MSNBC Cuts Ties Abruptly With Weekend Host Tiffany Cross
MSNBC weekend host Tiffany Cross learned the network had become, well, cross with her when they released her immediately, according to a Variety report.
Her production staff was informed Friday morning, according to the Variety report citing three sources.
Network executives declined to renew her contract upon its two-year expiration, one of the sources cited said. The report added her weekend hours will be hosted by a rotating cast of anchors until a permanent replacement is selected. Production staff assigned to the show are expected to remain in place.
Entertainment insiders have speculated the relationship between MSNBC and Cross was deteriorating. Two sources cited by Variety indicated the network was becoming increasingly concerned with Cross’ willingness to address statements from other cable-news hosts. She also reportedly indulged in commentary that executives considered not meeting network standards.
Releasing Cross means the network is losing a popular anchor who appealed to demographics MSNBC has sought to attract. Cross appealed to black viewers, in general, but particularly appealed to female black viewers, the report noted.
She had been considered essential to the network’s effort to diversify its schedule by adding a broader range of voices to the table. Cross succeeded Joy Reid after competing in a 2020 on-air bake off of sorts against Jonathan Capehart and Zerlina Maxwell. Cross previously hosted a loose, chatty program she promoted heavily on social media, according to the report.
Formerly the Washington bureau chief for Black Entertainment Television, Cross has also served with MSNBC as a political analyst. She was a former resident fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics, according to the Variety report.
There should be spirited competition for the position opened by Cross’ departure. On top of the existing talent pool, the network recently added former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki. Psaki is scheduled to launch a new program on cable and streaming, but network executives may decide otherwise.
MSNBC also needs to find a home for recent hire Katie Phang and Symone Sanders.