If you're on Team Ezra, well, see how O'Reilly does against MSNBC's newest winning tribute, 34-year-old Chris Hayes, because talk-radio borg Ed Schultz's 8 p.m. showdown time slot was only made for one liberal, wonky heartthrob. The New Yorker's Ryan Lizza broke the news this morning:
MSNBC source on new 8 pm show: "it looks like it will be Chris Hayes."— Ryan Lizza (@RyanLizza) March 14, 2013
And The New York Times's Brian Stelter has confirmed it, with MSNBC scheduled to formally announce the move on Thursday.
After revealing the man who may have been responsible for single-handedly destroyed Mitt Romney's campaign, Schultz announced last night that he was stepping away from his weekday show and heading to the weekend. Now it appears he'll swap out starting in April with Hayes, the longtime writer for The Nation who often filled in for Rachel Maddow before getting his own show, Up, on Saturdays and Sunday at 8 a.m.
But you know who else fills in for Rachel Maddow a lot? Another smart, likable liberal creature of the Internet, The Washington Post's Klein, who was a big favorite with the insiders to become Maddow's lead-in and O'Reilly's competition/alternate programing. But Klein and Hayes did not eat the berries, we guess, and this round is over:
Schultz had done fine by MSNBC standards — a solid No. 2 ranking for the network's aging primetime lineup in February, and just as The O'Reilly Factor had a big drop that month. But Fox still had 1.045 million viewers in the key primetime hour, compared to Shultz's 879,000. If MSNBC wants to counterprogram against an old angry man — and the dashing Anderson Cooper, whether he even survives Jeff Zucker's shuffling at CNN — well, they've got their (young) man. And he's hungry.