(UnitedVoice.com) – Many news networks are struggling to keep their viewerships amid scandals or lackluster and often-biased reporting. CNN saw its ratings tank in the year following President Donald Trump’s departure from office, proving it was a one-trick pony. Now, MSNBC is reportedly scrambling to cover its star, Rachel Maddow, as she explores other endeavors.
Maddow Takes a Break
On Monday, February 7, Rachel Maddow stepped away — albeit temporarily — from her primetime show on MSNBC to work on additional projects. Among those is her podcast Bag Man, which covers the scandal of former Vice President Spiro Agnew. Bag Man is also the name of her book, which many expect filmmakers will make into a movie. She’s reportedly collaborating with Lorne Michaels and Ben Stiller to make this happen during her break.
In Her Absence
Maddow plans to be away from MSNBC until April but promises that she’ll be back for big events, such as President Joe Biden’s State of the Union Address in March. During her absence, there’ll be a rotating slate of hosts, with Ali Velshi taking the first slot.
However, Maddow’s absence has sparked a lot of concern since she’s the network’s top draw, outshining her fellow contributors. In fact, “The Rachel Maddow Show,” which consistently ranks in the top 10 most-watched news programs, is the only one that regularly competes with Fox News, which holds the other 9 spots. The network is reportedly worried it won’t maintain its viewers without her presence.
Maddow regularly draws in over 2 million watchers, averaging an admirable 2.6 million in 2021, putting her nearly on the same level as Sean Hannity’s show “Hannity.” For comparison, her other colleagues, Chris Hayes and Lawrence O’Donnell, haven’t hit the 2-million benchmark, averaging 1.6 million and 1.8 million views, respectively. Does this spell trouble for the network? Maddow doesn’t think so.
Future Hiatuses to Come?
Though Maddow acknowledged she plans to return in April, she also stated there might be more breaks down the line for her, leading to speculation she’s trying to downsize her primetime work.
This plan could spell disaster for MSNBC if they’re not careful who they use to replace her. After all, it’s the personalities that draw viewers in, not the network. Fox News’ Joe Concha said her uncertainty wouldn’t be good news, either, and he thinks she should make a decision.
Currently, MSNBC has a contract with Maddow through 2024.
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