Cable channel MSNBC ousts feuding leftwing anchors

Other News Materials 9 September 2008 03:37 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa ) - Cable news channel MSNBC has ousted news hosts Chris Matthews and Keith Olberman from anchoring its election coverage after a series of on-air feuds plus complaints from Republicans that the duo were too left-leaning in their coverage.

The channel said Monday that it had promoted chief White House correspondent David Gregory to anchor its election coverage, though Matthews and Olberman will remain as analysts.

MSNBC President Phil Griffin told the Hollywood Reporter that the channel made the decision after re-evaluating the wisdom of having the duo anchoring election coverage while at the same time spouting opinions. He said the network decided it was better to have them as analysts, without feeling the need to practice restraint in the anchor role.

Olberman, who rose to prominence as a smart-aleck sportscaster before turning to cable news, is among the most outspoken supporter of the centre-left Democrats among major US broadcasters. Matthews was an aide to Democrats in Congress before starting his career in print journalism and television.

MSNBC found its position compromised at last week's centre-right Republican convention when delegates chanted taunts against NBC after speakers denounced the media's handling of vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin.