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Griffin Takes Over Day-to-Day Oversight of MSNBC, Abrams To Continue Anchoring 9pmET Show

In a move that has been widely discussed in industry circles, NBC News Senior Vice President Phil Griffin will soon be assuming day-to-day management of MSNBC. Dan Abrams, who had been MSNBC’s General Manager, will return to full-time show hosting duties. Live with Dan Abrams has officially been added to the schedule Monday-Thursday at 9pm ET. The moves also make official, the MSNBC morning time slot, once occupied by Don Imus, now go to Joe Scarborough and his Morning Joe broadcast.

Griffin, who will continue to oversee the Today show, also announced that Shannon High-Bassalik will be joining MSNBC as Managing Editor, “overseeing live news programming and breaking news coverage.” The management changes are effective upon MSNBC’s move to 30 Rock in mid-October.

Click continued to read the press release…




SECAUCUS, NJ – Sept. 24, 2007 – Effective today, “Live with Dan Abrams” and “Morning Joe” officially join the MSNBC program schedule. As Dan Abrams moves into a primetime host role, NBC News Senior Vice President Phil Griffin will assume day-to-day management of MSNBC. The announcements were made today by Steve Capus, President, NBC News. Abrams, who has been filling-in as host of the 9 p.m. hour for the past three months, will continue to anchor that hour as host of “Live with Dan Abrams,” Monday-Thursday at 9 p.m. ET. Abrams will also increase his on-air presence throughout NBC News programs as NBC News Chief Legal Correspondent. The management change is effective upon MSNBC’s move to 30 Rockefeller Plaza in mid-October; Griffin will also continue to oversee “Today” on NBC. Additionally, Griffin today announced that Shannon High-Bassalik will be joining MSNBC as Managing Editor, overseeing live news programming and breaking news coverage.

“Morning Joe,” hosted by Joe Scarborough, will also officially join the MSNBC lineup on weekdays from 6-9 a.m. Scarborough has been hosting the early morning time slot since May.

“We are fortunate at NBC News to have a wealth of great talent in every area of the business — on the air and off,” said Capus. “With this announcement, we solidify our on-air strengths with two incredibly talented people in two critical timeslots. Under the leadership of Dan and his team, MSNBC has never been stronger and is well positioned to capitalize on the momentum that has been building over the last year.”

“As MSNBC moves into 30 Rock and Dan moves to anchoring a primetime program, it’s the right time for me to assume a more direct role in the management of the network,” said Griffin. “Dan leaves the General Manager role with the network in the best competitive position in six years, up 62 percent in the target demographic in the last 15 months, and will enable us to continue to grow our primetime audience as host of ‘Live with Dan Abrams.’”

“Leading MSNBC stands out as one of the most rewarding experiences of my career,” said Abrams. “I am so grateful to those who gave me this opportunity and so proud of the unprecedented growth we have achieved in a short period of time. That success has also led to a new opportunity to beat CNN in prime time. With that in mind, the chance to host a new 9 p.m. show was just too tempting. This is going to be a lot of fun.”

>From political conflict to crime, “Live with Dan Abrams” will cover the most talked about stories of the day. Abrams will always lets the viewers know his “take” as he leads up to the winners and losers of the day. For the month of September to date, Abrams has seen a 39 percent increase in the adults 25-54 demo and a 31 percent increase in total viewers over last year.

“Morning Joe” will continue to feature interviews with top newsmakers and politicians; recent interviews have included presidential candidates Sen. Hillary Clinton, Sen. John McCain, Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney; as well as former CBS News anchor Dan Rather. Scarborough, a former Congressman, joined MSNBC in 2003 as host of the primetime program “Scarborough Country.”

MSNBC continues to be the home of the fastest growing and most critically acclaimed program in cable news, “Countdown with Keith Olbermann.” Third quarter to date, Keith and the Countdown team have increased their audience by an astonishing 75-percent.

High-Bassalik will oversee MSNBC’s live news programming, including weekday, weekend and breaking news coverage and will assist Griffin in the administration of the network. High-Bassalik will report to Griffin; she begins her new role in October. She previously spent eight years at WFOR/WBFS in Miami, Fla., most recently as Vice President, News, where she re-organized the newsroom and took the newscast from last place to first place in the market. She previously served as Assistant News Director with WSVN-TV in Miami. High-Bassalik, an Edward R. Murrow Award winner, began her career as a producer with WBTV-TV in Charlotte.

Griffin was named Senior Vice President, NBC News, executive-in-charge overseeing “Today” in April 2005 and also served as Executive-in-Charge of MSNBC since 2006. Previously, Griffin was Vice President, Primetime Programming for MSNBC.

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