Following MSNBC’s Broken Promises, Alex Wagner Finally Leaves Network For New Job

The former MSNBC anchor will now be a senior editor at The Atlantic and will moderate a political panel Saturday mornings for AtlanticLIVE.

Alex Wagner, the charismatic host of the canceled NOW with Alex Wagner and formerly one of MSNBC’s rising stars, has finally said adieu to the network. It was announced on Tuesday that she had taken a position with The Atlantic. She will now serve as the magazine’s senior editor and will be heavily involved in the company’s video and live events. This will include moderating a panel on Saturday mornings.

From The Atlantic’s statement on the hiring:


In this new role, Wagner will write articles for both the magazine and website, drawing upon her decade of experience in both print and digital journalism. As host of MSNBC’s Emmy-nominated “NOW with Alex Wagner” and as a reporter for Huffington Post and Politics Daily, Wagner covered politics and national affairs—experience that will be especially relevant during the presidential campaign.

Wagner will participate in many of AtlanticLIVE’s most prominent events, including the upcoming Education Summit in Washington, D.C., on May 17-18, and the Aspen Ideas Festival, presented in partnership with the Aspen Institute, in late June and early July in Aspen, CO. AtlanticLIVE is producing a series of events at both national nominating conventions this summer, which Wagner will be involved in, and expanding its signature Washington Ideas Forum—the preeminent annual gathering of influential people and ideas of consequence—to span an entire week in late September.

Wagner will also work with The Atlantic Studios to help develop projects for TV and web. The Atlantic Studios produces documentaries, hosted series, and animations in collaboration with The Atlantic’s journalists.


After Wagner’s program was axed in July 2015 during MSNBC’s ‘rebranding,’ she was told by network executives that she would be given a weekend broadcast to host down the road. However, that never came to fruition. The news of her weekend show being tossed aside came during the same time that Melissa Harris-Perry essentially quit on the network over her program constantly being pre-empted and respected anchor Jose Diaz-Balart being benched in favor of incessant election coverage.

Last summer’s cancellations and the treatment of Wagner, MHP and Diaz-Balart gave the appearance that MSNBC was whitening its lineup. This seemed especially true with airtime slots being filled by lily-white hosts like Kate Snow, Chuck Todd, Brian Williams and Steve Kornacki, not to mention the rebroadcast of Bloomberg’s political insider show With All Due Respect.


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Justin Baragona is the founder and publisher of Contemptor. He was previously the Cable News Correspondent for Mediaite and prior to starting Contemptor, he worked on the editorial staff of PoliticusUSA. During that time, he had his work quoted by USA Today and BBC News, among others. Justin began his published career as a political writer for 411Mania. He resides in St. Louis, MO with his wife and pets.
10 Comments on this post.
  • Marc Cook
    26 April 2016 at 9:42 am

    A significant loss for the network. After losing the brilliant Melissa Harris Perry in truly embarrassing fashion, the loss of another savvy, intellect like Alex is making me less likely to keep watching the network. They are diluting their talent pool for no reason that I can fathom. I don’t like Chuck Todd or Morning Joe, and watch less and less of MSNBC. If that is their goal, to lose core viewers, they are doing a terrific job of that. Once Rachel Maddow, or either of the Chris’ go, I follow right behind.

  • John Culleton
    26 April 2016 at 2:50 pm

    Three of my favorite talking heaads were cut by MSNBC: Alex Wagner. Crystal Ball and Abby Huntsaman. We also miss Ed Shultz

    • Chris Mobley
      28 April 2016 at 2:44 pm

      I miss Ed’s perspectives, plus I enjoyed Wagner, Ball, and Huntsman. The coverage has become narrower and to give Chris Matthews and Joe Scarborough larger platforms doesn’t work for me.

  • E. R. Bowles
    26 April 2016 at 11:23 pm

    The author didn’t need to include Steve Kornacki in his list of MSNBC peeps who are “lily white”. Steve is a not-exactly mainstream genius who is being vastly under-utilized by MSNBC. I’m sure he’s looking around for another opportunity.

    • Chris Mobley
      28 April 2016 at 2:45 pm

      I appreciated Steve’s coverage of Ferguson. He’s very good.

  • Terry
    27 April 2016 at 10:04 pm

    This after discovering that Joe Scarbrough is now going to be on air from 6-10 a.m. Another hour of an arrogant, self-righteous non-journalist. Word is Jose Diaz-Belart is on his way out. So much for Hispanics (he is Cuban American). I will only turn on MSNBC for Maddow, Matthews and Kornacki. Screw MSNBC.

  • XaurreauX
    28 April 2016 at 9:19 am

    Did Rupert Murdock secretly buy MSNBC?

  • Pearl
    30 April 2016 at 9:14 pm

    It’s like a there’s a deliberate sabotaging of MSNBC going on. I don’t watch it half as much as I used up. Since the religious anointing of Chuck Todd, I like it even less. And font get me started on those funeral home directors, Halperin and Heilemann (sic). U want a formaldehyde hot toddy, these are ur guys!!

  • Dee Jackson
    1 May 2016 at 11:24 am

    MSNBC’s lost is The Atlantic’s tremendous gain! Congratulations, Alex. I hope you excel in your new role. I have given up on MSNBC too. The network is devolving into total irrelevancy.

  • Rhonda Montgomery
    2 May 2016 at 9:31 am

    Used to be the weekend person shows were the worst thing!

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