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Haddad/”Hardball” Update

Variety has more details on the Tammy Haddad/”Hardball” story, including…

  • Haddad will “focus on broader political coverage for the news net.”

  • She will not be replaced. Matthews will become “managing editor” and “will assume greater control over editorial direction of the show.” Haddad’s former deputy, senior producer Ann Klenk, will continue to help out with “Hardball.”

  • “Haddad will continue to oversee MSNBC’s political coverage, including the net’s ‘Super Tuesdays’ and events such as the upcoming ‘Hardball’ college tour. She will have a role in producing MSNBC’s next three presidential primary debates.

    Here’s one thought: There has been much speculation that Haddad’s departure had something to do with “Hardball’s” weak ratings. But our guess is that, with Haddad out and with Matthews taking greater control over the show, you will see very little difference in the program. Do you really see Matthews saying “Okay, guys, we need flashier graphics, cooler, hipper guests, and — ooh! — a regular blog feature or something like that! And I hear that Facebook thing is really hot. Let’s do something with that.”

    No.

    We don’t either. We suspect that Matthews likes the format of his show just fine as it is. So if nothing changes, will ratings change? Who knows. But it does throw a bit of a wrench in the argument of “bad ratings caused Haddad to leave” since “Hardball” is likely to continue the status quo in her absence and MSNBC isn’t sweeping in to make drastic editorial and production changes in her absence.

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