Nearly three weeks after MSNBC announced that Chris Hayes would replace Ed Schultz at 8 p.m. weeknights and that Schultz would host late-afternoon weekend versions of "The Ed Show," the network has still not given a start date for the weekend show.
This has led to speculation on Twitter that Schultz is being eased out at MSNBC, to the point that Schultz addressed the rumors on his radio show yesterday. (audio clips after page break)
Here's what Schultz had to say (audio) --
I just want to make something, I'm reading some of the Twitter stuff that's out there, I just want all of you to know there's no conspiracy going on here now because there has not been a date given for "The Ed Show" to relaunch. Uh, look, I'm going to be at MSNBC for a long time. At least, that's my plan and they've told me the same thing. Uh, obviously prime time gets the attention and, uh, Chris Hayes's show's going to launch tonight. Uh, Saturday morning, that was decided because the staffs didn't move very much. We're putting together, we've got a good number of staff members ready for the, for "The Ed Show" on the weekend and the rest of it's going to be added in the coming days and we'll get a date!
If you were me, would you want to just take your time on this? What's the rush? (chuckles) Uh, you know, I mean, everything's going to be fine. The key is I get to do the kind of show I want to do and to do something that hasn't been done and that's a news package between 5 and 7 on Saturday and Sunday. So, uh, you know, I appreciate all the interest, oh what's going on here?, da da da da, and there is, I have no reason to mislead you. Hell, I want you to watch it when we start it! (laughs) Why would I, why in the world would I want to mislead anybody on something like that?
In other words, Schultz is willing to mislead, but not about "The Ed Show" moving to weekends. How reassuring. Schultz also commented about the transition in a curious manner last week on his radio show (audio) --
"The Ed Show" will move to the weekends coming up here some Saturday within the next month, I'm not sure when, we're putting a staff together, and it's all going to happen. We're looking forward to it, Saturdays from 5 to 7, Sundays from 5 to 7, and I can't wait to be the first lefty to have a whack at the Sunday shows.
Schultz being the "first lefty to have a whack at the Sunday shows" -- only if one is inclined to ignore MSNBC colleagues Melissa Harris-Perry, who's had a weekend show on MSNBC since February 2012, and Chris Hayes, who just wrapped up the weekend show "Up with Chris Hayes" ... to replace Schultz on weeknights. (Both the Harris-Perry and Hayes' shows have aired Saturday and Sunday mornings).
Schultz did get it right in pointing out that "prime time gets the attention" -- which is why MSNBC no longer wants him there.