Chris Hayes may be leaving weekends for primetime, but the new host of MSNBC’s Up, Steve Kornacki, hopes to maintain a sense of continuity for viewers even as he develops his own style for the show.
"We want to try to work with the template they’ve created," says Kornacki in a phone interview with The Hollywood Reporter. "Obviously, I’m not Chris, Chris isn’t me. I can’t be a carbon copy of him. If I tried to be, I’d fail, the show would fail. They’ll be some differences, but they’ll sort of evolve."
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Over the past week, the network has announced a series of scheduling shifts.
Ed Schultz‘s Ed Show has been moved from primetime to Saturday and Sunday afternoons beginning in April and Hayes was named as a replacement for the 8 p.m. weekday time slot. On Tuesday, Kornacki, previously a co-host on The Cycle, was named the new host of Up, which airs on weekend mornings from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. ET.
Kornacki, who is also the senior political writer for Salon.com, tells THR that the basic format of Up will be the same, although he will continue to work to assemble interesting panels. "We’re going to work with the idea of putting the panel together that maybe you’re not likely to see on twenty-five other shows," he says.
"I will be open to guests from across the ideological spectrum if they’re willing to be reflective and not just there to deliver talking points," Kornacki elaborates. "I think that’s what really set the show apart with Chris and that’s something that I want to keep going."
The new host noted that the show itself shouldn’t be defined by ideology, but by the merit of the ideas presented.
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"I think a lot of progressive ideas were expressed through Up," Kornacki says. "But I think the common thread through all the ideas that have been expressed on that show, whether they’re progressive or whether they’re coming from the right, is that they’re intelligent ideas — they’re ideas that are worthy of discussion and worthy of exploration."
As for moving from a weekday schedule on The Cycle, which airs at 3 p.m. daily, to the weekends, Kornacki mentions that he’ll need to get used to waking up earlier.
"The alarm clock going off at 4:30 a.m. in the morning is going to be very new to me on Saturday and Sunday mornings," he says. "I’m not sure I’m ready for that, but I’ll have to be."