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Abrams back on air full-time on MSNBC

September 25, 2007|Matea Gold | Times Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- After 15 months at the helm of MSNBC, legal analyst Dan Abrams is stepping down as general manager and returning to hosting full-time, the cable news network announced Monday.

In a statement, NBC News President Steve Capus praised Abrams and said his return on-air will help strengthen the network's lineup. Phil Griffin, a NBC News senior vice president who has had oversight of the cable network, will take over its daily operations in mid-October, when MSNBC moves from its New Jersey home to NBC's Rockefeller Center headquarters.

Abrams, whose appointment last summer was widely viewed as a surprise move, said he was relinquishing the general manager post voluntarily.

For the last three months, he has been filling in during the 6 p.m. hour for host Joe Scarborough, who shifted to the early morning in May. When Abrams' ad hoc show did well in the ratings, Griffin asked him to consider taking over the time slot full-time.

"I was definitely ambivalent," said Abrams, who said he had enjoyed his managerial role. "But with a hole in our most important hour, I felt the way I could help the network the most is to get back in the trenches."

His new show, "Live With Dan Abrams," now airs after "Countdown With Keith Olbermann," the network's top-rated program. Like "Countdown," Abrams said he would offer irreverent features and his take on the top stories of the day, though, he added, "I'm certainly not going to be a Keith clone."

On Monday, MSNBC also officially named Scarborough, a former Florida congressman, the host of the 3 to 6 a.m. time slot. With his show "Morning Joe," Scarborough replaces Don Imus, whose program was dropped in April after he made a racially inflammatory remark about the Rutgers University women's basketball team.

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matea.gold@latimes.com

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