Craig Melvin will take MSNBC viewers to live, on-location looks at various pandemic “hot spots” as part of a new special series at the NBCUniversal-owned cable-news network that will air over the next two weeks.
“Craig Melvin Reports: Coronavirus Pandemic” will air 11 a.m. Monday through Friday in the slot the anchor normally hosts for MSNBC. Melvin will “safely report with a slim crew from key locations critical to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic starting with the Central Park field hospital on Monday,” the network said in a statement. Melvin will be joined by a remote “Doctor on Duty” each day, who will be able to offer expert insight. Additional guests and NBC News correspondents and reporters across the country will also provide real-time analysis and breaking news coverage.
Melvin, who also co-anchors the first three hours of NBC’s “Today” program, had in recent days been working from home after NBC News disclosed that a production staffer who worked on the 9 a.m. “Today” broadcast had tested positive for coronavirus. He has returned occasionally to the set since that time and he is expected to contribute to “Today” in coming days, according to a person familiar with the matter.
The programming change is the latest in a series from various TV-news outlets in the midst of a frenetic and fast-changing news cycle. NBC News has begun airing “town hall” broadcasts on Tuesdays during primetime, while ABC News has restored “Nightline” to an earlier time slot in advance of the network’s late-night standby, “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” CNN has been running “town halls” on Thursdays led by Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Fox News has paired daytime anchor Harris Faulkner with various medical correspondents for an hour in daytime. Both NBC News and ABC News have in recent days tested airing their evening-news programs at 7:30 in certain markets, in addition to their usual 6:30 p.m. time slots.
MSNBC said Melvin will contribute reporting from the ground across all NBC News properties, including “Today” and “NBC Nightly News.” He has worked from crisis locations in the past, including from sites of mass shootings and from the border town of in McAllen, Texas, to track the separation of migrant families.
Mevlin joined MSNBC in 2011 as a weekend anchor after doing stints at South Carolina’s WIS and Washington D.C.’s WRC. He was named a co-anchor of “Today” in 2018.
MSNBC last week announced that Rashida Jones, who oversees special programming for NBC News and MSNBC, would take direct oversight of the cable outlet’s daytime news programming.