×

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

  • Homecoming

    'Homecoming' Showrunner Eli Horowitz to Head Series Mania UGC Writers Campus

    Eli Horowitz, creator and showrunner of the Julia Roberts-led Amazon series “Homecoming,” will be the president of the UGC Writers Campus at annual series showcase Series Mania. The Campus is a week-long writing workshop for emerging TV drama writers from Europe. Twenty screenwriters were chosen from more than 100 applicants. The workshop will be run [...]

  • duncanville

    'Duncanville' Starring Amy Poehler: TV Review

    Lovable dirtbag families have been the core of Fox’s Sunday “Animation Domination” lineup for years, a truth further underlined by the fact that its newest entry “Duncanville” comes from longtime “Simpsons” producers Mike and Julie Thacker Scully. Along with co-creator Amy Poehler, they’ve now made a show about a family more tied to the present [...]

  • Chaka Khan arrives at the Vanity

    Chaka Khan Joins Fergie in Pantheon of Memorable NBA National Anthem Performances

    It takes a lot to make a performance of “The Star Spangled Banner” before the NBA All-Star Game trend higher on social media than the game itself, but Chaka Khan has managed what Fergie was able to two years ago, with a unique rendering of the National Anthem that threatened to render anything that followed [...]

  • Jason Davis

    Jason Davis, Voice Actor on Disney Channel's 'Recess,' Dies at 35

    Jason Davis, a voice actor on the Disney Channel show “Recess,” died in Los Angeles on Sunday. He was 35. “I am so heartbroken to share the saddest news of my life that my son Jason Davis passed away this morning in Los Angeles. Jason had a true heart of gold with such a zest [...]

  • Caroline Flack

    'Love Island’ Pulled For Second Night After Former Host Caroline Flack’s Death

    For a second consecutive night, ‘Love Island’ will not air on U.K. broadcaster ITV2 following the death of former host Caroline Flack, Variety has confirmed. An ITV spokesman said: “Many people at ITV knew Caroline well and held her in great affection. All of us are absolutely devastated at this tragic news.” “After careful consultation between [...]

  • Caroline Flack

    Caroline Flack's Death Prompts U.K. Petition Demanding Media Inquiry

    A petition calling on the U.K. government to launch an inquiry into British media coverage of public figures has garnered close to 206,000 signatures. The death of former “Love Island” host Caroline Flack, one of the country’s most popular TV personalities, spurred the initiative, which asks government to investigate the press following “the maltreatment of [...]

  • Caroline Flack

    'Love Island' Host's Shock Death Revives Concerns Around Mental Health, Media Scrutiny

    The death of popular “Love Island” host Caroline Flack has sent shockwaves across the U.K. and again raised long-running concerns about broadcaster ITV’s support of cast members on the hit reality competition as well as the country’s intense media scrutiny of public figures. Flack, one of the U.K.’s most recognizable reality hosts, was found dead [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content