Chris Matthews retires from MSNBC after controversies
New York (CNN Business)MSNBC’s 7 p.m. hour has a new name. Anchor Joy Reid will host “The ReidOut,” which will debut on July 20.
Reid will be the only Black woman currently hosting an evening news show on a major network. Her show comes in as the permanent replacement for “Hardball with Chris Matthews,” which ended when the longtime anchor retired in March after a string of controversies on and off the air.
Reid joined MSNBC in 2011 as a contributor. Since 2016, she has hosted MSNBC’s “AM Joy,” which airs for two hours on Saturdays and Sundays. She also has been a regular fill-in host for “All In with Chris Hayes,” “The Rachel Maddow Show” and “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell.” From 2014 to 2015, she hosted a weekday show called “The Reid Report.”
“The ReidOut” will be based in Washington D.C. and feature conversations with politicians and other newsmakers about political issues, according to the network.
“I’m honored and thankful for this opportunity,” Reid said in a statement. “I’ll always be proud of the work we did on ‘AM Joy’ by pushing the envelope and tackling pragmatic conversations. I’m eager to carry that same energy into the 7 p.m. hour where we can continue to build on bringing in diverse, smart, and accomplished voices to the table on topics that are important to our viewers.”
Reid’s promotion to helm a nightly newscast on a major network comes as the media industry reckons with the lack of diversity in many newsrooms. NBCUniversal News Group’s new chairman Cesar Conde announced earlier this week that he aims to make “50% of our News organization employees be women and 50% of our total workforce be people of color.”
“I’m thrilled to have Joy on five nights a week,” MSNBC President Phil Griffin said in a statement. “She’s thoughtful and brings so much depth to her reporting. She’s made for this moment.”
In its announcement on Thursday, MSNBC enumerated Reid’s bonafides at the network. Over the years, she has covered a number of important national stories, including the killings of Trayvon Martin and Freddie Gray Reid and the protests that followed in Baltimore. She also covered the Women’s March and the Confederate flag debate and removal in South Carolina. Reid also reported on the Republican and Democratic conventions, primaries and general elections.
But Reid’s credibility was called into question in 2018 when a number of anti-gay posts on her blog from a decade before surfaced on social media. Reid initially denied she wrote the incendiary posts and even hired a cybersecurity consultant and a lawyer to make a case that her blog had been hacked. Those claims were thrown into serious question by independent observers and reports, including an investigation by CNN that pointed out Reid’s claim relied on the idea that the hacker had been hacking her blog “within days or even hours of the events that were the subject of the posts” without her ever having noticed.
Reid eventually offered an apology that omitted any mention of her hacking claim. MSNBC also issued its own statement at the time, indicating that it stood by her.
Reid is not the only anchor on MSNBC’s nightly lineup whose credibility regarding themselves has been called into question. Former “NBC Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams was suspended in 2015 after he admitted “misremembering” an incident in which he claimed his helicopter was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade in Iraq. Williams was not on the chopper that was attacked.
NBC launched an internal investigation at the time to fact-check the anchorman and identified several other times when Williams exaggerated. The network announced later that year that Williams will return to television that summer, but in a reduced role. He now anchors the nightly program, “The 11th Hour with Brian Williams.”
Reid’s appointment comes just a day after MSNBC’s sister network CNBC named former Fox News anchor Shep Smith as its new 7 p.m. host.
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