Is impeachment trial coverage a test run for Chuck Todd’s ‘MTP Daily’ moving to the morning?

After reports that MSNBC is considering moving Chuck Todd’sMTP Daily” to 9 a.m., viewers may have thought the change already went into affect when the network kicked off its impeachment trial coverage today.

  • Todd, who is also NBC News‘ political director and moderator of “Meet the Press,” helmed the network’s live coverage of the first day of Donald Trump’s impeachment coverage.
  • The trial itself isn’t slated to begin until 1 p.m. eastern, so this coverage is more of “preview” style — and Todd also wandered into other topics, including the upcoming Iowa caucuses.
  • Many of the panel members who joined him in MSNBC’s side of Studio 3A Jan. 21, 2020, also regularly appear on “MTP Daily” during its normal 5 p.m. timeslot.
  • It’s also worth noting that Todd signed off at 10 a.m. eastern, though he did mention he would be back for more coverage in the afternoon.

For several weeks now, reports have been circulating that MSNBC is looking to shake up its dayside schedule.

  • “MTP Daily” isn’t a ratings powerhouse and at least some reports say MSNBC wants to expand Nicolle Wallace’s well rated “Deadline: White House” to two hours from its 4 p.m. start time.
  • Meanwhile, reports say MSNBC would move “MTP Daily” to 9 a.m., something Todd is reportedly averse to.
  • The 9 a.m. hour is currently occupied by Stephanie Ruhle, but she recently inked a new deal to appear across NBCUniversal properties, so she could give up anchoring “MSNBC Live.”
  • Ali Velshi is also mostly leaving the two separate hours he anchors on MSNBC — one with Ruhle and one solo — and moving to weekends, so there’s also another spot open on the schedule at 3 p.m.
  • Reports indicate MSNBC will fill that with former NPR personality Joshua Johnson.