*Joy Reid is the first Black woman to anchor a cable primetime news show, and in an interview with Black Enterprise, she opens up about her career journey and the launch of her new show, “The ReidOut,” which premiered Monday night on MSNBC.
“One of the things that I want to definitely impact is the way that the guest structure looks,” she says. “I need to keep finding and keep looking for diverse voices, authentic activists, new journalists,” she says. “We’re out there looking for all of the smartest and new diverse voices in this country. And we’re going to find them and we’re going to amplify them and make sure that they do have a place in primetime.”
Reid was tapped by the network to take over Chris Matthews’ time slot, following his retirement earlier this year.
Matthews exited the “Hardball” news and opinion program that he hosted for 20 years amid allegations of sexual misconduct.
“I’m honored and thankful for this opportunity,” Reid said in a press release earlier this month. “I’ll always be proud of the work we did on AM Joy by pushing the envelope and tackling pragmatic conversations. I’m eager to carry that same energy into the 7 p.m. hour where we can continue to build on bringing in diverse, smart, and accomplished voices to the table on topics that are important to our viewers.”
MSNBC President Phil Griffin added, “I’m thrilled to have Joy on five nights a week. She’s thoughtful and brings so much depth to her reporting. She’s made for this moment.”
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With “ReidOut,” the veteran journalist told BE: “We’re going to be the first Washington-based show on the schedule, five nights a week. And so I feel like we’re going to have a unique opportunity to really hold D.C. and the leaders in this country accountable for the demands that we’re really seeing in the streets right now. That is translating very quickly into demands for actual change, for redistribution of power in this country, and we’re going to have an opportunity to have those conversations.”
Reid said she intends to continue to be an advocate for hiring people of color within the network.
She is also unapologetic when it comes to rocking her natural crown on TV. Fans have come to appreciate her wearing a variety of Afro-centric hairstyles during broadcasts.
“Being in media and hair is a whole big thing,” she said. “When I first started [as] just a contributor on MSNBC, I wasn’t accustomed to having heat put through my hair every day,” she says. “My hair was completely falling out. It was damaged, people were putting so much heat sometimes I would see steam coming up, and it was just, you know, non-familiarity with my kind of hair.”
When she started wearing more weaves and wigs as protective styles, Reid said before long, she “started missing my hair.”
“This is an audience that is coming to hear authenticity, and if they can also see authenticity and see themselves reflected back into TV, I think that empowers Black women,” she said.
Hear Joy Reid’s full comments about her show, representing her authentic self and Kanye’s presidential bid via the YouTube clip above.