MSNBC is not putting up with the very public rebuke from one of the cable news network’s strongest liberal voices. CNN and the Washington Post both cite MSNBC sources saying that it is “highly unlikely” Melissa Harris-Perry will return to the cable channel after she publicly complained about preemptions of her weekend program.
Harris-Perry, a professor at Wake Forest University, sent an email to her staff on Friday saying she was refusing to host her show, noting she felt “worthless” in the eyes of the network’s executives. “Here is the reality: Our show was taken—without comment or discussion or notice—in the midst of an election season,” she wrote in the email. “After four years of building an audience, developing a brand and developing trust with our viewers, we were effectively and utterly silenced.” The email was first reported by the New York Times and then Harris-Perry asked a friend to publish it on Medium.
The email almost immediately launched discussions between MSNBC executives and Harris-Perry about the terms of her departure, reports the Post. One unnamed executive does his or her best to make it sound like the complaining is what will make Harris-Perry lose her show. Although “there was no plan to cancel her” now “it’s highly unlikely she will continue” because the email “is destructive to our relationship.”
If the reports are true, they can hardly be considered surprising. MSNBC would be dropping Harris-Perry at a time when it is going through a very evident transformation of replacing its most left-leaning opinion shows with a stronger focus on breaking news and campaign coverage. In the process it has “swept up several of its minority program hosts,” notes the Post.