CNN Hires Joan Walsh

MSNBC Loses, CNN gains. Within 24 hours of MSNBC announcing it would not renew veteran journalist Joan Walsh's contract, CNN has hired her.

I'm glad CNN acted so quickly in hiring Joan. I've always liked her. In the early days of blogging, Salon, along with Newsweek and the Washington Examiner, were among the few media organizations that would actually pay bloggers to write articles. Joan was the editor of Salon at the time. (See, “McCain and Palin go to Dobsonville”.)

I only met her in person once, at the 2008 DNC convention in Denver, when she and Salon hosted an evening party for bloggers and the MSM reporters. She was very gracious and it really was fun for the two groups, who regularly read each other, to meet in person.

Why was Joan's contract not renewed? MSNBC gave no reason. I don't think MSNBC is particularly politically oriented when it comes to paid contributors. They want a debate to make the segments lively and engaging, so they always hire people from both sides of the aisle. But they are ratings oriented. They just won the coveted 25 to 54 ratings bracket from CNN and want to stay there. I hope it isn't an age/gender issue.

[Disclosure: I was a paid MSNBC analyst when the network was brand new, from 1996 - 1998. It was Phil Griffen who made the decision to hire me, and I found him to be incredibly talented at his job (he wasn't yet President of MSNBC). The man had to make hundreds of quick call decisions every day, had a hand in every show -- down to being in the control room speaking in your ear while the show was live. He was the most well-liked person in management (at least among the legal analysts at the time, and the segment producers I worked with). So I'm going to assume not renewing Joan's contract was a business decision for MSNBC and not throw stones at them. But I will be interested to see who they hire as a replacement.)

In any event, congrats to Joan Walsh for landing at CNN so quickly. Her voice is definitely one I will not mute when I listen to CNN.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Stupid move by MSNBC. (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by caseyOR on Sun Dec 24, 2017 at 04:17:07 PM EST
    Joan Walsh is very popular. Well-respected. Thoughtful. And one of the few talking heads who has not been absorbed into the Beltway Media Borg.

    I am glad Joan will be on the air somewhere. But, darn, now I will have to watch CNN, which is a terrible network for political commentary.

    She's smart, well-informed and does her homework. And she can make other pundits and opinionists look awfully shallow and even silly when they simply phone in their performance by repeat the so-called conventional wisdom or latest political talking points. (I'm looking at you, Gloria Borger.)

    I love Walsh's writing and TV appearances (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by ruffian on Wed Dec 27, 2017 at 11:08:03 AM EST
    I'l seek her out on CNN - hope she has a regular time slot where I can find her. Stupid move by MSNBC.

    It sure is puzzling (none / 0) (#4)
    by KeysDan on Thu Dec 28, 2017 at 01:28:27 PM EST
    as to why MSNBC did not renew Joan Walsh's contract. She is an excellent contributor, and was even underutilized.  During the holiday period she would have been a good substitute for one of the regulars.

      I never thought I would pine for the return of
    Tweety, but Steve Kornacki, filling in, is too much in the frenetic department. And, he (or his bookers) seem to believe that he must have some right winger on the show for balance on every subject or whatever.  And, hand-waving and bobbing around does not work to handle them.

    I cannot watch Kornacki. (none / 0) (#5)
    by caseyOR on Sat Dec 30, 2017 at 12:13:35 PM EST
    You are right, he is much too frenetic. Never sits still. One good thing, though, is Kornacki does not yell, interrup,  and talk over his guests ala Tweety.

    interrupT! (none / 0) (#6)
    by caseyOR on Sat Dec 30, 2017 at 12:14:25 PM EST