MSNBC has outed Ed Schultzand replaced him at the 8 o’clock hour with Chris Hayes. The two on-air talents will be trading roles as Hayes moves to weekdays and Schultz goes off to host weekend blocks according to Dylan Byers. The changeover is scheduled for April 1, a scant 26 days before the White House Correspondents Dinner in D.C.
Brian Stelter theorizes the shift is age and lead-in to Rachel Maddow:
“The change is predicated on the belief that MSNBC can win a wider audience with Mr. Hayes than it did with Mr. Schultz, a champion of the working class whose bluster didn’t always pair well with Ms. Maddow and the channel’s other prime-time program, ‘The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell.’ Mr. Hayes, on the other hand, is just as wonky as Ms. Maddow and Mr. O’Donnell, and is a regular contributor to both of their programs.”
Schultz, who has spearheaded a blue-collar vibe for MSNBC, will become host of a series of weekend specials for MSNBC. While the network has been trying to get the established anchor out from his slot for a while–remember when Ezra Klein was a bold-faced name floated for this in November? Hayes has gained steam and popular press with how he’s formatted his weekend program “Up with Chris Hayes,” especially when it comes to conservative commentators. It’s apparent MSNBC hopes he’ll be the last nail in order to drive away Fox News’ O’Reilly juggernaut. Until then, here’s hoping Hayes will join Maddow behind the bar at the White House Correspondents Dinner after-party in April.