MSNBC host Joy Reid has been selected to take over the weeknight time slot that has been vacant since Chris Matthews abruptly retired in March, the network announced Thursday.
“The ReidOut” will debut on July 20 at 7 p.m., as Reid goes from weekend host to the lead-in for MSNBC’s far-left primetime lineup. The spot was long occupied by Matthews’ “Hardball” until he left the network amid sexual misconduct allegations.
Reid’s current show, “AM Joy,” will feature various guest fill-ins until a permanent replacement is named later this year.
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“I’m honored and thankful for this opportunity,” Reid said in a statement. “I’ll always be proud of the work we did on ‘AM Joy’ by pushing the envelope and tackling pragmatic conversations. I’m eager to carry that same energy into the 7 p.m. hour where we can continue to build on bringing in diverse, smart, and accomplished voices to the table on topics that are important to our viewers.”
MSNBC's Joy Reid has been promoted to the 7 p.m. weeknight spot. (Photo by Earl Gibson III/Getty Images)
MSNBC President Phil Griffin said he was “thrilled” to have Reid on five nights a week.
“She’s thoughtful and brings so much depth to her reporting. She’s made for this moment,” Griffin said in a statement.
Reid spoke with The New York Times on Wednesday ahead of the announcement and expressed what the promotion means to her.
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“I am a Black mom, a Black woman, a Black daughter,” Reid told the Times. “I am also a journalist who can conceptualize that pain from a unique point of view. Every day I’m in this job, I’m very conscious of that responsibility to make that collective voice heard. It’s unique to do that as a Black woman.”
The Times also asked Reid about her infamous blog scandal, which made her a household name to non-MSNBC viewers as it played out it public.
Back in late 2017, it was revealed that the MSNBC host’s old blog, “The Reid Report,” contained dozens of homophobic and hateful posts.
Reid initially apologized, but when a ‒ about some lesbians' short haircuts and her objections to seeing men kiss men, among other homophobic remarks ‒ Reid then claimed she’d been hacked, and MSNBC circulated a much-panned statement from a computer hacking “expert” which sought to make that case.
Reid originally claimed diabolical hackers planted the hateful posts on her pre-fame blog -- and even enlisted the FBI to help get to the bottom of it.
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Upon scrutiny, skeptics said Reid’s claims don’t pass muster.
The Daily Beast, which had suspended Reid as a contributor, conducted its own investigation and concluded that claims made by Reid’s cyber-security expert Jonathan Nichols that “screenshot manipulation” took place were false. Critics have pointed to the Internet archival service The Wayback Machine, which showed that the anti-gay articles were preserved at the time they were written and refuted the suggestion that hackers could have manipulated their archives. Others joked that time-traveling hackers must have been responsible.
Reid addressed the controversy the following week on her show.
She did not take ownership of her blog posts like she did in her first apology, telling her viewers, “I genuinely do not believe I wrote those hateful things because they are completely alien to me.” However, she offered an apology anyway and many MSNBC personalities rushed to her defense.
MSNBC stood by Reid throughout the ordeal and the FBI never publicly commented.
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Asked about the scandal by the Times on Wednesday, she said, “It’s two years ago, so I don’t spend a whole lot of time thinking about that old blog. What I genuinely believe is that I truly care about the L.G.B.T. people in my own life. I care about being a good ally, a good person, and making sure that my voice is authentic, that I can make a difference."
Reid first joined MSNBC in 2011 as a contributor and worked for President Barack Obama's campaign in 2008. She graduated from Harvard University in 1991.
Fox News’ Joseph A. Wulfsohn contributed to this report.