MSNBC Abruptly Fired News Veteran Greta Van Susteren
Greta Van Susteren, news veteran and host of MSNBC’s 6 p.m. hour, has been let go from the network after only six months.
Van Susteren broke the news herself on Thursday when she delivered a short and sweet but looming tweet to her million-plus Twitter followers.
According to The New York Times, Van Susteren’s agent and husband, John P. Coale, said that she was informed on Thursday that she would not be on that night’s broadcast. “They didn’t want her anymore,” said Coale in an interview. “We’re in kind of shock.”
Anyone would be, if they were let go from their work only hours before doing the job. Coale also said that there was “no warning” that Van Susteren or her show was in trouble.
This news does, however, come after a slew of tough ratings for Van Susteren in her new time slot. MSNBC’s 5 p.m. show, “MTP Daily,” averages up to 1.3 million viewers, but those numbers drop during Van Susteren’s hour, which is usually when most cable networks’ viewership numbers rise as they approach prime time. According to Nielsen, Van Susteren's show only averaged about 1 million viewers in June, an 18 percent drop from the previous hour. The network regained viewership by 58 percent in the next hour during Chris Matthews’ “Hardball.”
Van Susteren was also let go from Fox News in April after 14 years with the conservative news outlet. It was reported that a messenger arrived at her home and gave her two letters saying that she was out, effective immediately. Harsh. Though Thursday’s news is unfortunate, at least it was given to her in person by MSNBC’s president, Phil Griffin, according to Coale. Slightly less harsh. She was told around lunchtime in Washington.
MSNBC wasted no time in finding a replacement. Ali Velshi, who already had a 3 p.m. slot Monday through Friday at the network, started the same day Van Susteren was let go. He tweeted this out at 4 p.m. Thursday: