‘Hardball’ rolling into CA recall race

Show relocates to cover story of 'national importance'

MSNBC’s Chris Matthews is heading for California, hoping to mine some ratings gold in providing ongoing news coverage of the governor’s race.

Weeknight show “Hardball With Chris Matthews” will be telecast live from Los Angeles, San Francisco and Sacramento from Sept. 1 through the recall election Oct. 7. Show is based out of New Jersey.

“The recall has become a story of national importance, and (Arnold) Schwarzenegger, in particular, is a force to be reckoned with. We’re going out there to talk to all of the key players and deliver its ultimate resolution to viewers nationwide,” Matthews said.

The hourlong “Hardball” airs on MSNBC at 7 p.m. ET.

Matthews also has a syndicated program, “The Chris Matthews Show,” distributed by NBC Enterprises.

MSNBC may be the first to send a show to California to cover the gubernatorial race, but all the cable news nets and network news divisions are expected to step up coverage significantly as the special election nears.

The recall also is proving a boon for California TV stations, who are expected to take in tens of millions of dollars in revenues from political ads during the next six weeks.