updated 12/20/2004 10:56:48 AM ET 2004-12-20T15:56:48

Below is an e-mail sent by MSNBC President Rick Kaplan to the MSNBC staff:

As we move into 2005, we'll be saying goodbye to a colleague and friend.  After careful thought, Deborah Norville has informed me that she can no longer continue her super-human balancing act of hosting two daily television programs.  She's asked me to share the following note with you:

This decision comes down to one issue: time. With my pre-existing commitments to King World's Inside Edition and to my husband and three children, there simply are not enough hours in my day to do justice to my colleagues at MSNBC and the program we aspire to do.

When MSNBC came to me one year ago, it was an unexpected opportunity to do the longer, more in-depth interviews that television needs more of and a chance to reconnect with former colleagues from my old broadcast home.   Those personal connections are firmly cemented, but time constraints prevented me from being able to book guests and research segments to my own high standards. And, unless someone invents a time-stretching machine, that likely won't change.

This past year, I have worked with an incredibly energetic and talented group of professionals and the email feedback we've received shows we have connected with our viewers. Happily, each of my staff will continue their fine work with MSNBC. I have been assured my departure will result in no loss of employment for anyone on "Deborah Norville Tonight."

I am grateful to Bob Wright, Jeff Zucker, Neal Shapiro, Rick Kaplan and the rest of the NBC Universal family for what has been a fantastic opportunity. Our friendship will continue on, even though our daily television collaboration will not.   You may even see me pop up from time to time on this great cable news channel.

Deborah

I want to thank Deborah on behalf of everyone at MSNBC for her service over the past year.  I know this was a difficult decision for her to make.  She and the entire team at "Deborah Norville Tonight" have worked hard all year to produce the program.  Deborah has graciously agreed to continue hosting the program until mid-January.  We're looking forward to developing new, compelling programming for the 9pm time period. 

Rick Kaplan

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