×

Brian Williams, Rachel Maddow Will Spearhead MSNBC Live Politics Coverage

Brian Williams’ duties at MSNBC will definitely extend beyond daytime hours.

Williams and primetime host Rachel Maddow will co-anchor the NBCUniversal-owned cable-news network’s coming coverage of the Iowa caucus, slated to start Monday, February 1 at 6 p.m. The pair will hold forth from New York, and will be joined by Chris Matthews, Andrea Mitchell and Chuck Todd, who will be stationed in Iowa. The group will form the core of the team of correspondents from both MSNBC and NBC News who will guide viewers all year during important stops on the campaign trail in 2016.

Pairing Williams with Maddow, two of the network’s best-known faces, and augmenting them with others offers a clear signal: MSNBC is counting on this year’s Presidential race to help it draw attention and further define itself as a place for breaking news – particularly the political kind – as it works to move itself away from being known primarily for analyzing the news through a progressive lens.

Other parts of the network’s lineup will tie themselves to Iowa, too. MSNBC’s signature morning program, “Morning Joe,” will hold forth live in Des Moines on Monday, February 1 and Tuesday, February 2, and also offer a special afternoon edition airing on caucus day. Executives at NBCU have indicated they are considering expanding “Joe” by an hour on the network’s programming schedule. Chris Matthews will host weekend coverage from Iowa leading up to Monday.

Maddow is looking forward to providing coverage of what is likely to be an unpredictable event, she said in an interview, noting there is no obvious winner on the Democratic side and lots of to-and-fro among Republicans. “I mean, who on the Democratic side knows who’s going to win?” she asked humorously. “That’s freaking spectacular, just in terms of suspense.”

Teaming Maddow with Williams may, at first blush, raise some eyebrows. Maddow is largely considered to be a meticulous reporter, while Williams started a tenure at MSNBC last fall after an embarrassing 2015 episode at NBC News which involved him embellishing a tale of a 2003 reporting trip to Iraq. He was suspended for six months and removed from his anchor job at “NBC Nightly News” on NBC. His main job at MSNBC is to cover big breaking news during the network’s daytime schedule.

“NBC and Brian sort of investigated that and worked that out and came to terms on that, and I think he’s back on the air for a reason,” said Maddow. “There really isn’t anybody better in terms of handling breaking news, serious news, and as a resource for having to deal real-time with quickly changing information, he’s the best there is. She added: “What’s past is past.”

Williams has made surprise appearances in other parts of the NBCU empire. He was recently called upon to anchor a special report on NBC in December while “NBC Nightly News” anchor Lester Holt was ill. And he and Maddow have worked together on air in the recent past.

Chris Hayes, Kasie Hunt, Hallie Jackson, Chris Jansing, Katy Tur, and Kristen Welker will live from campaign headquarters and caucus sites across Iowa.

 

More TV

  • Steve Stark

    Steve Stark Named President of Newly Formed MGM/UA Television

    The newly formed MGM/UA Television label has found a president in Steve Stark, who previously served as MGM’s president of scripted television production and development. MGM Worldwide Television Group chairman Mark Burnett made the announcement late Friday, adding that Stark has extended his contract with the studio as part of his new role. “We are [...]

  • Bad Education

    TV News Roundup: HBO Sets Premiere Date for Hugh Jackman's 'Bad Education' (Watch)

    In today’s TV News roundup, HBO Films set the premiere date for “Bad Education” starring Hugh Jackman and Allison Janney and “Volcano Live! with Nik Wallenda” tapes Chris Harrison and Sage Steele as hosts. CASTING “The Bachelor” host Chris Harrison will host “Volcano Live! with Nik Wallenda” alongside co-host Sage Steele of ESPN, ABC announced. [...]

  • Randall Park Ed Helms

    Randall Park, Ed Helms to Host Hybrid Alternative-Scripted Series 'True Story' for NBC

    Ed Helms and Randall Park are attached to co-host a hybrid scripted-alternative series titled “True Story” at NBC. The hour-long show has received a six-episode order. It is based on the Australian series “True Story with Hamish & Andy.” In the series, everyday Americans sit down with Helms and Park to share their most extraordinary [...]

  • Annie MurphyGlamour Women of the Year

    'Schitt’s Creek' Star Annie Murphy Cast as Lead in AMC's ‘Kevin Can F— Himself’

    “Schitt’s Creek” star Annie Murphy has been cast as the lead in AMC’s upcoming series “Kevin Can F— Himself.” The dark comedy centers around Murphy’s Allison, Kevin’s wife, who escapes her confines and discovers her rage. “Kevin Can F– Himself” probes the secret life of a type of woman we all grew up believing we [...]

  • Vudu

    NBCUniversal in Talks to Buy Walmart's Vudu

    Comcast’s NBCUniversal is looking to add some Vudu into its streaming-video mix. The media conglomerate is in talks to buy Vudu, the Walmart-owned entertainment rental, download and free-streaming service, sources confirm to Variety. It’s unclear what the terms of the pact would be or the timing. News of NBCU’s interest in Vudu was first reported [...]

  • Friends reunion

    'Friends' Cast to Reunite for Exclusive HBO Max Special

    It’s happening: The “Friends” cast is reuniting for an exclusive untitled unscripted special on HBO Max. Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer will return to the original “Friends” soundstage, Stage 24, on the Warner Bros. Studio lot in Burbank to celebrate the long-running series, which ended its run [...]

  • Regina King Watchmen

    HBO Reclassifies 'Watchmen' as a Limited Series, Including 'Possible Future Installments'

    In the ongoing saga of whether HBO’s “Watchmen” will continue after its initial, acclaimed season late last year, the pay cable network announced on Friday that it is reclassifying the show from a drama series to a limited series, including for “any possible future installments.” The move aligns HBO’s awards season campaign for “Watchmen” with [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content