ICN has learned that during the week of November 28th, perhaps extending beyond that, The Abrams Report will begin airing at 3 pm ET on MSNBC. Like Scarborough Country, which airs at 4 and 10 pm, and Hardball, which airs at 5 and 7 pm, it will be repeated in its “regular” timeslot of 6 pm. This would give MSNBC three programs which air twice in the evening/primetime hours and a lot of redundancy since the repeats are not live. It is also a further cutback in the delivery of live news which will now have been reduced by two hours. ICN has been the only site that’s been chronicling the subtle changes MSNBC has been making to its late afternoon lineup over the past few weeks. And this may not be the last of the changes in MSNBC’s immediate future.
ICN has also learned that there’s been talk of going to a single anchor format during the 10-12 pm hours of MSNBC Live, though nothing official has been decided. If this move happens, in my mind it raises all kinds of questions about whether there will be a reduction in on air staff. Even with the upcoming weekend expansion beginning next year, that doesn’t offset the twin cutbacks caused by Abrams and Scarborough taking up 2 hours previously occupied by MSNBC Live and a potential single anchor shift from 10-12. MSNBC already had more anchors than it could possibly use during a week and it has had to juggle shifts with some anchors appearing only once or twice during the week. If these moves become permanent there would be even less need for that many anchors.