Former Fox News anchorman Shepard Smith is reportedly eyeing a job at left-wing talk network MSNBC.
According to a report Tuesday in the Daily Beast, MSNBC is looking to Mr. Smith as part of a broader talent shuffle aimed at boosting ratings at the second-place cable-news outlet.
Citing “sources at the network,” the Daily Beast cautioned that while the particulars of the shuffle in the run-up to the 2020 are still up in the air, Mr. Smith has spoken with MSNBC President Phil Griffin about joining when the “non-compete” clause in his contract with Fox News runs out.
“It’s unclear what slot he would take, but we’d want him in prime-time,” an MSNBC insider told The Daily Beast.
The same source also said that Mr. Smith has other suitors.
“We are well aware [CNN President Jeff] Zucker is also pursuing him, as are a number of the networks,” the “insider” said.
Mr. Smith left Fox News and his show “Shepard Smith Reporting” in October, after 23 years on the network in various roles, following public spats with Tucker Carlson and other prime-time Fox News hosts over, among other things, Mr. Smith’s greater willingness to criticize President Trump.
According to the Daily Beast, a major target of the MSNBC shuffle is thought to be Chuck Todd and his “ratings-challenged” show “MTP Daily.”
Mr. Todd’s 5 p.m. EST show is seen by MSNBC brass as a “hammock,” according to one network insider, between better-performing shows featuring Nicolle Wallace (4 p.m.) and Ari Melber (6 p.m.).
Mr. Todd could see his show shifted to 9 a.m., the Daily Beast reported.
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