Rachel Maddow’s weeknight show is officially coming to an end. After reports began to spread that Maddow is considering leaving MSNBC its finally been confirmed that the liberal political commentator will not be renewing her contract with the network.
The eleven people, speaking on the condition of anonymity with CNN, said the move is a “significant challenge” that will leave MSNBC looking for a new plan for the 9 p.m. slot, which is the network’s most profitable hour.
“She’s our Oprah,” one senior staffer said. Maddow is the network’s highest-rated host, sometimes coming in at double the viewers in key demographics that other shows on the network attract.
Sources said that big changes to the network have been in the works and Maddow may only be the first on the chopping block.
None of the sources, however, said they were surprised about Maddow wanting a change of pace. After leaving her long-term agent, Jean Sage, Maddow signed up with the huge talent agency Endeavor, and that was seen internally as a signal that her career was shifting.
“You don’t hire (Endeavor CEO) Ari Emanuel just to renew your deal at MSNBC,” an unnamed MSNBC anchor said.
Now, MSNBC must decide who will fill the 9 p.m. time slot previously held by Maddow. However, the network could be losing more than one of its hosts as some reports say that Brian Williams is also considering leaving the network once his contract expires.