Lawrence O’Donnell, MSNBC in Talks for 10 PM Slot

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

MSNBC and Lawrence O’Donnell are in negotiations to keep the veteran host in his 10 p.m. slot at MSNBC, according to two people familiar with the discussions. While the outcome of any talks about renewal or extension are never guaranteed, the network hopes to keep the former “West Wing” producer and writer anchoring his “The Last Word,” according to these people.

Recent press reports have suggested that MSNBC might be looking to part ways with O’Donnell and open his 10 p.m. hour to a new host. But one of the people familiar with the discussions suggested that speculation might be the result of one of the parties trying to sway negotiations. The reports, this person suggested, might best be viewed as “a new twist on an old game of chicken.”

MSNBC declined to make executives available for comment.

MSNBC might have reason to keep O’Donnell in his show, “The Last Word.” Last Thursday night, his program ranked number two in terms of attracting viewers between 25 and 54 – the demographic most coveted by advertisers in news programming. In April, “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” won more viewers in that demo than rival time-slot programming in CNN, marking the second consecutive month it has done so.

O’Donnell, a former legislative aide to New York Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, has held forth in the program since 2010, and got his start on the network as a contributor on “Morning Joe” and as a fill-in host for Keith Olbermann.

In recent broadcasts, he has weighed in against various elements of the Donald Trump presidency and offered scorching commentary on recent revelations about former Fox News Channel anchor Bill O’Reilly.

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  1. Marie Higgins says:

    My husband and I won’t miss Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O’Donnell shows. We feel they should tie for first place as they are the best political news on television! People have their fill of Trump, he is an evil loser and the only hope we find is from Lawrence, Rachel, Joy Reid, the two Chris’s and Ari! We do not need another stupid Fox station, one of those is one too many!

    • r allen says:

      i find your comment a little confusing. if msnbc replaceds lawrence with Joy or Ari, what’s the difference. the only concern i have is if they make the continued mistake of trying to resurrect the career of a newsman who is a proven liar and fabulist Brian Williams & put his news show on as the “10th hour” or give Brian 2 hours of air time (10 pm – midnight est) .phil griffin and Andy Lack’s obsession with resurrecting this liar is going to harm msnbc in the long term.

  2. chuen toh says:

    Lawrance O’Donnell won me over to MSNBC from CNN. his is the voice of progressive reason. MSNBC needs to keep Lawrance O’Donnell and “the last word” or they will lose viewers who value honesty and progressive commentary.

  3. Margarette Woodard says:

    Lawrence is one of our favorites on MSNBC!!! Progressive , honest voices are really needed!!

  4. Lawrence absolutely has to stay with MSNBC! He is a favorite of many of us and makes a great contribution to the station. Mr. Lack, it seems you want to make half of your announcers Republican; hope you realize that Trump might not be around for much longer.

    • Neil Evans says:

      Excellent comment. We must protect objective and progressive voices on the air. A great counterbalance to Fox.

  5. dude is old bright liberal…bingo…..and they hired the woman from Fox?…..what kind of drugs R the execs doing?

    • Brian O'Neill says:

      Exactly. Are you listening Andrew Lack? Keep Greta Van Susteren and let Lawrence O’Donnell walk? We will walk right behind him. Put the house on it!

  6. julie considine says:

    I watch Lawrence O’Donnell and Rachel Maddow faithfully and I will stop watching msnbc if O’Donnell is not rehired….They are one of the few newscasters that present the facts. Trump has a way of getting anyone fired if they don’t support his lies and views. It would be a horrendous mistake to let Lawrence O’Donnell go at this time when people feel safe listening to his reporting. Julie Considine, a concerned
    American who is a mental health counselor who values good reporting.

  7. Fran says:

    I watch Lawrence O’Donnelk every evening along with Rachel Maddow. These two shows are how the country can hear the truth about what is happening each and every day with this administration. If O’Donnell is cancelled your ratings and followers will go down along with me. I will tune in for Rachel .

  8. Vicki Borrell says:

    Lawrence O’Donnell is the reason I watch MSNBC.

  9. ENF says:

    Just hate to see a reporter not renewed… some are just trying to do their job, and do it well.
    This guy seems to know a lot about the history of our politics, he is smart, and he looks for the truth, which I value more now than ever before. (being my father’s daughter! ) Please “like” or “follow” his show’s facebook page if you agree. Also you can let msnbc know if you support him. The contract for the show is not renewed yet… even tho the show ranks second (Rachel is 1st). He seems to get good commentators on who can explain things to me!

  10. L. Reed says:

    Lawrence O;Donnell is a must-see host, especially in these times of political upheaval. I appreciate his views, his interactions with his guests, his heartfelt opinions, and his commitment to getting school desks for African kids. Lose him and you lose me.

  11. V Stosel says:

    Lawrence O’Donnell is one of the best hosts on MSNBC. I will switch to PBS or the BBC for my news if MSNBC lets him go.

  12. Ilene says:

    Lawrence 0’donell is the best host on MSNBC . Big mistake to let him go. You will lose me to CNN

  13. Jane Tilley says:

    Lawrence is so ‘head and shoulders’above the other hosts-Greta and Nicolle Wallace, especially, and Chris Hayes, that I cannot understand, and will be so angry at Lack, if he ditches ODonnell for a more conservative host. Don’t do it!!

  14. Who are the corporate sponsors for Lawrence O’Donnell’s show? I really want to know! If he goes, I go. I have been changing the station after Rachel Maddow since he hasn’t been on and will continue if he isn’t coming back

    • S. Hendrickson says:

      He has been on !!! My cable somehow does not have his show listed as NEW in the guide so the series I set for him did not record him. We have been recording his repeat presentation and watching it the next morning.

  15. Trezza Presberry says:

    Keep LO and while you are at it make nice nice with Keith Olbermann and bring him back…..

  16. billthom56 says:

    MSNBC has made a lot of bad moves, but letting Lawrence O’Donnell go would be the capper.

  17. LF Stapleton says:

    MSNBC, don’t be foolish. Keep Lawrence O’Donnell. His show is always insightful and entertaining. I will no longer watch the 10 PM slot if Lawrence goes. You are welcome to get rid of Greta Van S, however. I will absolutely not watch her, or the upcoming Nicole Wallace, either. Add Joy Reid to the lineup!

  18. Camille Favale says:

    Lawrence O’Donnell is the most honest and consistent reporter on MSNBC. He remains true to his beliefs and doesn’t change with the wind. He delivers outstanding discussions with precise information and clarifies daily events in a polite, intelligent manner. He is an asset to MSNBC and if he is removed I will not watch MSNBC during that time slot. If Mr. O’Donnell moves to another network I will follow him as many other fans will, too. Please do not disappoint the fans of Lawrence O’Donnell by not renewing his contract.

  19. Robert Hayes says:

    This viewer tunes in to MSNBC weekday nights to watch Lawrence O’Donnell’s showThe Last Word. Lawrence is a great host and his shows are always topical and never disappoint. Lawrence’s show and Lawrence’s contract with MSNBC need to be renewed so that he may continue his excellent show going forward.

  20. Jeanne M. Dwyer says:

    I have become a big fan of Lawrence O’Donnell on MSNBC In recent months with his calm, introspective reporting based on a great deal of research into his discussions. With all the craziness in our government, it is refreshing to hear his perspective. Since it’s really about ratings with all news these days why would the Network get rid of one who has top ratings?

  21. RD Hooton says:

    LO is the #1 MSNBC News Reporter on Comcast Network IMO. We watch LO every night @ 1900 . He is informative, non-partisan, factual, and entertaining .Comcast will loose $$$ if LO leaves MSNBC.

  22. Albert B. Reynolds says:

    Keep Lawrence O’Donnell in the 10:00 slot on MSNBC News. He is as good as all the excellent evening MSNBC news casters.

  23. Bernice McPherson says:

    Please keep O’Donald’s show on the’s my favorite show..

  24. none says:

    Keep Lawrence! Certainly better than the irritating B. Williams and one of the top hosts for MSNBC

  25. Anne Hartman says:

    Please keep Lawrence on MSNBC, we NEED him more than ever.

  26. Gail says:

    Please keep O’Donnel on in the 10:00 slot! He, Rachel & Chris make an unbeatable trio. Lets get MSNBC the #1 network !

  27. Erlene says:

    If Lawrence goes I am sorry to say I will be done with MSNBC. It is unfair to remove liberal views from the news. There are more than enough right wing news views out there and not nearly enough of the left. Keep MSNBC with a liberal view and keep the very best, O’Donnell

  28. Laura Maher says:

    Keep Lawrence, don’t fix something that isn’t broke. I know many people who will boycott thst 10:00 time slot if you do. Ny whole family and many friends watch him every night. Don’t be so cold. He’s the best. Smart, easy to listen to, a regular guy, and very polite. Love him.

    • Pia says:

      Keep Lawrence O’Donnell. He is excellent. I watch him every night with my hubby and we appreciate his competence.

  29. Anita Harms says:

    We look forward to watching O’Donnell every week night. He’s the very best.

  30. Fifi Lebrew says:

    If Lawrence goes…so go I.
    He’s the best of the best.

  31. Diane Brown says:

    If Lawrence goes I tune out after Maddow, no one can take O’Donnell’s place. Plus MSNBC will not survive as FOX in disguise.

  32. Linda Eaton says:


  33. Loni E. Parr says:

    I heard a terrible rumor that Lawrence is out of MSNBC. I sure sure hope that isn’t true. I really love his straight talk. He tells it like it is. Between Lawrence and Rachael, I can find sanity in a country I don’t even understand anymore. Love you two!

  34. RawOkra says:

    L.O. is too smart and does his homework before he comes on show. As a retired person, I watch both MSNBC and CNBC (inclusive of Asia and Europe business programs). If L. O. is let go, I will move on to CNN.

  35. Sharon Lubina says:

    Lawrence O’ODonnell tell it like it is. Love show, Pay the man, He’s very talented, clear spoken and has interesting guests. Let’s hope the rumors are not true, about Hugh Hewwett being a new host on msnbc. Will never watch, and keep Greta back to Fox. Rachael wonderfully smart and 1 hr disappears Keep news lineup. Cause CNN looking decent too!

  36. James Hoefgen says:

    I and my husband watch Lawrence O’Donnell all the time. That is one reason we have dish and pay $86 per month. He is very knowledgeable on issues. Your network has to keep people from watching Fox network. We cannot have people going in that direction. Please keep the program on and I love the show. Thank you. It is rated second next to Rachel; why blow it. Also like his energy helping child to get desk for schools.

  37. Margot Copeland says:

    Lawrence O Donnell ‘s show is my favorite and I would be crushed to see him leave. I am retired and love his style and intelligence

  38. Rita Logan says:

    stop watching morning joe because of 2016 election if the can Lawarence, I will be gone for good

  39. P. Durb says:

    My least favorite of MSNBC hosts. He’s full of himself and his breathlessness is exhausting Would much prefer Ari Melber, Joy Reid, or Ezra Klein.

  40. Austin Conkey says:

    Lawrence O’Donnell is the reason I go to MSNBC every night he is there. His past experience in the Capitol is invaluable

    • M Dionne says:

      Please don’t let it be true that MSNBC is considering parting ways with Lawrence O’Donnell. I don’t always agree with him, but I look forward to his show every night. (And I am not in the age group identified as his primary target!)

  41. Colleen says:

    MSNBC would be really stupid to let Lawrence O’Donnell go. Keep him exactly where he is. He is the best — clear, insightful, tells it like it is. Always interesting and informative, never boring, always gets to the heart of what’s important to viewers. MSNBC’s news shows are quality (Rachel Maddow, Morning Joe, Hardball, Chris Hayes), and O’Donnell is at the top of the heap. Why mess with things when we all need reliable, intelligent media we can trust?

  42. Lawrence O’Donnell is by far the most intelligent, well spoken, even tempered commentator on television. He knows history, he knows people, he knows our Constitution, he is compassionate and eloquent, he listens, and he raises money for the K.I.N.D. Fund, helping children in Malawi to have desks in their school rooms for learning. He is one of the very best people on television today. You must keep him at 10 pm, or I will not watch anyone in his place.

  43. Gail says:

    No, no. Keep Lawrence and his show at 10. Besides being an amazing host, he is very soothing and calming, which is great before we go to sleep. There is no yelling on his show, just his nice, low key voice and informative content. All our senior friends in our gated Florida community watch him.

  44. Bette Bell says:

    I rate Lawrence ODonnell NUMBER 1 on MSNBC. Both he and Rachel are the BEST!

  45. S. Kram says:

    It’s an insult to the evening audience! Your new additions will never bring in the numbers he does in 1 hr! Really upset with management!

  46. carol florsheim says:

    big mistake- he is brilliant- the lineup is perfect!


    We love Lawrence O’Donnel!!! He is my absolute favorite!!!!

    • Carol Poole says:

      We love Lawrence & Rachel, but, are not watching MSNBC as much as CNN> Why iin the devil did they hire did they hire Greta Van Sustern? She just doesn’t fit!

  48. Jane Bartow says:

    Best show on MSNBC, no competition. This can’t happen!

    • Ron Goley says:

      Absolutely agree with this comment and the the many others in the same vein. At times like this the best are needed more than ever. Lawrence O’Donnell is the best.

  49. GV says:

    Are you kidding me?!? Allowing the loss of Lawrence O’Donnell would be a serious mistake for MSNBC. I appreciate what he brings to discussions of important issues that affect the US and it’s citizens. And as for this citizen, I want to continue to follow O’Donnell’s show, as I do now, if MSNBC comes to its senses.

  50. naryaquid says:

    MSNBC would be stupid to let their second highest rated host to…What are they thinking? I’m a faithful viewer of his show and would stop watching the station entirely if they take him off.

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