The New York Times is reporting that MSNBC will add a talk show next month that will be hosted by Melissa Harris-Perry, the outspoken Tulane University professor of political science.
The untitled program will begin on Feb. 4 and will be shown on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. until noon, MSNBC announced on Thursday.
MSNBC has pretty firmly established itself as a political channel on the weekdays, but it has lagged on the weekends. So it has been gradually replacing its weekend morning newscasts with political conversations. In September it started a roundtable show called “Up,” hosted by Chris Hayes, which has been well-received and has impressed people inside MSNBC with its political I.Q.
“Weekend mornings are a time when our audience wants intelligent political conversation, as the success of Chris Hayes has shown, in addition to coverage of all the headlines,” Phil Griffin, the president of MSNBC, said in a statement Thursday.
Once her morning show starts, Ms. Harris-Perry will be one of a small handful of African American women who have regular positions on cable news.
At Tulane, she is the founding director of the Anna Julia Cooper Project on Gender, Race, and Politics in the South. She said in a statement Thursday, “All I’ve ever wanted to be is a teacher. Phil Griffin and MSNBC are giving me the chance to have a much bigger classroom.”
She added on Twitter, “Best part of a weekend show? I don’t have to give up life in the academy. I’ll still live in NOLA & teach at Tulane during the week.”
Her colleague Lawrence O’Donnell, who lives in Los Angeles but flies to New York each week to anchor his prime time weekday show on MSNBC, replied, “Welcome to long distance commuting! MSNBC is lucky to have you.”
Viewers are lucky, too! Harris-Perry has shown herself to be a strong and important progressive voice. We wish her the best of luck.