Starting this weekend, MSNBC will drop its 12-4 newscast on Saturdays in favor of taped programming. There was a rumor circulating that was just a test run but that is apparently not the case. I hear it’s long term.
The network had originally added the 12-4pm shift with Contessa Brewer back at the end of 2005. The network dropped its Sunday 12-4 newscast due to ratings last December. When Norah O’Donnell went on maternity leave and Alison Stewart left the network and The Most was cancelled, Brewer was moved to M-Fr daytime and a group of subs anchored the Saturday afternoon newscast. Now that too is going away. Again, apparently, ratings are the issue.
MSNBC would point out that it is ready to handle any breaking news that should happen and cut in if necessary as they did last Saturday when it reported the discovery of Jessie Davis’ body. But the fact remains that MSNBC’s competition will have regularly scheduled live newscasts throughout various periods in the afternoon and evening and MSNBC won’t.