The Rachel Maddow Show: One night a week is better than nothing

Monday, September 8, 2008. That was the night The Rachel Maddow Show premiered on MSNBC. Almost fourteen years; more than 1,500 episodes. That’s a lot of television.

Beginning last Monday, Rachel won’t be doing nearly as much television as she has done for the previous fourteen years. Not even close. When her latest contract came up for renewal, she told NBC that she was more interested in working on special projects than in producing a daily television program. Her demand was to work a reduced schedule or she would walk away. The network said cool, fine by us, glad to have you stick around. We’ll even give you more money for less work. How does thirty million dollars a year sound? $30,000,000!!!!


Desperate times call for desperate measures in the cable news biz. Ratings are down. MSNBC doesn’t have Donald Trump to kick around on a daily basis anymore…thank God. They lost Brian Williams to whatever he decides is his next big thing. MSNBC couldn’t afford to let their biggest star walk. Hence, $30M for fifty-two scheduled shows through 2024. My calculator says that breaks down to $576,923 per show. Nice work if you can get it.

My first thoughts were this was ridiculous. It wasn’t about the cash….Good for Rachel…more power to her and anyone who can negotiate such a deal. The one day a week thing was where I had my issue. In the news game there should be some continuity with the people who are presenting you information. When they break a new or interesting story, I want them there the next night to give you the follow-up….not a week later when it becomes old news that we most likely have already forgotten.

My feelings were what’s the point of being on the air for only one day? My news needs were going to be better off without only sixty minutes of TRMS each week. And that’s how this column would have read if I had written it last week after her first only Monday program. But, a guy is entitled to change his mind, right?

Maddow has such interesting takes on what is occurring in the world. Her program has a unique way of presenting them. Maybe the one day a week will keep her from being burned out from the daily news grind. Maybe the one day a week make her program appointment television. Hmmm…Rachel Maddow is the new Seinfeld?

So for now, I’m at least open to this once weekly Maddow thing. We’ll see how it goes. Maybe it works for everyone, maybe not. It’s just television, right.

See ya nexxt Monday, Rachel. Enjoy that extra, extra, extra long weekend.

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Filed under: News

Tags: MSNBC, The Rachel Maddow Show

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