Joe Concha over at Mediaite has a source inside MSNBC telling him that the network will soon be ridding itself of smooth jazz DJ Ronan Farrow’s afternoon show. This source could very well be the guy who works dayside checkout at the NBC commissary, given it’s that obvious to just about everyone that Farrow’s living on borrowed time. He had never hosted a show before being given an hour a day on MS and his numbers have always been anemic, averaging maybe 50,000 viewers a day in the 25-54 demo, so you’re left wondering if he has a thumb drive full of pictures of MSNBC boss Phil Griffin in bed with a goat or something. Either way, it looks like the network may finally be moving to correct the disastrous result of Griffin’s most recent brush with being a starry-eyed celebrity fanboy.
What’s interesting about this story is NBC’s response to it. When Mediaite reached out for comment on the possibility that Farrow’s show might soon be cancelled, the reaction was, “No, we’re fully committed to Ronan.” If this sounds vaguely familiar it’s because it is: it’s the stock response NBC comes back with whenever rumors begin circulating that somebody’s on his or her way out. You’ll remember that NBC News president and apparent trickster god Deborah Turness personally refuted talk of David Gregory’s impending doom back in April of this year, calling it “ludicrous.” Four months later, she wouldn’t even return Gregory’s calls and basically closed the doors and pulled the shades on the windows at 30 Rock in the hope Gregory would just get the message and give up coming in to work anymore.
It’s understandable: NBC can’t come right out and say that Ronan Farrow will soon go back to being nothing more than a millionaire Rhodes scholar with hugely famous parents and a resume taller and more visually stunning than he is. But considering that we’re talking about a news department here — an entity which purports to be dedicated to the truth — it’s kind of sad that we have to do this stupid little bullshit dance every time one of these rumors starts wending its way through the media bloodstream. Ronan Farrow Daily is going to be taken off the air. You know it and MSNBC knows it, and yet the network simply can’t admit it because to do so would somehow be seen as even more of a stab in the back to Farrow than it will be when, surprise, it drops him immediately after professing its undying love and devotion.
Just once it would be nice to hear people at the network answer the question of whether somebody’s getting the sack honestly but professionally. And the only answer that would be both honest and professional is, “Come on, what the fuck do you expect us to say about this?”