The Hollywood Reporter has revealed that conservative radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt is being given his own Saturday morning show on MSNBC. Hewitt, who already contributes commentary to other programs on the left-leaning Cable News Network, will premiere on Saturday, June 24 at 8 a.m. Eastern. His radio talk show airs on the weekday morning on 6 a. m. Eastern.

Hugh Hewitt’s career

Hewitt, besides being a radio and TV commentator, worked at various posts in the Reagan Administration.

When he left the Reagan White House, he oversaw the construction of the Nixon Library. That task having been completed, Hewitt started to practice law and at the same time started a weekend radio talk show in Los Angeles. He is the author of several books, mainly about politics and religion, and is an active user of Twitter. During the 2016 presidential campaign, Hewitt has a vehement opponent of Donald Trump, however, wound up voting for the eventual winner of the race.

Why MSNBC?

MSNBC’s brand has been built around the notion that it is a left-leaning cable news network, with such hosts as Rachel Maddow and Chris Matthews. The network has enjoyed some considerable rating success since Donald Trump became president, beating even Fox News in the ratings during prime time. Media ascribe this success to MSNBC being one of the go-to networks where one can get news and commentary that is decidedly anti-Trump.

So the fact that MSNBC is an anti-Trump, left-leaning network raises the question, why is it giving Hugh Hewitt his show, albeit on Saturday mornings? One reason is that the chairman of NBC News, Andy Lack, favors more hard news and political diversity in MSNBC’s lineup. Greta Van Susteren, late of Fox News, and Nicolle Wallace, former Bush administration staffer, are also right-leaning on-air talent who work for the network.

The goal seems to be to expand the appeal of MSNBC to audiences that would not ordinarily tune into the network for political reasons. The cable news organization has seemed to many to follow practices of liberal bias that have plagued the mainstream media for decades. Fox News, for example, has enjoyed considerable success by hewing toward the right while maintaining some ideological balance in its large stable of contributors.

MSNBC may be attempting to replicate the same dynamic, albeit from another direction.

The turn runs the risk of alienating the cable news organization’s tradition upscale, the liberal audience that does not feel at all comfortable being exposed to alternative ideas. How it shakes out will be anyone’s guess.

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