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Program shuffle at MSNBC: Chris Hayes to replace Ed Schultz in weeknight slot

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I, for one, think THIS is good news:

Chris Hayes [above] will take over the 8 p.m. [Eastern] time slot on MSNBC in the next month, the channel announced on Thursday morning, the day after the current host of that hour, Ed Schultz, said he was moving from the weekdays to the weekends.

Mr. Hayes, a liberal intellectual who has hosted a well-regarded weekend morning program on MSNBC for the past 18 months, is a protégé of Rachel Maddow, the highest-rated host on the channel. On April 1 he will become the lead-in for her 9 p.m. program, “The Rachel Maddow Show.”

The change is predicated on the belief that MSNBC can win a wider audience with Mr. Hayes than it did with Mr. Schultz, a champion of the working class whose bluster didn’t always pair well with Ms. Maddow and the channel’s other prime-time program, “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell.” Mr. Hayes, on the other hand, is just as wonky as Ms. Maddow and Mr. O’Donnell, and is a regular contributor to both of their programs.

“Chris has done an amazing job creating a franchise on weekend mornings,” said Phil Griffin, the president of MSNBC. “He’s an extraordinary talent and has made a strong connection with our audience.”

Mr. Hayes, 34, will be the youngest host of a prime-time show on any of the country’s major cable news channels, all of which seek out youthful viewers but tend to have middle-aged hosts and a core audience made up of senior citizens. Of Mr. Schultz’s one million viewers last year, for example, only 249,000 were between the ages of 25 and 54.

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