MSNBC has announced a new weekend show host: Karen Finney, the first African-American spokeswoman for the Democratic National Committee and a political analyst who has been appearing on the network since 2009, will be the new face of the network’s weekend programming between 4pm and 5pm. The move is a latest in a number of changes that have taken place at the network. Chris Hayes has given up his weekend morning hosting gig and is now hosting a primetime weekday show, All In, which debuted strongly this week, for example. Details about Finney’s program are TBA.
But certainly, the addition of Finney adds to the diversity at the network. Already, MSNBC has seen its viewership grow, particularly among African Americans. But more than that, Finney is a highly qualified pundit and commentator. According to the MSNBC statement (via NewsOne):
“Karen’s rich background in both education policy and politics will add a unique point of view to our expanding live weekend programming,” said MSNBC President Phil Griffin in a statement.
Prior to her time at the DNC, when she led the party’s media strategy during the 2006 midterm elections and the 2008 presidential elections, Finney served as the deputy press secretary to then-first lady Hillary Clinton and deputy director of presidential scheduling for President Bill Clinton.
NewsOne adds, “Because with the addition of Finney, weekend coverage is dominated by two African-American women, a level of diversity unheard of in cable news but in keeping with the network’s commitment to avoid the White, male trap. Melissa Harris-Perry‘s show airs Saturday and Sunday mornings.”
This amid the RNC’s efforts to reach out to African Americans with a nationwide “listening tour.” When the Republicans lose another election, they can add this to the long list of reasons. Of course, Graham got a number of responses to this ignorant statement.
But who cares what he thinks right? Congratulations Karen Finney! We’ll keep watching MSNBC.