Alex Wagner takes over Rachel Maddow’s time slot on MSNBC

Political scientist Alex Wagner is back at MSNBC full-time and will host the progressive news network’s biggest star, Rachel Maddow, four days a week.

The NBCUniversal-owned network announced Monday that Maddow will continue to present on Mondays at 9:00 p.m. EST, as she has been doing so since a new contract that reduces her on-air workload came into effect.

Wagner will host from August 16, Tuesday through Friday.

Wagner, 44, served as the opinionated MSNBC daytime anchor from 2011 to 2015 after appearing regularly as a political analyst. Their programming was discontinued when the network — then under former NBC News chairman Andy Lack — transitioned to emphasizing daytime breaking news.

Wagner returned to MSNBC in February as senior political analyst and guest anchor.

The naming of Wagner will bring some consistency to the MSNBC prime-time cast, which had used several different guest presenters on the nights Maddow wasn’t performing.

Maddow last year agreed to a new deal with NBCUniversal that will keep her with the company until 2024. The company has confirmed that the deal gives her the opportunity to pursue a variety of TV, film and podcast projects while reducing her time at MSNBC.

Earlier this year, Maddow took a two-month hiatus to work on a film adaptation of “Bag Man,” her podcast and book about Spiro Agnew, who served as vice president during the Nixon administration and resigned in 1973 when he was charged with bribery for dating back during his time as Governor of Maryland.

The host returned in mid-April but switched to a weekly schedule the following month.

Not having Maddow daily hurt MSNBC’s primetime ratings. The 9 p.m. Eastern Hour will have an average of 1.8 million viewers in 2022, down 30% from the previous year, according to data from Nielsen. The decline in viewers aged 25-54, the key demographic for advertisers who buy news shows, has declined by 40%.

In addition to her work at MSNBC, Wagner co-hosted and executive produced Showtime’s political docu-series The Circus. She was also a special correspondent for CBS News and co-host of “CBS This Morning: Saturday.” She was previously senior editor at The Atlantic.

Wagner also served as a reporter for HuffPost where she reported on the economy. Alex Wagner takes over Rachel Maddow’s time slot on MSNBC

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