The reports are confirmed: conservative commentator Hugh Hewitt is set to host a new show on MSNBC Saturday mornings, as part of the network’s live weekend expansion, according to a statement.
The Salem radio talk show host and MSNBC contributor will host a new half hour program on the network, aptly dubbed Hugh Hewitt — italicized here for the first time, which will air Saturdays at 8 a.m. starting this weekend.
The addition of Hewitt is part of a broader expansion of the network’s live offerings, which includes stretching breaking news coverage until 9 p.m. on weekends.
Hewitt has been a fixture on the typically progressive network, offering a conservative yet traditionalist take on a Republican White House that has often proven itself to be anything but.
During the 2016 election, Hewitt repeatedly clashed with then-candidate Donald Trump, first in a contentious interview on his radio show and later in the GOP debates. Despite holding serious concerns about Trump’s fitness for office, and being personally insulted by the candidate a number of times, Hewitt endorsed Trump for president in a spasm of Never-Hillary sentiment.
He would later reverse that endorsement, before re-endorsing a week later.
MSNBC, whose chairman Andy Lack has sought to ride a remarkable ratings boost and soaring ad rates under the Trump presidency to expanded live news coverage, has nonetheless faced criticism from its progressive audience for a slew of high-profile hirings of conservative voices — former Bush aide Nicolle Wallace was granted a new show last month and liberal-scourge George Will signed on as a contributor a week later.
MSNBC may be looking to balance its coverage of the Trump administration with more right-of-center voices — but as TVNewser notes, its breakout weekend show has been the staunchly-liberal AM Joy, hosted by Joy Reid: “Airing Saturday and Sunday mornings from 10 a.m. to Noon ET, AM Joy has topped CNN in total viewers for three straight months starting in March. It’s also leading so far in June.”
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