Ari Melber

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Ari Melber
Born (1980-03-31) March 31, 1980 (age 38)
ResidenceCarroll Gardens, Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
NationalityUnited States of America
EducationUniversity of Michigan, B.A., (2002)
Cornell University, J.D. (2009)
Notable credit(s)
The Cycle (co-host)
TelevisionMSNBC Live (chief legal correspondent)
NBC News
All In with Chris Hayes
The Rachel Maddow Show
The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell
The Beat with Ari Melber
Spouse(s)Drew Grant (2014–2017)

Ari Melber (born March 31, 1980) is an American journalist for NBC News[1] and host of MSNBC's The Beat with Ari Melber. The show premiered at 6pm ET on July 24, 2017, and has grown the audience to over 1.4 million average viewers, which is "MSNBC's best rating ever for the time slot."[2][3][4] The Beat averaged 1.5 million nightly viewers during 2018, reflecting "the largest audience for MSNBC at 6pm in the network's history," and "growth of 35% in total viewership," while CNN and Fox News dropped 12% and 15%, according to Nielsen data cited by a news website.[5]


Raised in Seattle, Melber graduated from the University of Michigan with an A.B. degree in political science.[6] After school he moved to Washington D.C. where he worked for Senator Maria Cantwell and then for Senator John Kerry's presidential campaign[6] where he was responsible for Jewish outreach.[7]

Melber then graduated from Cornell Law School with a J.D. degree, where he was an editor of the Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy[8] and interned at New York County Defender Services, a Manhattan Public Defender's office. Craig Melvin said on his show on March 13, 2019 that Melber graduated at the "top of his class" from law school. He also worked for the Center for Constitutional Rights. After graduation, Melber worked for First Amendment lawyer Floyd Abrams at Cahill Gordon & Reindel[6] from 2009 to 2013.[8] He also began writing political columns for various news outlets like The Nation, The Atlantic, Reuters, and Politico.[6] MSNBC took note and asked him to serve as a guest host,[6]. In April 2015, Melber was named their Chief Legal Correspondent.


Melber is the network's Chief Legal Correspondent,[9] covering the DOJ, FBI and the Supreme Court, and an NBC News[10] Legal Analyst.

Melber won an Emmy Award for his Supreme Court coverage.[11]

Melber was one of the first journalists to report that the firing of FBI Director James Comey could trigger an investigation into obstruction of justice. He reported on May 9, 2017, the day Comey was fired, that a former FBI official told him the firing raised the question of potential obstruction by President Trump.[12] A few months into the Mueller probe, on August 29, 2017,[13] Melber broke the story that a state investigator was exploring jurisdiction to charge potential defendants in the Mueller probe with state crimes, which could provide an end run around any presidential pardons. Politico followed up on the report the next day[14], and New York prosecutors ultimately did file separate charges against Paul Manafort in March 2019, at the conclusion of his trial in the Mueller probe.

Melber broke the story[15] of police repeatedly tasing a Virginia man[16] until he died in police custody, an investigative report that led to an FBI investigation[17] of the officers' conduct.

Melber previously served as the host of The Point, a Sunday evening program on MSNBC focused on legal and political topics, as cohost of MSNBC's talk show The Cycle, and as a substitute host for other MSNBC shows, such as The Rachel Maddow Show, All In with Chris Hayes, and The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell.[6]

Melber was also a correspondent for The Nation, where his writing focused on law, politics, organizing, civil rights, and technology issues. His writings have also appeared in The Atlantic, Reuters and Politico. Melber wrote a report about Organizing for America and has contributed to several books.

On July 24, 2017, Melber began hosting The Beat with Ari Melber on MSNBC, in the 6 PM ET timeslot.[8] On his show, Melber regularly uses hip hop lyrics to explain political or legal scenarios.[18]

Personal life[edit]

Melber lives in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. He is divorced from Drew Grant,[19] a pop culture reporter at the New York Observer.[20][21] He is a member of the New York State Bar Association.


  1. ^ Lathrop, Daniel; Ruma, Laurel (2010). Open Government: Collaboration, Transparency, and Participation in Practice (PDF). O'Reilly Media. p. 348. ISBN 9780596804350. Retrieved 24 April 2014. The Nation magazine's Ari Melber understood the larger import of the students' action. "(T)his incident also shows the prospects for what we might call a substantive Macaca Moment—using YouTube and citizen media to scrutinize our leaders on the issues, not gaffes," he wrote. ...
  2. ^ Berg, Madeline. "Mixing Rap And Politics, MSNBC's Ari Melber Produces A Hit". Forbes. Retrieved 2018-01-18.
  3. ^ Steinberg, Brian. "MSNBC to Launch 'The Beat With Ari Melber' on Monday".
  4. ^ Jewish Daily Forward: "5 Things About Ari Melber, Greta Van Susteren’s Replacement" By Becky Scott June 30, 2017
  5. ^ "Ari Melber Delivers Record-Breaking Ratings To MSNBC In 2018, Sees 35% Growth In Viewership". Contemptor. 2019-01-08. Retrieved 2019-01-18.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Columbia Journalism Review: "Is Ari Melber the future of cable-news anchors?" by Charles Ommanney December 2014
  7. ^ Ballon, Marc (February 26, 2004). "Local Kerry Support Shows Softness". Jewish Journal. The senator plans to fight for every Jewish vote, said Ari Melber, a Southern California deputy political director on the Kerry campaign who's responsible for Jewish outreach. Melber and other staff members have assembled a group of prominent Jewish Democratic supporters to spread the word about Kerry in the community.
  8. ^ a b c Jewish Business News: "Ari Melber Named MSNBC Chief Legal Correspondent" April 19, 2015
  9. ^ Huffington Post:
  10. ^ Steinberg, Brian (21 July 2017). "MSNBC to Launch 'The Beat With Ari Melber' on Monday".
  11. ^ Steinberg, Brian (2017-07-21). "MSNBC to Launch 'The Beat With Ari Melber' on Monday". Variety. Retrieved 2017-10-16.
  12. ^ "Ari Melber Says "Former FBI Official" Described Comey's Firing As "Insane," Questioned If It Is "Obstruction"". Media Matters for America. 2017-05-09. Retrieved 2018-01-18.
  13. ^ "Presidential pardons might not end Russia prosecutions". NBC News. Retrieved 2019-03-18.
  14. ^ Dawsey, Josh. "Mueller teams up with New York attorney general in Manafort probe". POLITICO. Retrieved 2019-03-18.
  15. ^ "Another senseless death in police custody". Washington Post. Retrieved 2019-01-18.
  16. ^ "Driven to hospital, Virginia man tased, shackled and dies in police custody". MSNBC. 2015-11-11. Retrieved 2019-01-18.
  17. ^ "Feds close inquiry into death of Linwood Lambert after Va. police tasing". NBC News. Retrieved 2019-01-18.
  18. ^ "MSNBC Correspondent Ari Melber Uses Rap Lyrics to Get His Point Across - XXL". XXL Mag.
  19. ^ Levine, Daniel (2017-06-29). "Ari Melber: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know". Retrieved 2017-10-16.
  20. ^ New York Times: "Step Away From the Phone!" by Caroline Tell September 20, 2013
  21. ^ New York Observer: "Drew Grant - Staff Writer" retrieved July 30, 2016

External links[edit]