MSNBC to launch limited-run Friday series for Richard Engel

Eamon Queeney—North State Journal
People move through East 4th Street in downtown Cleveland as MSNBC broadcasts during the Republican National Convention

LOS ANGELES — MSNBC has begun running promos for a new program called “On Assignment” featuring Richard Engel, the chief foreign correspondent for NBC News.The show is expected to run at 9 p.m. on Fridays — a slot normally inhabited by Rachel Maddow — over the course of a few weeks. An MSNBC spokesperson could not be reached for immediate comment Sunday.”Richard Engel doesn’t just get the story, he goes to the center of it,” says an announcer during one of the MSNBC promos. Most of the NBCUniversal-owned cable network’s lineup features studio shows rather than correspondents who take to the field. Engel, however, spends a good chunk of his time traveling to different remote locales. He was elevated to his current role in April 2008.Engel has lived in the Middle East since graduating from Stanford University in 1996 with a bachelor’s degree in international relations. He has become known for his reports from countries in the midst of turmoil, including Iraq, Libya and Egypt. He speaks fluent Arabic.”On Assignment” has fast become a popular title for TV news programs. CBS News intends on July 31 to start a limited series called “On Assignment” that features reports from the team associated with its CBSN video-streaming hub. NBC News in May of last year tested a spinoff of its venerable “Dateline” newsmagazine called “On Assignment” that put a focus on tales of adventure and innovation. In one of the reports featured on that program, Engel rescued a chimpanzee — all part of a search deep in the Congo for giant chimpanzees threatened by poachers.