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MSNBC Preps for Republican Debate

With the President’s jobs speech pushed to Thursday, NBC News and MSNBC have gotten back to preparing for the Republican primary debate slated to air this evening. Politico–which will be co-hosting the debate at the Reagan Library–posted the photo to (right) of the debate stage, right next to President Reagan’s Air Force One.

MSNBC has also moved some of its programming to California for the week, including “Hardball,” which will air live editions at both 5 and 7 PM ET.

Following the debate around 9:45 PM ET, MSNBC’s primetime anchor lineup of Rachel Maddow, Ed Schultz and Lawrence O’Donnell will host a post-debate analysis roundtable until 12 AM ET.


The decision is an interesting one. The debate itself is sponsored by NBC News, with “NBC Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams co-moderating, but it is airing first on MSNBC, which has moved toward opinion programming in primetime. The current programming lineup will effectively have a non-partisan debate flanked on either side by partisan programming. While this is hardly unprecedented (Fox News followed the last Republican debate with a program hosted by Sean Hannity), it will be likely have a very different and more confrontational tone than a news analysis program that was anchored by a more traditional news-person.

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