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Rashida Jones: Ratings Are Not the Top Metric for MSNBC

Jones strives for credibility over ratings with Alex Wagner at the helm as they have found a replacement for Rachel Maddow Tuesday through Friday.

Eduardo Razo

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On Monday, MSNBC announced that it had found a replacement for Rachel Maddow Tuesday through Friday as the host shifts away from daily news coverage. Alex Wagner will take over as regular host for the 9 pm time slot, bringing stability to the primetime lineup. 

A rotation of anchors will remain as fill-in hosts for the 9 pm slot until Wagner’s program debuts on August 16, with Maddow holding forth on Monday evenings.

“I’m honored to be anchoring a key hour of television in such a critical time for American democracy,” Wagner said in a statement relayed by Variety. “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.”

Furthermore, it seems that MSNBC might be taking a page out of CNN’s playbook for this time slot. New boss Chris Licht isn’t putting importance on ratings, more so wanting to be a credible news source, which is what MSNBC’s Rashida Jones is striving for with Wagner at the helm. 

“The ratings are not the top metric for me,” Jones said. “Are we adding something to the conversation? Are we bringing a deeper understanding?” 

“Are people coming to us to cut through the noise and the rhetoric and understand what is happening? With any new show coming out of the gate, just using ratings as a measure is unfortunate.”

News Television

Rachel Maddow Details Demands to NBCUniversal During Contract Talks

It wasn’t “some sort of, like, hostile, heated negotiation with NBC,” Maddow said.

Eduardo Razo

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This year, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow has transitioned from being a daily news host to a weekly timeslot on Mondays while she focuses on other projects as part of her new contract. 

In an interview with Vanity Fair, Maddow shed light on the behind the scene details that went into the discussions with NBCUniversal, resulting in a new contract that will see her stay with the company through the 2024 election and a reported $30 million per year salary. 

It wasn’t “some sort of, like, hostile, heated negotiation with NBC,” Maddow said. “What I asked for, and I realize it’s a really hard thing to ask for from a big corporate entity, is flexibility, fluidity, and forgiveness.”

“Like, I want us to handle this in a way that we don’t have to map every second of it. And I want my staff to all stay employed, and I want them to be able to shift between different types of projects, just as I am.”

Alex Wagner takes over for Maddow Tuesday through Friday, as her show debuts on Aug. 16 at 9 PM ET. 

“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,” MSNBC President Rashida Jones said regarding the show’s format under Wagner in a June interview with The New York Times

“I really want the takeaway from this show to be a better understanding of what’s happening in the world.”

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News Television

Mehdi Hasan: Alex Jones Gained Credibility from Republican Party

Mehdi Hasan slammed the Republican Party for giving Jones credibility rather than allowing the InfoWars host to be a conspiracy theorist on the internet

Eduardo Razo

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This past week, a jury handed down a verdict that InfoWars owner Alex Jones must pay $4.1 million in compensatory damages in one of the host’s three lawsuits from Sandy Hook families. 

Following the verdict, MSNBC’s Mehdi Hasan slammed the Republican Party for giving Jones credibility rather than allowing the InfoWars host to be a conspiracy theorist on the internet. 

“It’s worth noting that Alex Jones is not just the far-right fringe figure he should be,” Hasan said on Friday’s edition of “The Mehdi Hasan Show.”

“Because past guests on his program. Like Donald Trump and Congressman Matt Gaetz and more recent guests like Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene have lent legitimacy to this conspiratorial far-right bloviator …”

Hasan added that these politicians appearing on Jones’ show gave him validation to a host “who peddles nonsense conspiracies about murdered children and Hillary Clinton being a demon and a so-called Jewish mafia controlling the world.”

“Alex Jones should have been rejected by Republican leaders and lawmakers, but instead, he was shamefully embraced,” Hasan concluded. 

Jones’ court appearances are not done as he has two more defamation trials pending, one in Austin and another in Connecticut. Furthermore, Jones told Judge Maya Guerra Gamble that anything more than $2 million would plunge the company. 

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News Television

Donald Trump Raising Funds to Sue CNN

The former president sent out a couple of emails titled “Let’s SUE CNN,” one of two fundraising emails sent out to his supporters on Friday.

Eduardo Razo

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Former President Donald Trump is attempting to sue CNN, but The Daily Beast reports that he’s asking his followers to send in money to “support” the legal action against the network. 

Trump has yet to file any legal documents that will see CNN on the receiving end of a defamation lawsuit. Instead, the former president sent out a couple of emails titled “Let’s SUE CNN,” one of two fundraising emails sent out to his supporters on Friday.

“I’m calling on my best and most dedicated supporters to add their names to stand with me in my impending LAWSUIT against Fake News CNN,” the email said. “Add your name IMMEDIATELY to show your support for my upcoming lawsuit against Fake News CNN.”

Afterward, a second email from Trump stated that the first 45 names to help would stand next to him as he stands against CNN. 

“I’m going to look over the names of the first 45 Patriots who added their names to publicly stand with their President AGAINST CNN,” the second email said. 

The former president threatened CNN with a lawsuit and sent the network’s General Counsel David Vigilante and top CNN executive Chris Licht a note titled, “Notice of Intent to Bring Civil Action for Defamation.”

“Without regard for President Trump’s genuine belief in his statements, CNN has published numerous articles characterizing him as a ‘liar’ and the purveyor of the ‘Big Lie,’” the Trump legal letter to CNN said.

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