MSNBC May Be Dropping Alex Wagner and José Diaz-Balart, Too

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Alex Wagner. Photo: Astrid Stawiarz/2013 Getty Images

Melissa Harris-Perry’s exit from MSNBC stirred concerns about diversity at the network, and now there’s more fodder for the accusations that sparked the social-media hashtag #MSNBCSoWhite. CNNMoney reports that Alex Wagner, whose daytime show was canceled last summer, will not be getting a weekend program as planned. Sources say NBC News chairman Andrew Lack made the call earlier this year, but the network declined to comment. It’s unclear if Wagner, who is Burmese-American, will remain with the network.

Earlier on Monday, Politico noted that weekday-morning anchor José Diaz-Balart’s role at the network has been diminished in recent weeks. Like Harris-Perry, his show has been preempted for campaign coverage in recent weeks. While he is based in Miami, Diaz-Balart’s name does not appear on the network’s schedule for Florida primary coverage. In September, rumors about Diaz-Balart’s uncertain future at the network sparked complaints from Latino organizations.

Diaz-Balart, who also anchors daily and weekend broadcasts on Telemundo, told Twitter fans that he hopes to return to MSNBC soon:

But the Washington Post reports that he may be reassigned to make space for another hour of Morning Joerelated programming.

Following years of low ratings, last summer MSNBC began phasing out its liberal-opinion shows in favor of breaking-news coverage. An anonymous employee told the Post that many people are frustrated by the changes, saying, “When you look at the number of people of color who have disappeared, it definitely gets your attention.” Many minorities have had their roles reduced as the cable network pulled in more NBC News talent, but MSNBC has also canceled a number of shows anchored by white journalists, including Ronan Farrow, Ed Schultz, and Abby Huntsman.

The network insists that the accusations of racism are untrue. “MSNBC has been a leader when it comes to diversity,” Griffin told the Post. “We’re in transition now, but that doesn’t mean our commitment has changed. We’re rebuilding, but our principles are unwavering.”