MSNBC to Launch Ronan Farrow, Joy Reid In Daytime

NBCUniversal outlet tinkers with daytime, setting Andrea Mitchell at noon

Ronan Farrow

MSNBC said it would launch two new programs in its daytime schedule, including one hosted by Ronan Farrow, a Rhodes scholar and former Obama foreign policy official whose celebrity lineage has drawn much scrutiny.

The network, which has made several prominent shuffles to its daytime and early evening schedules in recent weeks, said it would launch Farrow in an hour-long program starting February 24 at 1 p.m. Joy Reid, a contributor to MSNBC, will host a program at 2 p.m. The two programs that occupied those time slots – “Andrea Mitchell Reports” and “NewsNation with Tamron Hall” – to 12 p.m. and 11 a.m., respectively.

“Ronan and Joy are two of the most thoughtful and impressive journalists out there and I’m excited for what they will bring to the afternoon,” said MSNBC president Phil Griffin in a prepared statement.

The two hours Mitchell and Hall will soon inhabit are currently devoted to regular news coverage.

MSNBC has been working to improve its daytime slots, particularly as the network attempts to pursue both analysis of news events through a progressive lens as well as breaking-news coverage. In recent months, it has been subject to critiques that it is not as interested in pursuing news as it happens, giving rival CNN some ballast.

In recent months, MSNBC has moved an original hour of  early evening host Chris Matthews to 7 p.m., returned Ed Schultz to a daily roost at 5 p.m and filled the 4 p.m. slot of Martin Bashir with Alex Wagner in the wake of controversial remarks Bashir made about pundit and former U.S. Vice President candidate Sarah Palin.

“Tamron has established herself as one of the best news anchors in the business. It strengthens us to have her hosting during our morning news block,” said Griffin. “Andrea Mitchell is so critical to MSNBC and I’ve always thought her show should be at noon. Andrea brings on the biggest newsmakers of the day and the new time slot will help showcase her work.”

MSNBC has been developing a show with Farrow since October. A lawyer, Farrow founded the State Department’s Office of Global Youth Issues and reported to the Secretary of State as the United States’ first Special Adviser for Global Youth during the Arab Spring revolutions. He also served for two years as a U.S. diplomat focused on the conflict in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Joy Reid has been the managing editor of TheGrio.com and an MSNBC contributor since July 2011. She’s also been a frequent substitute host on MSNBC during all dayparts. Reid is a political columnist for “The Miami Herald” and editor of the politics blog The Reid Report.