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Chris Matthews Inks Long-Term Deal With MSNBC, But Ends ‘The Chris Matthews Show’

MSNBC has signed Chris Matthews to a new, long-term contract with the channel, TVNewser has learned.

As part of the new deal, however, he will be ending “The Chris Matthews Show,” a syndicated public affairs show produced out of the NBC News DC bureau. The final edition of the program will air July 21. The half-hour show typically aired on Sunday mornings, though not every local market carried it. The show has been produced by NBC since 2002.

Matthews says he is ending the syndicated show to focus on “Hardball,” his books and his long-form TV docs.

“There are limits to what I can do in a week,” Matthews says in a statement. “Henceforth, I intend to concentrate any time left over from “Hardball” on writing books like the one I’m committed to now on the relationship between Tip O’Neill and Ronald Reagan, that and producing documentaries on history and politics.”

The full statement from Matthews, after the jump.

Statement from Chris Matthews:

“I want “Hardball” fans to know that I’m signing a long-term contract with MSNBC to carry on a show we started back in 1997 based on a book I wrote in 1988. To be perfectly truthful, I’d be doing what I do on the show – talking and arguing politics – for nothing even if it weren’t on the air. I think the viewer can tell I put all I’ve got out there Monday through Friday evenings.

The one adjustment I’m making is to pull back from the weekend “Chris Matthews Show.” There are limits to what I can do in a week. Henceforth, I intend to concentrate any time left over from “Hardball” on writing books like the one I’m committed to now on the relationship between Tip O’Neill and Ronald Reagan, that and producing documentaries on history and politics.

I’d like to salute the excellent work done by “The Chris Matthews Show” executive producer, the great Nancy Nathan. For more than a decade, she and her team have allowed me to offer great Sunday morning television. I have been proud of every program and the chance to interview some of the best journalists in this country, and, yes, to have them “tell me something I don’t know.”

I’ve been fortunate to have had a number of exciting jobs over the years: running a small business program in the Kingdom of Swaziland, Africa, with the Peace Corps; working for two influential US Senators, speechwriting for a President, serving as top aide to a legendary Speaker of the House, writing for the San Francisco Examiner and Chronicle from 1987 through 2002.

I had to quit my syndicated column for the Chronicle to start “The Chris Matthews Show.” There was a limit to what I could do in 2002, as there is now. I will miss having the weekend show just as I missed having the column, but I can’t do everything and still do what I have to do well.”

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