karen-finneyMSNBC-370x370.jpgKAREN FINNEY


by Antonio R. Harvey

MSNBC network touts itself as the “Place for Politics.” While crossing many boundaries and creating its own to pull in different faces, well, it can also claim the title, the “Place for Diversity,” too.

Last week, MSNBC announced that political and women’s education analyst Karen Finney will host a new afternoon program airing weekends from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m., Pacific Standard Time (PST).

Finney, who served as the first African American spokeswoman for the Democratic National Committee, has been a continuous MSNBC guest host on the network since 2009. She recently filled in for Martin Bashir’s afternoon show that airs on the weekdays.

With Finney’s presence in the lineup, it would give MSNBC two Black women with their own weekend shows. Melissa Harris-Perry, who also serves as an educator at Tulane University, has the 7:00 a.m to 9:00 a.m. (PST) slot on Saturday and Sundays.

“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.

MSNBC’s brass said additional details on Finney’s new show and launch date will be announced in coming weeks. She is still serving as an analyst on a variety of MSNBC shows discussing current politics.

Other African Americans that appear on MSNBC’s shows are Jonathan Capehart (The Washington Post), Michael Eric Dyson (Georgetown University sociology professor), Michael Steele (former chair of the Republican National Committee), Joy Reid (managing editor of The Griot), Perry Bacon Jr. (political reporter for for The Griot, Angela Rye (former attorney for the Congressional Black Caucus), Kristen Welker (NBC White House correspondent), and Pulitzer prize-winner Eugene Robinson (The Washington Post).

Rev. Al Sharpton also hosts his own show on MSNBC, titled PoliticsNation and Taron Hall anchors News Nation during the weekdays for the network.

The addition of Finney to the weekend programming lineup comes after MSNBC host Ed Schultz announced the Ed Show would be moving to weekend evenings from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., and former Up host Chris Hayes moved from weekend mornings to the prime time 8 p.m. slot for the new show All In.

Special to the NNPA from The Sacramento Observer

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