MSNBC’s prime time lineup is on a ratings roll right now — but the channel’s 10 p.m. host Lawrence O’Donnell may be leaving in three weeks.
O’Donnell and MSNBC have not yet struck a new deal despite the fact that the current one ends early next month — a highly unusual situation in the television news business.
Word about O’Donnell’s uncertain status leaked out over the weekend.
On Wednesday morning O’Donnell confirmed it through a tweet: “Contract expires June 4. I’ll let you know where you can watch me June 5 if it’s not msnbc. I’m sorry this situation has become public.”
MSNBC had no immediate response to O’Donnell’s tweet.
Earlier in the week, MSNBC executives said that negotiations are underway with O’Donnell’s representatives.
But people close to O’Donnell disputed that. So it’s unclear what is going on.
“Lawrence O’Donnell, host of MSNBC’s ‘The Last Word,’ has just four weeks left in his contract, and the cable network does not appear to be interested in renewing his deal,” Yashar Ali wrote for HuffPost on Sunday.
He cited “four well-placed sources” to say that “MSNBC has not been in contact with O’Donnell’s team of representatives to negotiate a new deal.”
After the story came out, other sources began to say that contract talks are, in fact, underway.
O’Donnell’s representatives may be angling for a more lucrative deal or for a chance to jump to another network.
O’Donnell did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday morning.
He has been the host of “The Last Word” on MSNBC for about seven years.
With rumors swirling on social media about his status, O’Donnell’s colleague Rachel Maddow very publicly backed him on Tuesday night.
“I consider us a team,” Maddow said on the air.
CNNMoney (New York) First published May 17, 2017: 10:09 AM ET