MSNBC Will Replace Greta Van Susteren with Ari Melber

Greta Van Susteren is leaving MSNBC, less than seven months after she joined the NBCUniversal-owned cable-news outlet.

The network intends to replace her at 6 p.m. with Ari Melber, according to a memo from Phil Griffin, MSNBC’s president.

“MSNBC and Greta Van Susteren have decided to part ways,” said Griffin, in the memo. “Greta is a well-regarded television veteran and one of only a few broadcasters who can say they’ve hosted shows at all three major cable news networks. We are grateful to her and wish her the best.”

Van Susteren arrived at MSNBC after a successful primetime stint at Fox News Channel. She left the 21st Century Fox-owned cable network in September of last year in the aftermath of the ouster of Roger Ailes. When she joined MSNBC, she was seen as part of an effort to render the network, which had gained a strong reputation for tilting left throughout the day, more centrist. These days, MSNBC offers a progressive viewpoint during primetime, but tries to focus on breaking news during the day – and has in fact brought more of breaking-news elements to its primetime programs.

MSNBC has seen a surge in viewership since the start of the year, but Van Susteren’s program, “For The Record,” has not enjoyed similar gains. The show has trailed its two main competitors, Fox News’ “Special Report with Bret Baier” and CNN’s “The Situation Room,” and has had a tough time maintaining the lead in it gets from Chuck Todd’s “MTP Daily” at 5 p.m.

Van Susteren acknowledged the departure on Twitter, saying simply, “I am out at MSNBC.”

Her replacement, Melber, is a familiar presence at MSNBC. He is the network’s chief legal correspondent, anchors his own program on weekends, and frequently fills in for MSNBC’s primetime hosts when they are not available.

“Ari is a frequent presence on Today and across various MSNBC shows and will continue those appearances as he takes on his new duties,” Griffin said. He is expected to start next month. MSNBC will utilize a rotation of hosts until he starts, suggesting that Van Susteren will not continue at her hour.

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