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MSNBC Cancels Mehdi Hasan’s Show Amid Ratings Drop and Controversy Over Anti-Israel Views

MSNBC has decided to discontinue Mehdi Hasan’s weekend prime-time talk show, citing a significant decline in ratings and controversy surrounding Hasan’s anti-Israel views. The network revealed this move as part of a broader restructuring initiative, although insiders suggest that cost-cutting measures played a role in the decision.

Sources close to MSNBC claim that the network is aggressively cutting costs, providing a convenient excuse to part ways with the British-born anchor. Some insiders also hint at concerns that Hasan’s perspectives were considered too divergent from the mainstream. However, MSNBC President Rashida Jones stated that the decision was a strategic move to revamp the weekend lineup in preparation for the upcoming presidential election in 2024.

Under the new arrangement, Mehdi Hasan will transition to an on-camera analyst and fill-in host role across MSNBC and Peacock. The vacant Sunday night prime-time slot will be filled by Ayman Mohyeldin, despite criticisms of his alleged anti-Israel bias. Mohyeldin’s 7 p.m. show will also expand to a two-hour format. Additionally, Ali Velshi, another prominent anchor at MSNBC, will host a two-hour talk show on both Saturday and Sunday mornings starting at 10 a.m. Eastern time.

The decision to cancel Hasan’s show follows controversies related to his commentary on Israel, especially in the aftermath of a deadly terror attack by Hamas on October 7. The network has denied previous reports suggesting that Hasan, along with Mohyeldin and Velshi, was muzzled due to their pro-Palestine viewpoints.

Hasan’s ratings have experienced a steady decline over the past two months, with his show failing to surpass 500,000 viewers since the October 7 attack. On November 12, the show hit a low point with only 37,000 viewers in the key 25-54 demographic and 411,000 total viewers.

As MSNBC undergoes a weekend lineup revamp, the network is shifting its focus to morning programming, which is considered more lucrative. A two-hour morning program titled “The Weekend” will debut on January 13, featuring Alicia Menendez, Symone Sanders-Townsend, and Michael Steele.

The move to cancel Mehdi Hasan’s show is seen by some as a response to financial challenges and concerns about straying too far from mainstream perspectives. The network’s decision to replace the show with morning programming aligns with its strategic efforts to maximize revenue during peak viewing times.

Earlier this year, Mehdi Hasan faced accusations of plagiarism for a column he wrote more than two decades ago, and he has also apologized for controversial remarks made in the past.

For now, Hasan’s role as an analyst and fill-in host marks a shift in his position within MSNBC, while the network aims to present a revamped weekend lineup to its audience.

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Ruben Jay
Ruben Jay
Ruben Jay is an American broadcaster, media blogger, and podcast host. Currently, Ruben is the President of MultiMediaMouth.com and the executive producer and host of the popular podcasts You’re My Best Friend and ON AIR with Ruben Jay, exclusively on MultiMediaMouth.com. Follow Ruben on Instagram, Twitter, and Tiktok @TheRubenJay.

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