MSNBC Continues Expansion of Live Series With Daylong Democracy Event | Exclusive

“We’re having everybody under one roof,” Luke Russert tells TheWrap

MSNBC Live
MSNBC

MSNBC is continuing to expand its live programming offerings with the introduction of a daylong event “MSNBC Live: Democracy 2024,” featuring over a dozen network hosts, TheWrap can exclusively reveal. 

The event will be held at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on Sept. 7, providing attendees with an interactive experience and connection with the network’s top talent including Rachel Maddow, Chris Hayes, and many more. Hosts will lead in-depth discussions on the state of democracy ahead of the 2024 presidential election in November. 

With this two-session, one-day event, MSNBC is signaling a continued commitment to live events, meeting the audience’s desire for in-person offerings, after bringing Luke Russert on as the host and creative director of the series in December. 

“MSNBC has the most dedicated and loyal fanbase. It’s an honor to bring the best of the MSNBC portfolio to the most important part of our family – the viewers – in-person,” Russert said in a statement. “We hope to continue to foster unique connections and inspire our audience.”

The event’s first session will feature MSNBC talent like Jen Psaki, Chris Hayes, Joy Reid, Alex Wagner, Andrea Mitchell, Katy Tur, and more, leading conversations on the state of the 2024 election. Attendees will also have an opportunity to watch Steve Kornacki break down the latest polls. The second session will feature Rachel Maddow, Lawrence O’Donnell, Ari Melber, Stephanie Ruhle, Michael Steele, Alicia Menendez, and Simone SandersTownsend. 

Steve Kornacki and Luke Russert
Steve Kornacki and Luke Russert (MSNBC)

Alongside the sessions, the event will include a seated dinner and reception where attendees can hear directly from MSNBC hosts. There will also be an exclusive premiere of an upcoming MSNBC film ahead of a theatrical debut to be revealed at a later date. 

As print and digital media publications like The New York Times, Axios, Politico, and networks like Fox News, with “The Patriot Awards,” have bolstered their live event offerings over the last few years, MSNBC is diving in head first, in an attempt to connect with already loyal viewers. 

“If you look at where the industry is going, there is definitely an appetite for live events,” Russert told TheWrap in an interview. 

“We’re very fortunate at MSNBC to have a very engaged and loyal audience. You have a personal connection with a lot of the people who are on air. There’s certainly a marketplace for that,” he added. “In this case, we’re having everybody under one roof.”

After seeing success from Chris Hayes’ live podcast tapings, as well as Rachel Maddow and Joy Reid in conversation at the Apollo Theater, MSNBC is using the election season as a test case to gauge interest in the events space with high-profile talent. 

Chris Hayes and Rachel Maddow
Chris Hayes and Rachel Maddow (MSNBC)

Russert pointed out that while MSNBC is still in the beginning stages of building out its events offerings, it is already at an advantage compared to print media because of the “high production value,” already present within the network. 

“We have the full faith and power of a television network behind us, which is a wonderful asset to have,” Russert said. 

Ultimately, the furthered investment in the live events space “speaks to how are we positioning ourselves for the future,” Russert added. “Something that’s very important in the future is this concept of being where your audience is, engaging with your audience.”

MSNBC President Rashida Jones announced the event Monday, in an internal memo to staff obtained by TheWrap, noting that she is planning to be present at the event, “connecting with our viewers in-person.” 

“We continue to meet our audiences where they are in innovative ways and ’MSNBC Live’ is a natural extension of that effort,” Jones wrote. “It’s the result of the brand loyalty built by trusted journalism and fostered by the most engaged weekday audience in all of television.”

“In the midst of a critical and unprecedented election year, there’s never been a better time to further deepen that connection with the MSNBC audience,” Jones added. 

At this time, the event is exclusively in-person and will not be livestreamed. Ticket prices begin at $119. 

The event announcement comes on the heels of MSNBC’s launch, earlier this month, of an exclusive podcast subscription through Apple as a continued expansion of the network’s audio products.  “MSNBC Premium” provides ad-free listening to podcasts and early access to the network’s content.

Read the full memo from Jones below: 

Team, 

Today we announced the next installment of our growing events series, “MSNBC Live: Democracy 2024,” and I could not be more excited about this first-of-its-kind opportunity for MSNBC viewers. 

On Saturday, Sept. 7, more than a dozen MSNBC hosts and analysts will come together at BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) for an interactive, in-person experience, leading thought-provoking and in-depth conversations. The one-day event will give attendees a front-row seat to the thoughtful analysis and discussion that has defined MSNBC for more than 28 years. 

This announcement follows the creation of the “MSNBC Live” event series in December and the successful and newsmaking inaugural event, “The March Forth,” earlier this year, with more to come in the coming months. 

We continue to meet our audiences where they are in innovative ways and “MSNBC Live” is a natural extension of that effort. It’s the result of the brand loyalty built by trusted journalism and fostered by the most engaged weekday audience in all of television. 

In the midst of a critical and unprecedented election year, there’s never been a better time to further deepen that connection with the MSNBC audience to help them understand more of what is happening here in the U.S. and across the globe. We continue to build that audience across all platforms with the recent launch of “MSNBC Premium” on Apple Podcasts, the newly redesigned MSNBC mobile app, award-winning podcasts, including “Rachel Maddow Presents: Ultra Season 2” and more.

As we near 100 days from the 2024 presidential election, we are in a strong position to showcase the editorial strength of MSNBC. Our work as journalists is more important than ever and “Democracy 2024” comes at a critical time in our country.

I’m excited to continue to build on MSNBC’s momentum and I look forward to connecting with our viewers in-person on Sept. 7.

Rashida Jones

President, MSNBC

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