Brian Stelter at The New York Times reports MSNBC's 4 pm host, Dylan Ratigan, is quitting as of June 22, and his hour will be taken over by Martin Bashir. Staff on the Bashir show will try to create a new 3 pm template. "The channel may try out an ensemble of hosts and contributors at that hour." An ensemble...together...like a ripoff of The Five? After all, that started as a place-holder.
“Once you’ve said your piece, you can either keep saying it — and then it’s a job, good job, pays well, everybody knows your name, it’s great — or you can decide what you’re going to do about it,” Ratigan said. “And the answer is, I don’t know. But I do know, in order to figure it out, I have to dismount.”
“Think of it like ending a Broadway play,” Mr. Ratigan said, referring to a “three-year run.”
His statement (as posted by TV Newser) seemed vague and optimistic: "I believe if we are honest about where we are now, honest about where we want to go and honest about how we are going to get there, we may well end up as the hero of our own stories." Stelter added:
Cable news, he said Sunday, “is designed to argue about rules and resources, and who should control them,” especially in an election year. That’s an argument that he’s no longer interested in having, he implied, though he went out of his way to thank MSNBC and NBC News.
Mr. Ratigan’s current contract expires this month. He was unusually highly paid by MSNBC daytime anchor standards — about $1 million a year, according to several staff members, who insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the matter. Mr. Ratigan said there was no negotiation about a new contract because he told the company three months ago that he was planning to leave. He released his television agent in January, he added.
Phil Griffin, the president of MSNBC, said in an internal memorandum Sunday afternoon that Mr. Ratigan “has decided to pursue new opportunities and will be ending his role as a full-time host.”
“Dylan’s distinct voice and his fearless approach to tackling complicated issues has been a key part of MSNBC’s growth and success,” Mr. Griffin added.