MSNBC execs reportedly ready to pull disgraced anchor Brian Williams back from ‘Siberia’ as ‘Hardball’ wallows

Looks like MSNBC executives are making some changes, but could they be going from bad to worse?

Network executives are reportedly considering a shake-up of sorts as they throw caution to the wind as far as their so-called reputation goes, according to a Page Six report revealing that “Brian Williams could come back from TV news exile.”

(Image: screenshot)

Possibly casting a fresh eye at the 7 p.m. timeslot that is currently home to Chris Matthews, sources told the outlet that executives may be thinking that “Hardball” has “gone soft, and they’re looking for relief from the bullpen.”

The fact that Williams has had a successful run with his “11th Hour With Brian Williams,” reportedly beating CNN and Fox News for three consecutive months in the “graveyard-adjacent time slot,” has apparently played in his favor.

“Brian’s done an amazing job of keeping his head down and working,” an MSNBC source told Page Six. “He hasn’t tried to take any victory laps at MSNBC.”

But keeping his head down was all he could do following his swift boot from “NBC Nightly News” in 2015 after it was revealed he had added some extra fictional details to some of his stories. He was suspended for six months and lost the anchor job he had held since 2004, and was “sent to the relative Siberia of 11 p.m. on sister station MSNBC,” Page Six reported.

An NBC News source told the outlet that “a lot of [NBC journalists] think Brian should’ve lost his job. He’s kind of forgotten at NBC News.”

The publication added:

Industry rumors suggest that bosses are unimpressed with Chuck Todd’s “Meet the Press” spinoff, “MTP Daily.”

Around MSNBC watercoolers, there’s also a wild theory that Williams could one day replace the hugely successful “Morning Joe” broadcast, should host and former pol Joe Scarborough revive his political career or exit for any reason.

 

The Williams scandal now seems “almost quaint,” an MSNBC source told Page Six, compared to recent #MeToo scandals involving broadcast names like Matt Lauer and Charlie Rose.

Quaint seems hardly the way many on Twitter viewed the journalistic plunge by Williams, and the idea of replacing any of MSNBC’s current lineup with the 59-year-old ignited plenty of reaction.

Frieda Powers

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