Ron Reagan to Host MSNBC News/Talk Show
Ron Reagan to Host MSNBC News/Talk Show (Reuters)
Ron Reagan, son of the late president and conservative hero Ronald Reagan, will co-host a new political talk show on MSNBC, the network said on Wednesday. Reagan will host “Connected: Coast to Coast” from MSNBC.com headquarters in Redmond, Washington, MSNBC said in a statement. The show, which will air twice daily, will base its other host — Monica Crowley, a former Richard Nixon aide and Fox News analyst — at MSNBC headquarters in New Jersey.
Reagan drew attention last year when he gave a spirited eulogy at his father’s funeral condemning politicians for using their religion for political gain and for a speech on stem-cell research at the Democratic National Convention.
The show will premiere on Tuesday. The early broadcast will present developing news, while the later show will focus more on analysis and debate.
I honestly don’t get it. Though I disagree with his politics, Reagan seems reasonably bright and a likeable enough guy. Nothing I’ve seen, though, demonstrates that he has the skill set to host a political talk show. Certainly, were his name not Reagan, no one would even be considering him for such a slot. Betsy Newmark agrees.
MSNBC lags behind its competitors, despite having the not insignificant advantage of being backed by NBC’s news team and Microsoft’s bankroll. Rather than feature its journalistic staff, however, MSNBC has consistently tried and failed at a bizarre formula of giving shows to people who are famous for something other than anything having to do with the shows. Ron Reagan joins a long line that includes Alan Keyes, Phil Donahue, and Jesse Ventura. For that matter, having shows headlined by people who failed at its competitors–Tucker Carlson, Buchanan and Press, and so forth–also seems a recipe for failure.
Granted, Michael Savage didn’t work out for them either, even though he carries a successful political show on radio and Joe Scarborough seems to be working out fine even though he had never hosted a show before. But picking celebrity names out of a hat and giving them a show is a programming strategy that is likely to fail more often than not.