Ratings-Challenged MSNBC Scores Coup With Hillary Clinton Interview

Hillary Clinton will give a sit-down interview to veteran NBC News correspondent Andrea Mitchell this Friday on MSNBC, in a coup for a cable-news network working to transform itself to generate bigger ratings.

Clinton, the front-runner among Democrats vying for the office of U.S. president in the 2016 race, will sit down with Mitchell for a talk that will be televised first during the Friday edition of the reporter’s 12 p.m. Eastern program “Andrea Mitchell Reports” on MSNBC. Portions of the conversation will subsequently appear on “NBC Nightly News,” the weekend version of “Today,” “Meet the Press” and NBCNews.com.

Mitchell is expected to ask the former secretary of state about her presidential campaign, the field of Republican competitors, the controversy currently raging over the way she handled her email while in office at the State Department and the 20th anniversary of her September 5, 1995, speech on women’s rights delivered in Beijing.

The talk, Clinton’s first since speaking with CNN’s Brianna Keilar in July, is a good “get” for Mitchell, NBC News’ chief foreign correspondent, but could also serve to advance a new business strategy in place at the cable network. Once seen as distinct from NBC’s news unit — MSNBC fashioned itself as a place for viewing the news through a progressive lens, while NBC News held tighter to objectivity — the cable-news operation and NBC News are being placed in the same tether under new management.

Under Andrew Lack, given oversight of both NBC News and MSNBC in April, the cable network is undergoing a not-so-subtle makeover. Shows featuring hosts like Ed Schultz and the Reverend Al Sharpton are being jettisoned or having their on-air presence cut back. Daytime programming is focused more closely on breaking news of the day, even hour.

MSNBC’s ratings, which surged along with the popularity of progressive primetime hosts like Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow, have drifted in recent years as the network took what worked in primetime and tried to layer it across the schedule with programs like “The Cycle.”

Mitchell, who has anchored an early-afternoon hour on MSNBC for years, is one of the few constants on the network’s daytime grid. As such, she may be emblematic of the new corporate plan, which will center the cable outlet around breaking news and make it more of a piece with NBC’s main news operations. Later this month, Brian Williams is expected to join MSNBC as an anchor for live coverage of important breaking-news events.




More TV

  • Ken Ehrlich Jane Ortner Education Award,

    Grammy Awards Producer Shuffle: Ben Winston to Take Over From Ken Ehrlich in 2021

    As Variety reported in December, Ben Winston will take the reins of the Grammy Awards as executive producer in 2021 after longtime telecast leader Ken Ehrlich completes his 40th ceremony next year. Winston has become a prolific producer for CBS and other outlets since he moved to the U.S. nearly five years ago to launch [...]

  • Sarah Wright Takes Charge of Sky

    Sarah Wright Takes Charge of Sky Cinema After Management Shuffle

    Sarah Wright, Sky’s top acquisitions exec, will take on responsibility for Sky Cinema after a management shuffle at the pay-TV giant. Wright fills a role vacated by Ian Lewis, who recently left Sky after 20 years. He was one of several Sky staffers to leave after its takeover by Comcast. As director of Sky Cinema [...]

  • Jodi Long Running for SAG-AFTRA Secretary-Treasurer

    Jodi Long Running for SAG-AFTRA Secretary-Treasurer on Matthew Modine Slate

    Veteran actress and union activist Jodi Long is running for secretary-treasurer of SAG-AFTRA as a member of Matthew Modine’s progressive Membership First slate. She is facing Camryn Manheim, who announced her candidacy on July 9 as part of the Unite for Strength slate for the re-election of union president Gabrielle Carteris. Unite for Strength and United [...]

  • BAFTA Backs BIFA’s Unconscious-Bias Training for

    BIFA’s Unconscious-Bias Training Rolls Out to BAFTA Voters, Wider Industry (EXCLUSIVE)

    The British Independent Film Awards is opening up its unconscious-bias training to BAFTA voters and, more widely, to anyone who judges the work of others in the film and TV business in the U.K. With the makeup of award-nominee and -winner lists under close scrutiny, BIFA introduced its unconscious-bias training last year. Its voters, jurors, [...]

  • New U.K. Film and TV Studio

    New U.K. Film and TV Studio Proposed for Leeds, in Northern England

    With studio space in high demand, a sizable new film and TV complex has been proposed for Leeds, the city in northern England that is fast becoming a major U.K. media hub outside of London. It has already been selected as the base for Channel 4’s new national headquarters, and companies such as pay-TV giant [...]

  • Jody Madden Replaces Craig Rodgerson as

    Jody Madden Replaces Craig Rodgerson as CEO of VFX Firm Foundry

    Jody Madden has been upped to CEO at U.K.-based VFX outfit Foundry. She steps up fromchief product officer and replaces Craig Rodgerson, who joined the company in late 2017. Foundry was bought by U.S. tech firm Roper Technologies earlier this year in a £410 million ($509 million) deal. The London-based business provides software and technology [...]

  • La Linea Invisible

    Mariano Barroso Shoots Basque Conflict Origins Story ‘La Linea Invisible’

    IRUN, Spain  — When- and why – do people begin to kill for a cause? Having created “What the Future Holds,” maybe the best reviewed to date of any Movistar + Original Series, Spain’s Mariano Barroso (“The Wolves of Washington”) tackles this question head on in “La Línea Invisible,” a six-part series, again from Movistar [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content