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Mehdi Hasan joins MSNBC weekend lineup with new opinion program

Mehdi Hasan is joining MSNBC's weekend lineup.
(NBC News)

MSNBC is giving former Al Jazeera journalist and author Mehdi Hasan a spot in its prime-time lineup as the cable news network expands its opinion programming.

Hasan, 41, is currently a political analyst on MSNBC and hosts a daily interview program on the NBCUniversal streaming service Peacock. MSNBC announced Thursday that he will take over the 8 p.m. Eastern hour on Sunday starting this weekend. His first guest is Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.).

Hasan occasionally fills in as host on Chris Hayes’ nightly MSNBC program. Hasan’s Sunday show is a move by MSNBC to add more left-leaning opinion hosts to the its lineup, as they tend to attract more viewers than general news coverage.

During weekdays, MSNBC has opinion hosts starting at 4 p.m. Eastern with Nicolle Wallace and right through its late-night broadcast “The 11th Hour With Brian Williams,” where the former NBC evening news anchor has injected more attitude into his interviews with Beltway journalists who regularly appear on the program.

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A lawsuit, new right-wing competitors and an angry ex-president present challenges for Rupert Murdoch’s cable news leader.

A British-born Muslim American, Hasan is a self-described liberal like most of the other MSNBC hosts. He has differed with the left on abortion, which he has opposed in some of his past writings. He currently does not favor overturning Roe vs. Wade or making abortion illegal in the U.S.

After working in television news and the Huffington Post in Britain, Hasan moved to the U.S. in 2015 to work full time on the Al Jazeera program “UpFront” and hosted a podcast for the online publication the Intercept. He joined Peacock in October and will continue to host his streaming program while working at MSNBC.

Hasan is also the author of two books, a biography of former U.K. Labor Party leader Ed Miliband and an e-book on the financial crisis and austerity economics.


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