MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Sidelined After ‘Close Contact’ Tests Positive for Coronavirus

Brian Steinberg
·2 min read

Rachel Maddow, the most-watched anchor in the MSNBC lineup, will come off the air for a period of time after a close contact tested positive for coronavirus.

“I’ve tested negative thus far, but will be at home quarantining ’til it’s safe for me to be back at work without putting anyone at risk,” Maddow said in a message posted Friday on social media. MSNBC declined to elaborate on the statement.

Maddow’s 9 p.m. weeknight berth is the linchpin of the MSNBC primetime lineup, and she has had a key role in the cable-news outlet’s coverage of the 2020 election. She has been anchoring hours of programming along with Brian Williams, Nicolle Wallace and Joy Reid.

Maddow in July delivered her most-watched program since launching “The Rachel Maddow Show” at MSNBC in 2008. The show’s July 16th broadcast drew an average of 5.7 million viewers.

The program also notched its best delivery among total viewers in its time period in the recently-completed third quarter, according to Nielsen. Maddow’s show attracted an average of 3.5 million viewers, a 31% increase over the prior- year period ,and stood as the second most-watched cable-news program during the hour. Only Fox News Channel’s “Hannity” trumped Maddow’s program among 9 p.m. cable-news offerings. Maddow’s show also increased viewers in the demographic most coveted by advertisers, people between 25 and 54, by 28%

Wallace, Reid and Williams are expected to continue without Maddow for the network’s election coverage, however long it may last. “Wishing everyone patience and calm; may these remarkable times bring out the best in us,” said Maddow. “See you soon!”

More to come…

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