Phil Griffin, the president of MSNBC, is making 10 p.m. a priority now. In an interview on Tuesday in a studio on the Mall, hours after the inauguration of President Obama, Mr. Griffin said that the channel needed a third original show in its lineup.
“We can’t let this momentum stop,” he said…
“It’s almost like we’re one personality away,” he said. Mr. Griffin said the network would find a host for the new program the way it developed Ms. Maddow. She substituted for Mr. Olbermann and appeared regularly on the air. A splashy hiring, like the signing of Deborah Norville in 2004 for a short-lived show, does not seem to be a priority. “I want it to be organic,” Mr. Griffin said.
In an e-mail message, Mr. Olbermann said he was working with Mr. Griffin to develop options for the 10 p.m. hour. He echoed Mr. Griffin’s comments about the need for a complete prime-time schedule. “Losing the 10 p.m. replay is a very small price to pay for a last piece to the puzzle,” Mr. Olbermann said.
The only “organic,” i.e. in-house, liberal they have on regularly is Harold Ford, who’d be an interesting anchor to the line-up insofar as he’s more centrist and soft-spoken than either Olby or Maddow. Too much so, though: As intelligent as the panel cross-chat might be, the nutroots won’t warm to a show hosted by the head of the DLC.
There’s another obvious candidate but the argument’s already been made why he wouldn’t accept. Exit question: Whom should they pick? Ideally they’d want someone with cachet among young liberals, capable of commanding big-name guests, who has experience being onscreen. Hmmmmm.