MSNBC drops Joan Walsh as contributor, Joy Reid denounces move

MSNBC is parting ways with longtime liberal contributor Joan Walsh, the network announced in a statement Saturday.

“Every year we review our paid contributors list across the ideological spectrum. Unfortunately we couldn’t renew Joan, but she and her distinct perspective will still be invited on our shows,” an MSNBC spokesperson told TheWrap via email.  “Joan Walsh has been a key voice on MSNBC for years and she’s absolutely still welcome.”

When word leaked of Walsh’s exit Friday night, her Twitter followers reacted with shock and support. She confirmed her departure, tweeting, “Wow. I’m overwhelmed. I didn’t expect this news to break tonight. I’ll have something to say in the morning.”

And Saturday morning she held to her promise. “So it’s true: after 12 years on MSNBC, six on contract, I learned Friday night they are not renewing. I’ve given my heart and soul to the network, from the George W. Bush years through today. I’m proud of the work I did,” she wrote.

“Yes, it’s Christmas weekend. I was baking pies with my daughter, who is home for the holidays, when I got the news. It didn’t feel too good. But all of your support helps, a lot. I’m grateful to the people who have fought for me.”

Walsh has also responded to tweets from supporters denouncing the move by MSNBC. While the network framed the decision as a painful but necessary business matter, there was visible discomfort among some of the channel’s biggest stars.

Anchor Joy Reid led the charge — and got an accompanying retweet by primetime host Chris Hayes.

“It’s incredibly short sighted to sideline voices like Joan’s, especially now,” Reid wrote. “Especially given the momentousness of next year’s anniversaries: the women’s march, the King and RFK assassinations … we need to be at full strength as media entities, and Joan belongs in the mix”

Reid also said she has already taken up the issue with her bosses.

A network spokesperson declined to comment on how the conversation went.

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