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Dan Abrams
Born May 20, 1966 (1966-05-20) (age 43)
Manhattan, New York
Education Duke University
Columbia Law School
Occupation CEO
TV host

Dan Abrams (born May 20, 1966) is an American television host, legal commentator, and web entrepreneur. He is the Chief Legal Analyst for NBC News, and formerly served as General Manager of MSNBC and as an anchor for that network. He is currently the publisher of Mediaite, a media news website, and the CEO of Abrams Research, a media-focused expert network.


Education and Personal Life

Abrams was born in Manhattan to Floyd Abrams, an ACLU First Amendment attorney, and Efrat Abrams. He is Jewish[1].

Abrams graduated from Riverdale Country School in 1984. He received his B.A. cum laude in political science from Duke University in 1988. While at Duke, he anchored newscasts on the student run channel Cable 13, and was a member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity. He received his Juris Doctor (J.D.) from Columbia University Law School in 1992.



Before MSNBC

Before joining NBC News, Abrams worked as a reporter for Court TV where he was widely lauded for his coverage of the OJ Simpson case.[citation needed] He also covered the International War Crimes Tribunal from The Netherlands, and the assisted-suicide trials of Dr. Jack Kevorkian from Michigan. Abrams' first job, however, was working as an intern for the Manhattan Borough president.[2]


Dan Abrams was an NBC reporter in 2000 when he covered Bush v. Gore. Abrams and partner Pete Williams were on the Supreme Court steps when the pamphlet was handed out, and they became the first network correspondents to correctly interpret the decision as the country anxiously awaited the outcome. No other networks had live coverage of the decision so fast. Shortly thereafter Abrams began hosting his own show at MSNBC, and The Abrams Report began in 2001.[3][4] Abrams hosted The Abrams Report until he accepted the lead managerial position at MSNBC.[5] Abrams held the position of General Manager of MSNBC from June 12, 2006 until October 2007.[6] With ratings up 62% during his tenure, Abrams left to concentrate on his 9pm show Live with Dan Abrams, which replaced Scarborough Country due to Joe Scarborough's move to mornings. This show would eventually be revamped and renamed Verdict with Dan Abrams [7], which aired until August 21, 2008. However, MSNBC announced on August 19, 2008 that Air America Radio host Rachel Maddow would take over that 9 PM time slot beginning September 8, 2008.[8] At that time, Abrams took on additional duties with NBC News including substituting as an anchor on the Today show.


In July 2009, Abrams launched Mediaite, a media news site described in the blogosphere as "HuffPo meets Gawker." [9] The site combines editorial content with analytic rankings of media personalities.

Gossip Cop

Later that month, Abrams, with longtime friend, Michael Lewittes launched Gossip Cop, a media watchdog site that patrols the celebrity gossip universe. The site has been described as "TMZ meets Smoking Gun." The site rates gossip rumors on a 0-10 scale.

Abrams Research

In November 2008, Abrams announced the creation of Abrams Research, a network of global media professionals available for consulting projects. In the words of the Wall Street Journal, it aims to "help business executives navigate public-relations challenges -- from major acquisitions to bothersome bloggers to outright scandals."[10] Working with former Huffington Post media editor Rachel Sklar, Abrams assembled a database of thousands of media professionals, creating a broad business model divergent from that of traditional PR firms. The firm's launch was covered, in addition to the Journal, by the New York Times and the New York Observer.

Some media outlets, including[11], have articulated concerns that the firm's business model may be in conflict with journalistic codes of conduct. Mr. Abrams, however, has responded openly to these critics,[12] even appearing on NPR's On the Media to discuss Abrams Research's launch with host Bob Garfield.[13] According to industry trade publications such as PRWeek, the controversy does not appear to be affecting the business' growth.[14]

Other accomplishments

Abrams has also published articles in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today magazine, The American Lawyer, and the Yale Law & Policy Review. He has also written for online media properties such as the Huffington Post and the Daily Beast. He is a regular columnist for Men's Health.


  1. ^
  2. ^ "We ask, Dan answers". Tiny Hiney. 2003-05-27. 
  3. ^ Cox, Ted (2000-12-14). "CNN, cable are the big winners in election coverage". Chicago Daily Herald: p. 4. 
  4. ^ Poniewozik, James (2000-12-25). "Down By Law". Time.,9171,998834,00.html. 
  5. ^ Abrams, Dan (2006-06-20). "Farewell, but not goodbye". 
  6. ^ Johnson, Peter (2006-06-13). "Dan Abrams goes from legal anchor to head of MSNBC". USA Today. Archived from the original on 2006-06-19. 
  7. ^ Kurtz, Howard (2007-09-24). "MSNBC's Abrams Quits His Day Job". Washington Post. 
  8. ^ Carter, Bill (2008-08-19). "Rachel Maddow to Replace Dan Abrams on MSNBC". The New York Times. 
  9. ^ "Mediaite Launches: When HuffPo Meets GawkerAbrams' controversial new firm fills niche". TalkLeft. 
  10. ^ "Ex-MSNBC Chief Taps Journalists as Consultants". Wall Street Journal. 2008-11-19. 
  11. ^ "Dan Abrams' Ring Of Media Informants". 
  12. ^ "Dan Abrams Responds: 'We could not be taking ethics any more seriously.'". 
  13. ^ "Getting Paid for It". On the Media, NPR. 
  14. ^ "Abrams' controversial new firm fills niche". 

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