‘Morning Mika’ MSNBC Peacock Show Part of Streaming Push – The Hollywood Reporter


MSNBC is expanding its presence on parent company NBCUniversal’s streaming service, Peacock, developing new shows with notable talent, and rebranding to better incorporate the MSNBC brand name.

For starters, MSNBC’s Peacock channel The Choice will rebrand as The Choice by MSNBC, making the cable channel’s name more visible for streaming viewers.

It’s also planning an expanded slate of programming, with a handful of shows in development or already scheduled featuring hosts recognizable to the channel’s TV viewership.

Among the shows in development is Morning Mika, a news and commentary program hosted by Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski. That program, which plays off the name of the MSNBC morning show, will debut later this year.

Also in the works are Fireside History with Michael Beschloss, hosted by the NBC News presidential historian, which “will examine huge events in history through a modern lens,” and a series hosted by Nicolle Wallace, the host of Deadline: White House on MSNBC (The Washington Post first reported Wallace was interested in hosting a show for Peacock).

The news comes as the cable channel celebrates its 25th anniversary today, having launched on July 15, 1996 as a joint venture between NBC and Microsoft with a focus on technology and news (hence the name, MSNBC). It is also one of the first major moves made by MSNBC president Rashida Jones, who took over the cable channel earlier this year.

The Choice’s rebranding is effective immediately, as is the launch of a new 5 PM program, MSNBC Perspectives. The new afternoon show is an hour-long highlight show featuring analysis pulled from the rest of MSNBC’s morning, afternoon, primetime and weekend lineup.

Next month, The Choice will launch a new show hosted by MSNBC weekend host and Washington Post editorial board member Jonathan Capehart. The Washington Post’s First Look with Jonathan Capehart will include a roundtable of Post opinion writers and columnists.

The Choice has also covered major breaking news events, like the 2020 election and President Biden’s inauguration, and that will continue.

“I’m so proud that today – on MSNBC’s 25th anniversary – we are expanding our footprint and investing in even more robust streaming programming on Peacock,” said MSNBC President Rashida Jones in a statement. “As we look to the future, we will continue to be on the frontlines of every major news event and bring our viewers in-depth reporting, perspective and analysis across streaming, digital and beyond.”

The renewed streaming push comes as cable news channels chart a future with fewer pay-TV subscribers. Fox News is the furthest along in its streaming efforts at Fox Nation, which includes original shows and the channel’s primetime lineup.

However, as a standalone subscription service it has to fight for every subscriber, and the company has thus far been vague about how many subscribers it has.

CNN, meanwhile, is in development on a service of its own, CNNPlus, which will include live programming, original shows, and interactive content.

MSNBC has instead opted to more fully bake itself into Peacock, which is trying for mass scale a la Disney+ and Netflix, albeit in a less expensive and ad-supported format. The new branding and programming push suggests that the company believes it can migrate at least some of its linear TV viewers to streaming with names they will know, and analysis that will be familiar.





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