New England Cable News is making a change this week as one of its primetime shows comes to an end.
“The Take with Sue O’Connell,” a news and interview program that airs weeknights at 7 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. on NECN, has been canceled.
Ben Dobson, the vice president of news for NBC10 Boston, Telemundo Boston, and NECN, announced the move in a memo sent to station employees Tuesday afternoon.
“In the coming months, we plan to launch a political show that will focus on the NH primary with the 2020 campaign kicking off,” Dobson wrote. “One consequence of doing this is The Take will no longer be produced and will air its last episode on Friday 6/28. I also expect both Sue O’Connell and [“The Take” producer] TJ Killilea will contribute meaningfully to this new show.”
O’Connell made the news public in a Facebook post Wednesday morning.
“Thank you,” O’Connell wrote on Facebook. “For the past three years you’ve given me the privilege of hosting a nightly talk show on necn. Friday will be the last broadcast of ‘The Take with Sue O’Connell.'”
While O’Connell has only hosted “The Take” since 2016, Northeastern University associate professor and media commentator Dan Kennedy noted on his blog that versions of the show have existed under other names with different hosts on NECN since the 90s. Hosts of prior iterations included R.D. Sahl (“Newsnight”), the late Chet Curtis (“The Report with Chet Curtis”), and WGBH radio and TV personality Jim Braude (“Broadside with Jim Braude”).
When reached by phone, O’Connell confirmed what she wrote on Facebook.
“I’m still employed at NECN/NBC10 Boston,” O’Connell said. “I’ll be working on a new project, a new program, a political show.”
An NECN spokeswoman declined to comment.
Along with her hosting duties on “The Take,” O’Connell is the co-publisher of two weekly newspapers: Bay Windows, a weekly newspaper serving New England’s LGBTQ community, and The South End News, which covers the city’s South End neighborhood. O’Connell also contributes regularly to a pair of WGBH radio programs: “Boston Public Radio,” which is hosted by Braude and Margery Eagan and airs weekdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and “Under the Radar with Callie Crossley,” which airs Sundays from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
“There are plenty of people who can tell you what’s happening in Boston, but if you want to know what to think about what’s happening, watch O’Connell,” the magazine wrote. “With stellar guests, tough but noncombative questions, and a real interest in talking about ideas, the host of NECN’s The Take avoids the pitfalls of partisan talking heads, and always leaves us asking: Why can’t more newscasters be like O’Connell?”
O’Connell seemed to have a sense of humor about the timing.
“Remember when Letterman won a daytime Emmy in 1981 for his morning show, and it got cancelled?” O’Connell tweeted in response to Boston magazine contributor David Bernstein. “Hopefully thing[s] work out the same way for me!”