In a move that some might see as a sign of desperation, MSNBC has shaken things up to see if they can spark their flagging ratings. Beginning Monday, October 24th, The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell will move back to its original time slot of 10 p.m., with Ed Schultz‘s The Ed Show moving up to 8:00.
Schultz will become the second anchor to try and maintain the ratings left after Keith Olbermann‘s defection to Current TV. The 8:00 time slot, while being a clear upgrade and more natural fit for the talking point-hitting Schultz, isn’t exactly an easy task. O’Donnell’s ratings have suffered of late, possibly due to CNN’s new lineup that has Anderson Cooper at 8:00. Both men lag far behind FOX’s The O’Reilly Factor, and it’s important to note that in total viewers, according to TV Newser, O’Donnell more than doubled Cooper’s ratings at 8:00.
But now it will be Schultz tasked with capturing viewers and providing a strong lead-in to the jewel of MSNBC’s lineup, The Rachel Maddow Show. He certainly has a flair for stirring things up, In May, Schultz was suspended for a week for calling Laura Ingraham a “right wing slut.” O’Donnell, who is much more nuanced and less of a rabble-rouser, has a style that may fit in better at 10:00 anyway. And his “Last Word” title once again makes sense at the end of MSNBC’s prime-time block.
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