Report Tags Nicolle Wallace as Replacement for Maddow's MSNBC Slot Nicolle Wallace attends the 2019 Politicon. (Ed Rode/Getty Images for Politicon)
By Brian Trusdell | Wednesday, 22 September 2021 06:31 PM
MSNBC show host Nicolle Wallace is being considered to take over the political news channel’s time slot occupied by eponymous anchor Rachel Maddow when the latter transitions from a nightly to a weekly program, a report indicated Wednesday.
Wallace, a former spokeswoman for President George W. Bush and host of MSNBC’s “Deadline: White House” show, is the favorite to assume the channel’s 9 p.m. position when Maddow leaves, according to Dylan Byers, the recently departed NBC media correspondent who left for the startup Puck News.
“The idea that a former Republican operative could replace a progressive icon like Maddow will surely confound and even anger some MSNBC loyalists,” Byers wrote. “But from the vantage point of NBC’s C-suite, it has its logic. Wallace is smart, capable, charismatic —'producible,’ as one former NBC executive put it. No one should underestimate how important that is in television, even to a network that caters to liberal political sensibilities.”
Maddow had the sixth-most watched cable news show in primetime in August, according to Forbes. It was reported last month that she had reached a $30 million per year agreement with MSNBC through the 2024 presidential election. However, she has the option of ending the nightly show for a weekly programing beginning in April.
“Nicolle is the most obvious in-house candidate,” Byers quoted an NBC executive as saying.
Among other MSNBC hosts who have been seeking the 9 p.m. slot, Byers wrote that Ari Melber and Chris Hayes are regarded as nonstarters due to their ratings and Joy Reid comes with the baggage of having had to apologize for comments on her now-defunct blog such as accusing Tom Cruise and Karl Rove of being gay and that most people cringe at the site of two men kissing.