Reports: Rachel Maddow extends MSNBC contract past 2012

Joe Pompeo

MSNBC has locked prime-time anchor Rachel Maddow into a deal that will keep her at the network beyond the 2012 presidential election, according to reports.

The news first broke via the Hollywood Reporter's Marisa Guthrie, who writes: "By extending her contract, MSNBC seals [Maddow's]  status as the face of the network and also puts any speculation about Maddow's future to rest."

TV Newser's Alex Weprin reports that Maddow's new contract "extends at least into 2014."

Since the departure of Keith Olbermann in January, Maddow has become the cable network's biggest star. MSNBC meanwhile has been locking down existing and additional talent for its roster. Olbermann had previously indicated he would be happy to lure Maddow to his new home at Current TV, which enjoys but a sliver of MSNBC's ratings share, after the expiration of her contract. Maddow hosts the 9 p.m. hour on MSNBC.

Just yesterday, MSNBC announced a new weekend show for Chris Hayes, a prominent liberal journalist who also writes for The Nation magazine. The network is also in talks with the Rev. Al Sharpton for a 6 p.m. weeknight program.

Spokespeople for MSNBC did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But an official announcement on Maddow's contract extension was expected to be made Tuesday afternoon.