Former Fox News anchor Shepard Smith is reportedly in talks to take a primetime slot at MSNBC.
A new report from The Daily Beast states that a potential “major 2020 shakeup” at MSNBC could include a move to mornings for Chuck Todd, who currently anchors “MTP Daily” at 5 p.m.
MSNBC staff are reportedly “batting around several options” as they move to “shed ratings dead weight in the lead-up to the election.”
Smith has reportedly been in talks with MSNBC President Phil Griffin about becoming one of those options when his non-compete with Fox News expires.
An MSNBC insider told the outlet it was “unclear what slot” Smith would fill, but the network does “want him in primetime.”
“We are well aware [Jeff] Zucker [president of CNN] is also pursuing him, as are a number of the networks,” the insider said.
One insider called Todd’s ratings performance “a hammock” at 5 p.m., performing poorly compared to preceding and succeeding shows anchored by Nicolle Wallace and Ari Melber.
The Daily Beast adds:
However, Todd is said to be resisting such a move. Several sources inside NBC cited the perception that his new slot would hurt him with an even bigger dip for any program that airs after the successful Morning Joe franchise. Others said that some of the show’s staffers were less than thrilled by the scheduling demands of an earlier time slot.
One source told The Daily Beast that NBC News and MSNBC Chairman Andy Lack recently traveled to D.C. to meet with the Meet the Press staff to discuss the team’s weekend show and various other projects, including the show’s podcast and a possible role on NBC’s forthcoming streaming platform.
Other names, like 2 p.m. host Katy Tur, have also been floated for the 3 p.m. slot, which will be vacated when anchor Ali Velshi moves into a new weekend role. MSNBC recruited Joshua Johnson from NPR late last year for an anchor role; he’s expected to eventually join the weekday lineup as well.
Back in early October, Smith abruptly closed out his program by announcing that ti was his last day at Fox News.
Reports at the time alleged that there was a major feud on-air between Fox News host Tucker Carlson and Smith.
Sources alleged that Fox News warned Smith to stop attacking Trump and his colleagues or he could be fired.
Then, Smith left the network in October.
Now, arguably one of the most liberal anchors at Fox News is gone and could be headed to MSNBC, arguably the most anti-Trump cable news network of them all.