This is a letter I am sending to MSNBC. I suggest you draft your own version.
I congratulate you on your new primetime line up. Chris Hayes brings a youthful energy and enthusiasm that is contagious. Combined with his intellectual quickness and curiosity, he is a great lead in for Rachel's excellent show. So do us all a favor and give him a strong lead in, too.
As you know, Chris Matthews' ratings are weak. He is regularly beat by BOTH CNN and HLN. While he knows how politics are played in the Beltway, he is hopelessly out of touch with the target demographic.
Let me illustrate. My nephew just turned 30. He was born in 1983. The only Presidents he remembers are GHW Bush (vaguely), Clinton, Bush 43, and Obama. The Clinton impeachment was when he was in high school. So was 9-11. Chris Matthews talks about Tip O'Neal; my nephew was 4 when he retired. He talks about Jack Kemp; my nephew was 6 when he left Congress, 13 when he ran for Vice President.
Matthews uses few contemporary references. Even his sports references (and they are all too frequent) are out of date. Keep him in his earlier time slot. Keep him on election night and debate night commentary. But please give Chris Hayes the support of a stronger more contemporary lead in. You have plenty of strong contenders on retainer: Alex Wagner, Joy Ann Reid, Ezra Klein, and Krystal Ball (not my favorite, but I am not in the key demographic.) If this is a contractual thing with Matthews, negotiate with him. Your network has a chance to hit the jackpot and Matthews is holding you back. You won't lose the viewers you have, but you will lose prospective viewers.