While fans of Rachel Maddow were psyched to have her back at MSNBC this week after her fortnight-long fishing vacation, the network’s greatest ratings machine might not be sticking around.
According to The Daily Beast, the 12-year MSNBC vet—whose 9 p.m. The Rachel Maddow Show regularly snags the highest viewership of any program on the newser—is “seriously considering” parting ways with the network when her contract expires early next year.
Maddow, 48, reportedly makes $7 million a year for her efforts, but the Beast cites six sources who claim negotiations (which definitely won’t be nudged along by media stories) have dragged on, causing Maddow to contemplate taking her talents elsewhere or perhaps starting her own company.
Although fellow MSNBC journo Kasie Hunt escaped her farm report time slot on Way Too Early when she quit last month to join CNN Plus, insiders says Maddow is unlikely to take that route. Instead, they think Maddow is leaning toward podcasting and streaming opportunities, which would give her more editorial freedom while allowing her to spend more time with her family.
Maddow expressed her frustration with the daily grind to the New York Times in 2019, saying, “I’m realizing now—10, 11 years into this—that it’s fine to work long days. But it’s not good for you to work incessant long days, five days a week, 50 weeks a year for 10 years.”
Supporting the Maddow exit theory is the fact that she recently left her longtime agents at Napoli Management Group in favor of Endeavor, with its many-tentacled CEO Ari Emanuel and president Mark Shapiro, who are representing Maddow in negotiations with NBCUniversal.
Former MSNBC president Phil Griffin, who’s close with both Maddow and Emanuel, described those negotiations as “heated,” according to The Daily Beast, but NBCUni is trying hard to retain their headliner, even offering to reduce Maddow’s workload to sweeten the deal.
“Nothing has been decided,” Shapiro tells Daily Beast. “We are deep into it with NBCUniversal and Rachel has an excellent relationship with them.”
“We don’t comment on employee matters,” an MSNBC rep said via email.
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