MSNBC (a grammatical blend of MSN and NBC) is a 24-hour cable news channel in the United States. MSNBC is currently America's fourth most-watched cable news channel, after Fox News, CNN, and CNN Headline News, but ahead of CNBC. It is available in 83.6 million households in the U.S. and broadcasts primarily out of its studios in Secaucus, New Jersey.
When it launched on July 15, 1996, MSNBC had more viewers than the Fox News channel, but soon struggled due to a series of changes in management and of the direction of the network. Originally, shows drew heavily on the Internet (the MS side). MSNBC streamed programs to the World Wide Web, and show titles like Internight, The Site, and Home Page demonstrated the Web sensibility. When that failed to draw viewers, MSNBC used the historical archive footage of NBC News to run shows like Headliners & Legends and Time & Again, which dominated its primetime lineup at one time. The next phase of MSNBC was with a sort of liberal opinion journalism, with hosts like Jerry Nachman and Phil Donahue giving their take of events. Currently, MSNBC is a mix of opinion hosts from across the political spectrum (Keith Olbermann leans to the left; Chris Matthews, former speechwriter for President Jimmy Carter who admits to having voted for George W. Bush "at least once" , is a centrist; while Joe Scarborough and Tucker Carlson lean to the right), combined with rolling news coverage during the day.
MSNBC was founded by Microsoft and General Electric, which owns NBC Universal. As of 2005, both companies share control of the company. MSNBC, like sister channel CNBC, shares the NBC logo of a rainbow peacock.
MSNBC's programming is segmented in to four distinct segments: early morning, daytime, primetime and weekend. Note all times are Eastern Time.
Early mornings start with First Look anchored by Kristine Johnson. The show airs live at 5 a.m. and repeats at 5:30 a.m.
Imus in the Morning is a simulcast of nationally syndicated radio personality Don Imus's show from WFAN radio. The program originates from MSNBC studios in New Jersey, the Imus Ranch in Ribera, New Mexico and the WFAN-AM studios in Queens, New York. Imus airs from 6–9 a.m.
Daytime programming consists primarily of traditional newscasts, as well as an opinion program. From 9 a.m. to noon, 1 to 4 p.m. and 4:15 to 5 p.m., a cast of rotating anchors host MSNBC Live, featuring the latest news, live coverage, breaking news and special features. Anchors include Contessa Brewer, Bill Fitzgerald, Kristine Johnson, Randy Meier, Natalie Morales, Milissa Rehberger, Amy Robach, Alison Stewart, Chris Jansing, Alex Witt, Lisa Daniels and Collette Cassidy. Occasionally NBC correspondents Alexis Glick, Melissa Stark, Norah O'Donnell, Donna Gregory and Natalie Allen, along with MSNBC.com's Dara Brown serve as anchors on "MSNBC Live". Meteorologist Sean McLaughlin and NBC Weather Plus meteorologists (Bill Karins, Elise Finch, Jeff Ranieri and Brad Nitz) provide weather reports.
At noon each weekday, Connected: Coast to Coast with Ron Reagan and Monica Crowley airs. The show features guests, opinion and interactive elements.
CNBC Market Wrap with Ron Insana is a brief look at the day's market action. As the name implies, the program is produced by sister-network CNBC. The show airs from 4 to 4:15 p.m.
Evening programming begins at 5 p.m. with Hardball with Chris Matthews. Hosted by political reporter and author Chris Matthews, Hardball serves up a mix of political and other news, and is sometimes the network's top-rated program.
At 6 p.m., MSNBC airs The Abrams Report, hosted by NBC Chief Legal Correspondent Dan Abrams. The show focuses on the top legal stories of the day.
At 7 p.m., a second edition of Hardball with Chris Matthews airs. Sometimes, the show's content is completely fresh, but at other times it repeats segments from the 5 p.m. airing.
Countdown with Keith Olbermann is a sometimes irreverent look at the day's top news, shown each weekday at 8 p.m. Hosted by former ESPN SportsCenter anchor Keith Olbermann, Countdown is styled like a radio music countdown, starting with the day's number five story progressing to number one. The higher the story number, the more buzz it is expected to get around the water cooler.
Former Fox News anchor Rita Cosby hosts Rita Cosby: Live & Direct at 9 p.m.
Scarborough Country with former Florida representative Joe Scarborough airs at 10 p.m., and focuses on political, social, media and religious issues.
Former CNN Crossfire co-host Tucker Carlson hosts The Situation with Tucker Carlson at 11 p.m.
Weekends consist of limited live programming.
Viewers will find a news block anchored by Alex Witt from 8 a.m.–noon Saturday and 8 a.m.–noon Sunday.
At noon and 5 p.m. Saturday MSNBC at the Movies with Sharon Tay airs. The program takes an in-depth look at movie and DVD news. Sunday features MSNBC Entertainment Hotlist, (airing at noon and 5 p.m.) a broader take on the entertainment industry.
From 1 p.m. on, a mix of MSNBC Investigates, Headliners & Legends with Matt Lauer and other programs air. Brief news cut-ins are delivered at the bottom of each hour.
The network cablecasts Meet the Press with Tim Russert each Sunday evening at 10 p.m.
Past MSNBC shows featured hosts such as Soledad O'Brien, Jesse Ventura, Ann Curry, Lawrence O'Donnell, Phil Donahue, Alan Keyes, Pat Buchanan, Bill Press, Jerry Nachman, Ashleigh Banfield, Stone Phillips, Brian Williams, John Hockenberry, John McLaughlin, Curtis Sliwa, Ron Kuby, Mitch Albom, Michael Savage, Bill Moyers, Andrea Mitchell, Mike Barnicle, Deborah Norville, John Gibson, Frank Luntz, Laurie Dhue, Jane Pauley, Leo Laporte, and a number of others.
Past Anchors of MSNBC Live
Past anchors of MSNBC have included Lester Holt(not 100% sure he is gone), John Seigenthaler, Laurie Jennings, Christy Musumeci, Bianca Solorzano, Sam Shane, John Elliott, Maurice DuBois(formerly of WNBC-TV), Rob Morrisson (WNBC TV), Bud Hedinger(briefly), Bob Kur, Cheryl Casone, Willow Bay, among others.
MSNBC on satellite radio
MSNBC program audio is also available on XM Satellite Radio. Imus in the Morning is not currently allowed to be broadcast on the XM MSNBC channel. In the place of Imus from 6-9 a.m. to, XM airs six repeats of the 5:30 a.m. half hour of First Look. Primetime programming on Saturday and Sunday nights from 8-11 p.m. are replaced with repeats of the programming from the same time on the previous Thursday and Friday nights, respectively.
Don Imus' Imus in the Morning is syndicated via Westwood One, which generally does not allow live radio broadcasts via Internet streams as well as satellite radio.