MSNBC Moves Ali Velshi to Weekend Mornings in Schedule Shake-Up

MSNBC is reworking its Saturday and Sunday schedules, giving Ali Velshi a morning program and adding Alicia Menendez to the roster.

The NBCUniversal-owned cable-news outlet will pluck Velshi from its weekday schedule, and give him a morning program that stretches from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. The move opens up the weekday 3 p.m. hour and breaks up the on-air team that leads “Velshi & Ruhle” at 1 p.m. David Gura, who currently anchors “UP” on Sunday mornings, will instead anchor “MSNBC Live” from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. The new schedule is slated to launch in 2020.

“Going into 2020, there won’t be any slow news days. Our investment in weekends continues to be a priority for us,” says Phil Griffin, president of MSNBC.

The news outlet has for the past few years worked to build its weekend lineup as the national news cycle has grown more intense. As recently as 2017, MSNBC would fill Saturdays and Sundays with hours of the prison documentary series “Lockup.” No longer, though MSNBC continues to rely on repeats of its weekday primetime shows to fill many of its weekend evening hours.

Yet there has been steady investment in new weekend programming, with new anchors added to daytime hours. MSNBC in October of 2017 launched “Kasie DC,” a Sunday evening program with Capitol Hill correspondent Kasie Hunt. Joy Reid, Alex Witt, Rev. Al Sharpton, Richard Lui, Kendis Gibson, and Lindsey Reiser will all continue to lead various slots on weekends.

MSNBC has other reasons to beef up weekends. CNN wins more weekend viewers among the audience most desired by advertisers, people between the ages of 25 and 54, and all of its Sunday-morning hours outperformed MSNBC’s in that demographic in 2019, according to data from Nielsen. MSNBC wins more viewers overall on weekends.

Velshi’s new program will lead into Joy Reid’s “AM Joy,” MSNBC’s highest-rated weekend program. Velshi, who will split his time between New York and a teaching gig at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, will continue to fill in for MSNBC’s primetime anchors during the week.

Menendez, the daughter of U.S. Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey,  will host two weekend shows, one at 4 p.m. on Saturday and another at 6 p.m. on Sunday. She is a former co-host of PBS’ “Amanpour & Company,” and has logged stints at HuffPost Live and Fusion. She joined MSNBC in October, with the network saying at the time her duties would be announced at a later date.

MSNBC said more details around weekend programming would be revealed in coming weeks.

More TV

  • Esther Scott dead

    Esther Scott, Actress in 'Boyz N the Hood,' 'Hart of Dixie,' Dies at 66

    Esther Scott, who appeared in “Boyz N the Hood,” voiced Shodu in the “Ewoks” series and guest starred on dozens of TV series, died Friday in Los Angeles, her representative confirmed. She had suffered a heart attack Tuesday at her Santa Monica home. She was 66. Born in Queens, N.Y., Scott appeared in at least [...]

  • Melissa Leo

    Melissa Leo to Lead Fox Drama Pilot 'Blood Relative'

    Academy Award winner Melissa Leo has been cast in the lead role of Fox’s drama pilot “Blood Relative.” The series is based on James Renner’s article “Beyond the Jungle of Bad: The True Story of Two Women from California Who Are Solving All the Mysteries.” Leo will star as Louise Kelly, an expert in genetic [...]

  • Devs Review

    'Devs': TV Review

    The idea that the technology industry has the power not just to reshape the world in which we live but — through acts of creative destruction — build a new one overlaying and eventually supplanting it has been fertile territory for the arts in recent memory. Indeed, to this point, one of the bards of [...]

  • Peter Berg

    Netflix Sets Opioid Crisis Series From 'Narcos'' Eric Newman, Peter Berg to Direct

    Netflix has ordered an eight-episode limited series on the origins of the opioid crisis titled “Painkiller,” Variety has learned. Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster will write and serve as showrunners and executive producers on the series. The pair recently wrote the screenplay for the Oscar-nominated film “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” and previously collaborated [...]

  • Raoul Peck

    Raoul Peck Teams With HBO for Hybrid Docuseries on European Colonialism

    Raoul Peck is bringing his four-part series “Exterminate All the Brutes” to HBO. The project is described as an exploration of the exploitative and genocidal aspects of European colonialism. It will feature documentary footage and archival material as well as original animation and interpretive scripted scenes. Josh Hartnett will play the lead role in the [...]


    ‘Ellen’s Game of Games’ Renewed for Season 4 at NBC

    NBC and Ellen are teaming up for another season of fun and games. DeGeneres has revealed that the network has renewed her alternative series “Ellen’s Game of Games” for a fourth season. DeGeneres serves as host and executive producer of the one-hour show, which includes supersized versions of some of the most popular games from her [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content