Lawrence O’Donnell Confirms Contract Talks with MSNBC

Lawrence O'Donnell
Mark Von Holden/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

MSNBC anchor Lawrence O’Donnell took to Twitter to acknowledge that he has entered negotiations with the NBCUniversal-owned cable-news network that may or may not result in him staying there.

In a tweet, the network’s 10 p.m. host, who has had a presence at MSNBC since 2009, told followers that his contract expires on June 4. “I’ll let you know where you can watch me June 5 if it’s not msnbc,” he said Wednesday. “I’m sorry this situation has become public.”

O’Donnell has hosted his “The Last Word,” which currently follows Rachel Maddow’s 9 p.m. broadcast, since 2010.

MSNBC has reason to keep him. His show’s ratings have surged along with the rest of MSNBC’s primetime lineup as viewers tune in to the network’s progressive primetime news offerings while controversy swirls around the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump. In April, “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” won more viewers between 25 and 54 – the demographic most coveted by advertisers – than rival time-slot programming in CNN, marking the second consecutive month it has done so.

At MSNBC, “negotiations are ongoing,” according to a statement, and the network hopes to keep the former “West Wing” producer and writer in his current slot, according to two people familiar with the matter. The network has not made executives available for comment. A recent Huffington Post report suggested  the network had not reached out to O’Donnell despite the short amount of time left on his contract.

During her MSNBC broadcast last night, Maddow made public her support of her time-slot neighbor. “I consider us a team,” she said.


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  1. Marla Barden says:

    Please extend Lawrence O’Donnell’s contract. I watch Chris, Rachel, Lawrence and Brian every evening. Lawrence brings a special perspective to his show because of his past congressional experience. My parents are both originally from Dorchester and I just love it when he speaks with his Bostonian accent. Tickles me. Think you would be making a huge mistake to replace him.

  2. Katie Matilda says:

    Dear MSNBC:
    You need to keep Lawrence O’Donnell. He is a good and fair reporter, very intelligence, professional.
    My family and I watch Rachel and Lawrence every night, no matter what time we have to get up the
    next morning

  3. Nazalene says:

    If Mr O’Donnell gets fired, I will support him on his next venture. He’s fair and has backbone. Because our current president if the USA is a liar, we need a Lawrence O’Donnell to deliver the white house’s message. I will not support MSNBC if he’s fired.

  4. Linda says:

    Pls retain Lawrence! Love his viewpoint & his show. Like Brian but does not have the personality nor insight that Lawrence provides. Lawrence at 10 & Brian at 11 – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

  5. Kristen Bolomey says:

    I watch the last word most nights. Sorry Arizona doesn’t do it for me and I turn it off. I always turn off the 11th hour. If you move the 11th hour to 10 you will lose me in both slots.

    As for the last word only being successful because of Rachel Maddow, I watch her every night but I really missed Lawrence when I had to be up early and used to have to go to bed before he came

  6. Bonnie Kay says:

    Lawrence is spectacular….msnbc better keep him if they want to keep their audience!!!

  7. SLB says:

    Keep O’Donnell. He’s the best!!

  8. Joyce Jordan says:

    Please keep Lawrence O’Donald show in place. I agree that he and Rachel are a team

  9. Brenda says:

    I watch Lawrence every night, He is very good and smart and tell the truth out loud, I respect that. If his contract Is not extended and everything done to keep him then the powers that be would not be very smart

  10. Herbert Natker says:

    Lawrence is one of the leading journalist in the world. His service to his viewers and his service to mankind in his great work in “Desks for Malawi Schools” is unequaled. If his contract is not renewed, I will watch CNN during his normal broadcast slot. Thank you Lawrence!.

  11. Peggy Johnson says:

    I will follow you should you leave MSNBC.
    Thank you for your insight.

  12. C Cromwell says:

    I don’t know why MSNBC would even consider letting him go. I love the insight he brings as a result of his time as a congressional staffer and also behind the scenes network issues. Why let someone go who is beating the competition? Doesn’t even make business sense. Let’s hope saner minds prevail.

  13. Erin Hume says:

    keep lawrence on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. watching the trifecta of HAYS, MADDOW, & O’DONNEL are a nightly ritual for me. Please don’t mess it up! Hats gives a roundup of the day’s news, Rachel follows with FACTUAL information that’s easily confirmed, then O’Donnell rounds it off with his HONEST, to the point “LAST WORD”! You can’t beat it. One suggestion, move Joy Reid to boring, unprepared Greta’s spot & you’ll be a true winner

  15. K Proctor says:

    He has perfect experience and brains for this job -I watch every night

  16. janet griffin says:

    I have been a CNN watcher everyday since June 2016 until February when I found L ODonnell. I now what his show & TRMS every night. I have also started watching Morning Joe. He has a wonderful show.

  17. Nala Hines says:

    I watch The Last Word every day. KEEP HIM.

  18. Pamela says:


  19. Ivory Campbell says:

    I watch MSNBC for the “last word” religiously. Lawrence O’Donnell is one of the best on the network. It will be a great loss if his contract is not renewed.

    • Cynthia Caulfield says:

      MSNBC will be making a very big mistake letting Lawrence go! Don’t let the truth be shut down. We watch this show every night. Chris Hayes, Rachel the Lawrence.

  20. Mary Nolan says:

    Keep Lawrence O’Donnell on MSNBC! Never miss Rachel and Lawrence–different approaches to current news but “must-see” team that must be

  21. betty ann modaff says:

    Responding in support of Larence O’Donnell/

  22. Sharon Jenkins says:

    Please, please stay Mr. O’Donnell!!! I have to get up at 5am and it’s worth staying up late to watch the Last Word. I am switching to CNN if leaves!

  23. Eric Albert says:

    I will not watch Brian Williams. He has no credibility. I will watch CNN if MSNBC dumps Lawrence O’Donnel.

  24. I look forward after a long long work day to watch the lines from Chris Matthews, through Chris Hayes through Rachel Maddow. He can take news fabricator Brian Williams with him.

  25. Christine Sycylo says:

    To let him go because of the presidential who is dumb as a box of rocks!????

    I will bolt, and that includes Rachel and Chris!

    Lack, why don’t you go to Fox! Any network that buckles because of this moron in the WH will never have my support. You’re s stooge!

    Keep Lawrence and you leave!

  26. florene rozen says:

    Why would they get rid of a person who knows the inner workings of the government? He is excellent.

  27. Julie Sobchack says:

    I believe Lawrence O’Donnell is a valuable asset to MSNBC. We rely on this network for balanced coverage, liberal coverage, and Lawrence puts the frosting on the cake every day with his “Last Word.” Please keep him on! He and Rachel are a good balance, and they’re both blessed with great intellectual power. PLEASE Keep Him ON!

  28. this article is misleading bc the tweet did not signify anything about contract talks on the contrary it said ill let u know where ill be if not msnbc thats not confirming contract talks

  29. rowan77 says:

    MSNBC would be stupid to let hikm go. He has the second highest ratings on the network and is a respected voice. They need to keep him on.

  30. Camille Favale says:

    In this era of “fake news” it would be a huge mistake to take Lawrence O’Donnell off of MSNBC!
    Mr. O’Donnell promotes real, honest news in a polite and intelligent manner. I will follow him and
    not watch MSNBC. Big mistake for MSNBC!

  31. Elseswear says:

    If Lawrence is not re-signed, I’m exercising my free agency option.

  32. Mr. Martin says:

    What they don’t seem to understand is that doing this won’t just lose them some viewers, it’ll lose cable subscribers. A lot of us only keep our cable for the news. This would make the decision to cut the cord easy as hell. They would seriously be crazy to do this. He’s #1 in his timeslot, for god’s sake. Even suggesting this is a pretty big betrayal of their audience already. UNWISE.

  33. Cynical Observer says:

    Lawrence O’Donnell is a class act. In addition he has real world experience as a high level staff member of the U.S. Senate. O’Donnell attracts different guests than Chris Matthews and Rachel Maddow do, more intellectually advanced than the others’. Of all of the MSNBC hosts, O’Donnell is, by far the best and most efficient communicator. MSNBC’s management are completely nuts if they try to shove O’Donnell out the door.

    I have been ‘boycotting’ MSNBC ever since word got out that MSNBC’s management was failing/refusing to negotiate with O’Donnell for a new contract. I’ve been watching CNN instead and to my surprise CNN’s hosts have been doing a very good job discussing the whole Trump/Russia/Comey embroglio and the guests on CNN have been far more intelligent and independent than the party hacks who used to appear on CNN. As a result if Lawrence O’Donnell disappears from my cable TV, I will be very disappointed but I’ve already found my new go-to station,

    My comfort in switching my news viewing from MSNBC to CNN illustrates the utter stupidity of MSNBC’s management because by their playing games with O’Donnell’s contract MSNBC movitvated me to find a new news source.

    The senior management of NBC and Comcast need to take a close look at the person they’ve got running MSNBC because it appears that person is a clueless bozo.

  34. ceidwyn says:

    Lawrence O’Donnell and his show are outstanding. I watch him, and I hope they renew his contract.

  35. John Gibson says:

    Not renewing Lawrence O’Donnell and The Last Word would be the dumbest thing MSNBC could do, including hiring Bill O’Reilly.

  36. Giardino Laurette says:

    Can’t believe that MSNBC is thinking about renewing Lawrence O’Donnel contract, it’s a no brainer. They hit the trifecta with Hays, Maddow & O’Donnell.
    You need to put Joy on before Hays or after O’Donnell.
    Wake up MSNBC and renew Lawrence’s contract.

    • rowan77 says:

      Agreed. Chris Matthews is a blowhard who talks over his guests – especially women. Joy Reid is smart, concise and doesn’t bloviate like Matthews. Reid at 7pm, Hayes at 8pm, Maddow at 9pm and O’Donnell at 10pm is a masterful line-up of highly intellgent, well informed hosts who add to the public discourse. Put Matthews on in the afternoon or late at night.

  37. Anita Harms says:

    Please keep Lawrence O’Donnell. His news is so well thought out, and his guests and discussions are interesting and based on good information. And thank you, Rachel, that you consider he’s part of the team.

  38. Karren Egstad says:

    I’m so hoping Laurence O’Donnell continues his time slot as I’m an avid watcher of MSNBC from 7:00pm to 11:30pm , I also tune in at 12:00noon. It’s an ultimate must to watch now with the screwball we have as president !!

  39. Carol Bell says:

    Hoping you will keep Lawrence O Donnells Show. Rachel Maddow is great and if she leaves because of this you will lose fans. I know I will not watch Bill Riley. And what does it say about MSNBC management that he would even be considered! Thank you for considering the opinions of your viewers

  40. Carrie says:


  41. Harold Joshua says:

    After all Andy Lack is a LACKEY of Wall Street and he listens to these people who are Trump supporters. Andy used Russial Style rehabilitation of Brian Williams when Brian was caught lying over and over again.

    According to very reliable MSNBC sources, Andy wants MSNBC’s Phil Griffin replaced by Bill Shine a recent and former FOX News Co-Preident (who was let go recently by the Murdochs). In addition Andy Lack is talking to get Bill O’Reilly to join MSNBC at Lawrence O’Donnell’s 10 PM slot. Also Andy Lack wants to bring in born dishonest pathological liar Hugh Hewitt in Chris Hayes slot. If Rachel leaves because of not renewal ofLawrence O’Donnell, then Brian Wiliams would be moved to Rachel’s slot. Andy Lack is a GOP in Democratic Disguise and is all out to get rid off progressive oriented hosts. Andy hates Phill Griffin. Andy believes by having MSNBC turn right, MSNBC can displace or equal FOX in viewership.

    • Cynical Observer says:

      If all of the foregoing is true Andy Lack is still missing one key point. Conservatives and Republicans have been taught to hate MSNBC as a brand over the last 10 years. FOX and Limbaugh have been drumming it into their viewers’/listeners heads for 10 year that MSNBC as a brand is worthless. Andy Lack cannot overcome that negative image.

  42. worthymagic says:

    I hate MSNBC and you all need to chill out. He isn’t going anywhere. Sometimes people have nothing to write, so they try to make news out of nothing. He isn’t going anywhere. Rachel is great friends with him. he makes $ million a year, and I’m sure he isn’t asking for the moon. They will sign him.

  43. Waynbe Beau says:

    I would be very upset if Lawrence were to leave MSNBC.

  44. billthom56 says:

    Not very smart strategy for MSNBC to be negotiating Lawrence O’Donnell’s contract with 3 weeks to go– he is a voice of reason on cable news, not to mention their second highest rated show.

  45. Barbara Hillman says:

    Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O’Donnell are the sole reason we started watching MSNBC. If either one goes….WE GO. Lawrence poses questions and statements that make you think, consider, and respond rationally to what is au currant. He is exquisitely articulate and intelligent. Please negotiate to keep him.

  46. Kaboom! says:

    Larry O’Donnell makes $4 million dollars a year. Grossly overpaid yet laughing at all the worthless liberals.

  47. David Osio says:

    If Lawrence goes so will I.
    I will watch MSNBC just for Chris Hays and Rachel and then follow Lawrence to his new site.

  48. Marilyn Hawkins says:

    I look forward to watching Lawrence O’Donnell’s show. He’s amazing. I will follow him anywhere; hoping he will stay with MSNBC.

    • Lori says:

      AGREED wholeheartedly. I literally run home to catch Chris Matthews followed by Chris Hayes, followed by my girl Rachael, followed by my main man Lawrence (aka my 77 year old mother’s imaginary boyfriend). Lawrence is the REAL DEAL, and don’t get me wrong, I really do like Brian Williams, however, there is NO COMPARISON. My advice….DON’T DO IT! Big Mistake.

  49. George Lewis says:

    MSNBC is a great comedy channel. Hysterical lunatic anchors. I get my best laughs there. Only respect Willie Geist, Chuck Todd is hard working, but an opinionated leftist. Scarborough is a fool who was corrupted by MSNBC & especially by hysterical ridiculous Mika B. Now to Odonnell: boring; not as funny as cohorts.

    • worthymagic says:

      i can’t stand it either, but O’Donnell isn’t going anywhere. Rachel loves him. If he ends up leaving(which he won’t) they will blame it on Trump and the Russians. Except, he isn’t leaving.

  50. Nancy Miller says:

    We listen to Lawrence O’Donnell most nights, and will follow him if he goes elsewhere. He is a voice of calm, reason, and reflection, and has a heart.

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