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MSNBC decision to not renew Joan Walsh's contract prompts backlash from hosts

MSNBC decision to not renew Joan Walsh's contract prompts backlash from hosts
© Joan Walsh/Twitter

MSNBC will not renew a contributor contract with Joan Walsh, a national affairs correspondent for The Nation and former editor-at-large for Salon.

The decision by the network prompted regret from Walsh and open criticism from MSNBC hosts Joy Reid and Chris Hayes.

“Joan Walsh has been a key voice on MSNBC for years and she’s absolutely still welcome. 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 the Hill in a statement on Saturday.

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Walsh took to social media to say she gave "her heart and soul to the network" and said she learned the news while baking Christmas pies with her daughter.

"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," Walsh said in the first of two tweets to her nearly 300,000 followers.

"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," she continued in another tweet. "I'm grateful to the people who have fought for me."

The news of Walsh's contract not being renewed quickly caught fire and began trending on Twitter Saturday morning.

Progressive media members protested the decision, while some on-air personalities openly defied the network decision, including hosts Joy Reid and Chris Hayes.

The move comes as MSNBC enjoyed its most-watched year in its 21-year history.