MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry wasn’t getting much airtime on the network as of late. Now it’s official: She will get none.
Harris-Perry and MSNBC are parting ways, according to a spokesperson for the network. Severing ties comes after the host publicly excoriated the NBCUniversal-owned cable outlet Friday for preempting her program in favor of added coverage of the Presidential race.
On Sunday, when she would normally have hosted a two-hour program in late morning, Harris-Perry bid adieu to her audience. “Farewell. #Nerdland,”she posted on Twitter, using a name she gave to her fan base. “Inviting diverse new voices to table was a privilege. Grateful for years of support & criticism.”
Harris-Perry’s time on air has been reduced as MSNBC has pursued more coverage of the 2016 Presidential race. She isn’t the only anchor who has had to roll with editorial decision-making, but she suggested Friday in a memo that was posted on the social-media site Medium that MSNBC’s new focus had forced changes to her program that reduced its effectiveness and robbed it of its personality.
The anchor on Friday said she disagreed with what MSNBC’s recent programing re-orientation had done to her show. Since last year MSNBC has steadily tweaked its daytime programming, canceling shows led by Ed Schultz, Ronan Farrow and Joy Reid that examined the issues of the day through a progressive lens in favor of a focus on breaking news and politics. There has been more: A late-afternoon MSNBC program hosted by the Reverend Al Sharpton was canceled and turned into a Sunday-morning show. As the nation’s focus on the Presidential election has intensified, so too has MSNBC’s coverage of it during prime time.
“I love our show. I want it back,” Harris-Perry said in a note that was posted on Medium Friday after The New York Times reported on it. “I have wept more tears than I can count and I find this deeply painful, but I don’t want back on air at any cost. I am only willing to return when that return happens under certain terms.”
Joy Reid is expected to host MSNBC coverage this weekend during Harris-Perry’s slot, anchoring from South Carolina for a look at the Democratic primary.