Rachel Maddow Cuts Back From MSNBC Even More — Who Is Her Replacement?

MSNBC personality Rachel Maddow announced last year that she's taking some time off from her show. Who is the new replacement? Here are all the details

Danielle Letenyei - Author

Jun. 28 2022, Updated 10:21 p.m. ET

Rachel Maddow
Source: Getty Images

If you’re one of the 2 million viewers who tune into MSNBC every night to watch The Rachel Maddow Show, you may be surprised at Rachel Maddow's absence. Maddow announced last year that she's taking some time off from the show to focus on her numerous projects. The change initially signaled a schedule swap, but now Maddow is cutting back even more.

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Rachel Maddow isn’t leaving MSNBC, just cutting back.

When questions first emerged about Maddow, it was mainly because of her absence from the show for a few episodes. People thought she was leaving altogether, but that wasn't the case. Maddow wasn't leaving MSNBC. She's just opted to cut back her airtime on the network to focus on other projects such as the film adaptation of Bag Man, which is based on Maddow's book and podcast.

rachel maddow bag man
Source: MSNBC
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Maddow has been a familiar face on MSNBC for almost 14 years. Her self-titled show became one of the most popular programs on the left-leaning news channel. She technically still isn't leaving MSNBC but there's another significant change being implemented.

Who is Rachel Maddow's replacement?

Maddow's 9:00 p.m. slot has indefinitely been replaced by Alex Wagner, whose show hasn't been named yet. While Maddow will still be on at 9:00 p.m. on Mondays, Wagner will take the 9:00 p.m. reins four nights a week from Tuesday to Friday starting mid-August. This switch isn't completely jolting because Maddow switched to just Mondays earlier in the year, but her fans have expressed their sadness.

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What started as cutbacks over contract negotiation issues, evolved into Maddow choosing to prioritize other things she is passionate about rather than giving all her energy to the coveted 9:00 p.m. slot every night. Fans feel this is a precursor to her leaving MSNBC for good one day. A fan tweeted, "Ugh. When Maddow hangs up her monitor and gets out of that seat for the last time I'm probably done with TV news altogether... Literally for 15–30 mins every night you learned something from Maddow."

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Alex Wagner isn't new to MSNBC.

Wagner was a regular face on MSNBC from 2011 to 2015. According to The Washington Post, she commented on the new changes saying, "I'm honored to be anchoring a key hour of television in such a critical time for American democracy." She was a familiar face on shows such as The Circus and as a co-host for CBS This Morning Saturday.

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There's no doubt that Wagner will have big shoes to fill as Maddow is one of the MSNBC shows with the most viewers. But MSNBC President Rashida Jones seems to think that Wagner will be just fine. Jones stated that Wagner has a particular perspective on things and her reporting has been strengthened tremendously within her decade-long journalism career. She believes Wagner's "tenacious reporting in the U.S. and abroad will help our audience contextualize what matters."

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Maddow has other projects in the works.

According to an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Maddow is also working on another mystery podcast for MSNBC. Maddow eluded to the new podcast, as well as another possible book, on one of her shows in March. Maddow is currently working with Ben Stiller on the film version. “There’s all this stuff I’ve been working on that I want to work some more on,” Maddow said on the show.

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Stiller is directing the movie that’s being produced by SNL’s Lorne Michaels. In 2020, Maddow collaborated with author Michael Yarvitz for the book adaptation of the Bag Man podcast.

Launched in 2018, Maddow’s Bag Man podcast chronicles the bribery and extortion ring Spiro Agnew ran out of the White House while he was acting vice president under former President Richard Nixon in 1973. Agnew eventually pleaded no contest to tax evasion and stepped down 10 months before Nixon resigned. “There’s intrigue. Corruption. Envelopes of cash were delivered to the White House. It’s a story that’s not well known, but it probably should be,” states a description on Apple Podcasts.

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Maddow herself was very supportive of Wagner's new role and she showed that support on Twitter saying that Wagner taking her slot was "fantastic news." Maddow still remains a force to be reckoned with and while she will no longer be as active with MSNBC, she still seems committed to providing the same quality of news that she always has.

In particular, she has made her opinion known on the Supreme Court striking down Roe v. Wade. She also discussed Justice Clarence Thomas' attack on same-sex marriage and contraception. She said in a segment, "If you're in a same-sex marriage now may be the time to think about duplicative legal arrangements to protect you and your spouse."


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