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Will MSNBC Pay Scarborough $31 Million?

Joe Scarborough
Photo by Desiree Navarro/WireImage
Dylan Byers
November 22, 2021

In New York, NBCUniversal chief Jeff Shell and his news deputy Cesar Conde continue to wrestle with their own existential crisis: What to do with an MSNBC that doesn’t include Rachel Maddow in primetime? Since the announcement of the blockbuster overall deal that will also serve to sunset The Rachel Maddow Show, the cable news network has also lost Brian Williams, which doesn’t make matters any easier

The consensus among the smartest (and impartial) media executives I’ve spoken to is that MSNBC is completely screwed, though the word they most often use starts with an “F.” The company paid Maddow $30 million to stop doing her nightly show, and they have no one on the bench who is nearly as popular or influential. In lieu of any better option, the best available plan is to groom Nicolle Wallace for primetime, as I reported in September. Meanwhile, we have yet to see any evidence of a strategy at MSNBC other than playing the same game with lesser talent.