Brian Williams is the newest MSNBC talent to announce an exit from his current show. The veteran news anchor will leave MSNBC News and its show The 11th Hour with Brian Williams (who broadcasts weekends at 11 pm ET) at the end of his current contract in December.
The news of Williams’ departure follows the announcement earlier this year that The Rachel Maddow Show (which airs weekends at 9 p.m. ET) will end sometime next year, CNN reported in August.
Who Will Replace Brian Williams and Rachel Maddow?
According to TVNewser, among the most obvious choices to replace Williams would be Ali Velshi, a “Swiss knife” style, multi-talented MSNBC veteran who has occasionally stepped in for Williams over the years.
Currently hosting weekend mornings at MSNBC, Velshi also contributes to the network’s election night coverage and covers major events of the field.
According to TVNewswer, another strong candidate for Williams ’11 a.m. could be Steve Kornacki, who was among Williams’ top replacement hosts last year. His expertise on all election-related coverage could be essential on the night before the 2022 midterm elections.
Mehdi Hasan, who is the main replacement anchor for MSNBC’s 8 pm weekday slot on the show All In With Chris Hayes, is another possible replacement for Williams.
Although relatively still new to NBCUniversal’s news department, Hasan has been respected among media figures for his apt style of questioning, according to TVNewser.
As for Maddow’s 21-hour slot, back in August CNN counted Velshi among her likely replacements, as Maddow’s current primary replacement host, along with Ari Melber and Nicolle Wallace.
Melber is currently the host of The Beat with Ari Melber (broadcasting weekdays at 6 pm ET) and is MSNBC’s chief legal correspondent.
Wallace has become a popular MSNBC personality over the years after her departure from ABC The view. She is currently hosting Deadline: White House, which airs from 4 to 6 pm ET, and is one of MSNBC’s most-watched programs, according to TVNewser.
She was also a regular contributor to the network Morning Joe a show with Joe Scarborough.
However, TVNewswer says Wallace is reportedly reluctant to arrange a show on the 21st because she would like to spend the evenings with her son.
Scarborough as well as Mika Brzezinski, co-host of Matene Joe, could also be on the table to take Maddow’s peak time. The Insider reported Wednesday that both “held conversations about what’s next for them.”
What will Williams and Maddow do next?
Announcing his departure on The 11th Hour, Williams said he will spend time with his family and loved ones after his departure. However, he did not suggest that he would retire at this point.
The New York Post reported that Williams was not expected to negotiate with other employers while still under his current contract. But some informal discussions with other networks and streaming services have reportedly taken place, according to unnamed sources.
According to the Post, one unnamed source said “everyone contacted [to Williams], including ABC. “
Poynter as well as the Post reported that a role at CNN could also be in the cards for Williams.
Poynter also reported Thursday that Maddow recently signed a contract extension with NBC News but is expected to retire from its nightly program for other projects.
Back in August, the Hollywood Reporter and the Daily Beast reported that Maddow had signed a new multi-year deal with MSNBC.
According to the Daily Beast, Maddow’s new contract would allow her more opportunities to develop other projects, such as podcasts and documentaries, across NBCUniversal’s news and entertainment departments.
Newsweek contacted MSNBC for comment.