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MSNBC cancels Ed Schultz's 'The Ed Show'

LOS ANGELES -- MSNBC confirmed Friday that Ed Schultz's "The Ed Show" is canceled as part of its latest daytime lineup shuffle. The cable network is shelving three hours of daytime programming as it works to rechristen itself as a place for hard ...

Ed Schultz
Ed Schultz. Special to The Forum.

LOS ANGELES -- MSNBC confirmed Friday that Ed Schultz’s “The Ed Show” is canceled as part of its latest daytime lineup shuffle.

The cable network is shelving three hours of daytime programming as it works to rechristen itself as a place for hard news, not progressive views, in the hours leading up to the early evening.

Schultz, who got his start as a sportscaster in Fargo-Moorhead, will leave the network, and his show was off the air Friday, Griffin said.

Also gone are "The Cycle" and "Now With Alex Wagner,” MSNBC president Phil Griffin told network staffers in a memo Thursday. Wagner is expected to stay with MSNBC and cover the politics beat as coverage of the 2016 election increases. Ari Melber of "The Cycle" will continue as the network's chief legal correspondent. Other hosts -- Krystal Ball, Abby Huntsman and Toure -- will leave the network, Griffin said.

The decision marks an end to the tenure of one of the network's longest-serving hosts. Schultz has hosted a program on MSNBC since 2009. During his time at the network, the onetime radio host and sportscaster has held forth in early evenings.

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In February the network spiked programs anchored by Ronan Farrow and Joy Reid in favor of a headlines-driven two-hour chunk led by Thomas Roberts.

A new program hosted by "Meet the Press" anchor Chuck Todd, which has yet to be named, will replace "The Ed Show" at 4 p.m. Roberts is expected to continue to play a role in a new hard-news block that lasts from noon to 4 p.m, but other hosts are likely to take part during those hours.

Brian Williams, the former anchor of "NBC Nightly News," is expected to join MSNBC in the weeks ahead to serve as an anchor for breaking-news reports. Williams takes the new role after he disclosed falsifying details of past reporting trips he made for NBC News, prompting parent company NBCUniversal to remove him from its flagship evening newscast.

MSNBC has grappled for months with low ratings, forcing the cable outlet to rethink its heavy reliance on analyzing news through a partisan lens. In July, its daytime schedule attracted fewer people in the demographic most coveted by advertisers in news programs -- adults 25-54 -- than Fox News Channel, CNN or HLN, according to data from Nielsen.

In the recent past, the network had stuck largely to the headlines in the earlier part of the day, from "Morning Joe" to its noon hour anchored by veteran correspondent Andrea Mitchell.

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