TV

MSNBC fires Greta Van Susteren, replaces her with liberal host

Greta Van Susteren is out at MSNBC less than six months after she started at the cable channel.

Van Susteren broke the news of her own ouster Thursday, tweeting "I'm out at MSNBC" shortly before the network issued its own announcement. Van Susteren's husband, John Coale, told CNNMoney, "They let her go," and added that she and MSNBC were "working out contract issues now."

CNNMoney also reported that Van Susteren was given no prior notice of the decision and was told her on-air presence was not "confrontational enough."

MSNBC said that Van Susteren's nightly 6 p.m. show would be replaced with one hosted by Ari Melber, MSNBC's chief legal correspondent who also hosts his own weekend show, "The Point."

The reliably liberal Melber worked on John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign and also served as a legislative aide to Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., before attending law school and moving into media work.

Van Susteren's Washington-based show, "For the Record," debuted on Jan. 9. Her 14-year run at Fox News ended this past summer. Before that, she had her own show at CNN.

The program was the least-watched show on MSNBC between 5 p.m. and midnight both Monday and Tuesday of this week, according to the Nielsen company.

On Monday, for example, MSNBC's "Meet the Press Daily" at 5 p.m. had 970,000 viewers, and Van Susteren's show dipped to 797,000. When Chris Matthews' "Hardball" started at 7 p.m., the network's audience jumped to 1.45 million, Nielsen said.

The show is ending despite the public backing of Van Susteren's friend and MSNBC's most popular host, Rachel Maddow.

In a note to staff, MSNBC President Phil Griffin called Van Susteren "a well-regarded television veteran and one of only a few broadcasters who can say they've hosted shows at all three major cable news networks. We are grateful to her and wish her the best."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.