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Puck welcomes John Heilemann as its Chief Political Columnist!

More Maddow-Mania—and an Update on the Cuomo Scandal

Chris Cuomo
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Dylan Byers
September 24, 2021

So Rachel Maddow plans to exit MSNBC primetime next year and, as I reported this week, Nicolle Wallace is the most likely candidate to assume her mantle and become the new face of the network. From first blush, of course, it seems like a strange decision. After all, Wallace was working for the Dubya administration when Maddow was a rising star on Air America. But media realities can scramble political realignments. Wallace is now the face of a sober, Never Trump brand of practical centrism that could open up MSNBC’s primetime aperture. Just as importantly, she’s “producible” and Maddow likes her, presumably suggesting that the star would signal her followers to give her successor a chance. There’s no fear of a LenoConan situation. 

At least that’s the picture taking shape at the executive levels of 30 Rock. The news of Maddow’s departure has not gone over particularly well among some rank and file at the network. Sources there tell me that MSNBC President Rashida Jones held a town hall Wednesday and fielded a question from an employee who wanted more clarity on the show’s future. Jones told them that Maddow had addressed the matter directly with her show’s staff—there’s some disagreement about whether that was actually true—and declined to say more. (An NBC spokesperson declined to comment).