MSNBC cuts ‘Headliners’ staff

Cabler will hire outside producers

NEW YORK — MSNBC has cut loose between 15 and 20 inhouse producers of its primetime biographical series “Headliners and Legends With Matt Lauer” and will commission future episodes from outside.

Michael Cascio, VP of cable-programming development for NBC News, said the shift is a positive move for MSNBC because it will allow the hiring of outside producers who specialize in specific areas such as historical personages, showbiz figures and political luminaries.

MSNBC will be able to supplement the work of independent suppliers of the biographies by drawing on NBC News’ archives and its news bureaus around the world.

MSNBC has put together about 100 “Headliners” episodes since the series premiered in October. Cascio said the disappearance of the inhouse staff won’t mean a cutback on original production this year.

“Headliners” is a bellwether series for MSNBC’s schedule, running twice each weekday at 10 p.m. and 1 a.m. The episodes draw on home movies, personal albums, radio and TV broadcasts and contemporary interviews.

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