayes on the network.

“She pulls in perspective. She brings in some of the context throughout her discussion,” Jones told Variety in sharing the news. “She knows politics. She knows everything from foreign policy to culture.”

Maddow had already stepped back from hosting after a new deal with NBCUniversal, according to Axios. The host planned to leave her position but decided to remain active as the program’s Monday host.

The program, running since 2008, announced Maddow’s plans to take a hiatus in January.

The Daily Wire previously reported that the news of Maddow’s break from hosting came after she signed a new contract with MSNBC last summer. Maddow’s new contract was reported at $30 million a year to keep her at the network through the 2024 election.

The long-running program has remained popular for the network. According to Variety, Maddow’s show “captured $45 million in advertising in the first ten months of 2021, according to Standard Media Index, a tracker of ad spending.”

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