A radical shakeup may be in the works at low-rated MSNBC, with multiple sources at the network telling Mediaite.com
that Keith Olbermann could return with a new prime time show and longtime programs hosted by Chris Hayes, Al Sharpton and Ed Schultz are possibly facing the ax.
The rumored shuffle comes just weeks after it was revealed that Brian Williams, the former NBC "Nightly News" anchor who embellished his role in reporting about the Iraqi War, will join MSNBC to cover breaking news and special events.
Sources told Mediaite that the hottest rumor revolves Olbermann being involved in talks to return to MSNBC, where he hosted "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" from 2003 to 2011. Olbermann, who is doing sports at ESPN2, is leaving at the end of the month.
"Even a theoretical Olbermann return could suggest MSNBC’s desire to get back into the fiery prime time wars, and also highlights the reality that several other shows are likely on the chopping block," Mediaite said.
In addition, the media watchdog said it was told by multiple sources that several MSNBC shows shows are "at risk."
They include "All In with Chris Hayes," "PoliticsNation" with the Rev. Al Sharpton and "The Ed Show" hosted by Ed Schultz.
"According to the sources, top officials are eyeing the cancellation of Hayes’ nightly program after 27 months of lackluster ratings," Mediaite said.
"The show was meant to replicate the success of similarly wonky, younger-demo-appealing Rachel Maddow, but continually failed to achieve ratings, especially while competing with [Fox News'] Bill O’Reilly."
Sharpton, Mediaite reports, has become "something of a liability for the network seeking to shift away from its deeply left-wing image.
"Not to mention, his role in facilitating the NBC merger with Comcast has come under legal fire from black-owned media groups and questions that have been raised about his advocacy and tax bills."
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