Brian Williams, Rachel Maddow Will Spearhead MSNBC Live Politics Coverage

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Courtesy of msnbc

Brian Williams’ duties at MSNBC will definitely extend beyond daytime hours.

Williams and primetime host Rachel Maddow will co-anchor the NBCUniversal-owned cable-news network’s coming coverage of the Iowa caucus, slated to start Monday, February 1 at 6 p.m. The pair will hold forth from New York, and will be joined by Chris Matthews, Andrea Mitchell and Chuck Todd, who will be stationed in Iowa. The group will form the core of the team of correspondents from both MSNBC and NBC News who will guide viewers all year during important stops on the campaign trail in 2016.

Pairing Williams with Maddow, two of the network’s best-known faces, and augmenting them with others offers a clear signal: MSNBC is counting on this year’s Presidential race to help it draw attention and further define itself as a place for breaking news – particularly the political kind – as it works to move itself away from being known primarily for analyzing the news through a progressive lens.

Other parts of the network’s lineup will tie themselves to Iowa, too. MSNBC’s signature morning program, “Morning Joe,” will hold forth live in Des Moines on Monday, February 1 and Tuesday, February 2, and also offer a special afternoon edition airing on caucus day. Executives at NBCU have indicated they are considering expanding “Joe” by an hour on the network’s programming schedule. Chris Matthews will host weekend coverage from Iowa leading up to Monday.

Maddow is looking forward to providing coverage of what is likely to be an unpredictable event, she said in an interview, noting there is no obvious winner on the Democratic side and lots of to-and-fro among Republicans. “I mean, who on the Democratic side knows who’s going to win?” she asked humorously. “That’s freaking spectacular, just in terms of suspense.”

Teaming Maddow with Williams may, at first blush, raise some eyebrows. Maddow is largely considered to be a meticulous reporter, while Williams started a tenure at MSNBC last fall after an embarrassing 2015 episode at NBC News which involved him embellishing a tale of a 2003 reporting trip to Iraq. He was suspended for six months and removed from his anchor job at “NBC Nightly News” on NBC. His main job at MSNBC is to cover big breaking news during the network’s daytime schedule.

“NBC and Brian sort of investigated that and worked that out and came to terms on that, and I think he’s back on the air for a reason,” said Maddow. “There really isn’t anybody better in terms of handling breaking news, serious news, and as a resource for having to deal real-time with quickly changing information, he’s the best there is. She added: “What’s past is past.”

Williams has made surprise appearances in other parts of the NBCU empire. He was recently called upon to anchor a special report on NBC in December while “NBC Nightly News” anchor Lester Holt was ill. And he and Maddow have worked together on air in the recent past.

Chris Hayes, Kasie Hunt, Hallie Jackson, Chris Jansing, Katy Tur, and Kristen Welker will live from campaign headquarters and caucus sites across Iowa.


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  1. peggy carruthers says:

    I think news casters missed the point on Trumps 5 am tweet. His comment about he would be awake was directed at Hillery for not answering phone during Ben Gaza incident when they called for help.

  2. Dale Scott says:

    Drop Brian WIlliams and stop him from trying to shut up Rachel Maddow. She is the best, and doesn’t need him.

  3. Gayle Bloom says:

    I’m so excited to see Brian! He’s my favorite. I don’t care that he embellished. I get very angry that people forget they live in glass houses and shouldn’t throw stones. Of course they think they’re perfect. He made a mistake, he apologized. To me he is the best!

  4. Tootsie says:

    get rid of dishonest Brian Williams once and for all !

  5. Jeff winters says:

    Why in the Hell is Brian Williams even still employed with a mass Terry is him in the United States since 9/11 would he ask and start laughing about what side of the Republican Party you’re on and can find it with the damn flashlight he needs to be fired is unprofessional go out look for a real job now

  6. Stacey says:

    I can’t do it anymore. Brian Williams is a moron. Putting him on with Rachael is just insulting. While she’s providing insightful, nuanced, commentary, he’s describing the color of the balloons in the room. He is the very definition of an empty suit. If you won’t get rid of him, send him out on the road and put the grown ups back on the panel with Rachael. I’m going to have to watch CNN and I hate CNN.

    • Dr. Ann Griffin says:

      MSNBC: Give viewers what we want: RACHEL MADDOW; and give B. Williams The Ax; it’s long overdue. ~ Word, Stacey. ~ I, too, and so many of my counterparts, are forced to watch CNN if we want “coverage,” though I/we hate CNN’s lineup. MSNBC, #GETRIDOFBRIANDWILLIAMS! Dump Brian Williams if you want to retain your audience. Have Williams put a sock in it. Let the Rhodes Scholar speak. Let us hear from the talented mind with the doctorate in politics from Oxford University. We want to hear what MADDOW has to say, delivered always with her matchless ability to so eloquently communicate and break down — for every viewer, regardless of their level of political sophistication — very complex socio-political world events. What a waste of rare brilliance, delivered in such an engaging and entertaining way on her show — including she delivers complex information with such laid-back humor [Maddow, to be clear.] MSNBC instead showcases the irrelevant-Williams’-blowhole drivel: the color of the balloons? whatever other instantly forgettable, eyeball-roll-inspiring fluff that just effortlessly rolls out of his mouth — it just flows, because it requires No Thought, No Work, No Critical Thinking. I can’t, CANNOT listen to Brian Williams, and I don’t; I change the channel. I have given up waiting to hear what Dr. Maddow has to say during any election or other coverage during which Williams is forced on us and during which he believes he is holding court. Williams has Nothing to say that educates or entertains; he provides zero critical thinking, no meaningful, thought-provoking analyses. And he is just awful to watch and/or listen to — with that sideways pose he does while he tests out/polishes the tenor of his delivery. There he is, preening for the cameras, painfully ignoring the presence of a gracious Maddow. (Maddow appears unfazed, because when you are a brilliant, confident, humble and poised professional who knows you have a hugely significant contribution to make, when you are that talented mind that viewers — and even competitors from other networks — are hungry for, are dying to hear — you aren’t threatened by such buffoonery as she/we are being forced to endure with Williams’ nonsense. If you are that mind [Maddow] you recognize that this, too, shall pass, shall run its course; Williams shall run his course — MSNBC hopefully sooner, as in NOW, if you want to retain your viewership; actually, wake up, MSNBC, if you want to retain Maddow. Or hang onto Williams, who refuses even to make eye contact with Maddow — watch, monitor it for yourself; it’s painful to watch, really; he’s undoubtedly too threatened to acknowledge her presence; hang onto him and go down in rating and viewership flames. OR — give us what we want: Maddow — more Maddow, paired with CHRIS HAYES, for one. Give Williams the boot; replace with Chris Hayes. Last thought: MSNBC’s new model should use as an example five-star luxury hotels in Jamaica who cater to what their audience/customers want: they play Bob Marley, 24-7, in their grand, elegant, lobbies, in their over-the-top bars, restaurants, pools; just give the paying customers what they want; serve it up; get rid of obsolete, disappointing, past-its-expiration-date fluff; in the case of Williams, MSNBC is also attempting to force-feed viewers drivel from a discredited, laughing-stock journalist who will never earn back trust he never deserved in the first place. MSNBC — change up your lineup to reflect this incredible talent: make it M[addow]SNBC.

  7. Annie Goldberg says:

    I can’t stand to watch Brian Williams, and as the polls close on this Super Tuesday, I am feeling so sorry for Rachel, who is bright and energetic and a meticulous reporter and looks like she is suffering through his ponderous, boring comments. Have mercy, get rid of him.

  8. Pamela says:

    Rachel Maddow and Brian Williams are dynamite as political primary commentators. He is the ONLY man on MANBC that not only isn’t intimidated by her brainpower, but also seems to completely enjoy broadcasting with her. Solid gold match-up.

  9. Sue says:

    Flat out, get rid of Brian Williams. Long time MSNBC watcher I am, he is beneath the quality of Chris Matthews, Rachel Maddow etc. This stinks of some corporate HR handoff to avoid a costly lawsuit brought by Williams. I am boycotting MSNBC until he goes, which he will. What a joke Williams, retire, write a book, reinvent yourself, but quit demanding to suckle on the NBC milk train, we’d have more respect for you if you did.

  10. If Brian Williams had killed his mother, the diatribe against him would be no less. He exaggerated his part of history. Is anyone listening to the political candidates? If you want to hear self-aggrandizement, it is rampant and the one touting his self-importance the most is now ahead on the Republican ticket.

    Williams is an excellent reporter and Rachel is my hero. The two should be exciting. I definitely like this.

  11. Geo says:

    Ok, now I’ve seen the Bryan Williams / Bryan Williams / Bryan Williams & Rachel Maddow coverage of the Iowa caucus. He simply sucks the air out of the room with his pontificating. Get rid of him quickly. I had to switch to CNN.

  12. ariadnatheo says:

    So… Brian was forgiven…his error was lying about himself and making himself the news; journalists are only supposed to lie according to the script they are given. Freelance lying gets you 6-month suspension, telling the truth, however, ensures you’ll “never work in this town again (ask Rick Sanchez).
    Brian is supposed to be witty but he didn’t feel all that witty after they took him to the shed; maybe he’ll cheer up now that he has been readmitted into the liars’ pen. He better not tell any gay jokes in Maddow’s presence: hell hath no fury like that of one who is “twice blessed” (as Gay Jews describe themselves).
    Happy viewing. I’ll be watching some paint dry.

  13. kevin monroe says:


  14. Jimmy Cooper says:

    Maddow and Williams means no one will be watching and brings more questions of how really stupid the executives NBCUniversal are.

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