Insider: ‘MSNBC Boss Wants to Dump Lawrence O’Donnell for Brian Williams’


Despite O’Donnell’s soaring ratings, insider says network is not negotiating new deal when his contract expires in four weeks


MSNBC chairman Andy Lack is determined to replace prime-time host Lawrence O’Donnell in the 10 p.m. ET time slot with Brian Williams after O’Donnell’s current contract is up in four weeks, a network insider told TheWrap.

O’Donnell’s show, “The Last Word,” has been a ratings hit lately with the red-hot Rachel Maddow serving as its lead-in. As recently as Thursday night, O’Donnell was the second-most watched program in cable news, behind only Maddow. “The Last Word” won its 10 p.m. ET timeslot in both total viewers and the key news demo of adults age 25-54.

An insider close to the situation told TheWrap that MSNBC has not been in contact with O’Donnell’s team to negotiate a new deal, which would most likely mean he won’t be around in a month because typically cable news contracts are negotiated well in advance.
However, the source close to the situation insists that’s not true, adding, “I don’t know why Andy is afraid of owning something he’s been planning for two years.”

It’s possible that a Sunday HuffPost story questioning O’Donnell’s future at the network kickstarted a contract negotiation within the last 24 hours, but the MSNBC spokesperson declined to comment further.



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