MSNBC brass is in talks with former Fox News host Shepard Smith sparking concern among the liberal network’s hosts who fear the repercussions of a potential timeslot change.
Chuck Todd’s Meet the Press Daily could move to the lower-rated morning hours or be permanently sidelined, worrying the show’s staff.
The Daily Beast reports:
MSNBC talent and staffers are bracing for a major 2020 shakeup amid discussion of moving ratings-challenged Chuck Todd to a morning slot and execs talking with Fox News escapee Shepard Smith.
The goal of any reshuffle would be to shed ratings dead weight in the lead-up to the election. Sources at the network cautioned that a new look for the lineup is still up in the air, but brass have been batting around several options.
One of those is new blood in the form of Smith, who abruptly quit Fox late last year after on-air skirmishes with Tucker Carlson and other primetime hosts. Smith has had conversations with MSNBC President Phil Griffin about a potential gig when his non-compete clause expires, although his price tag is expected to be considerable for any interested network.
“It’s unclear what slot he would take, but we’d want him in primetime,” an MSNBC insider told The Daily Beast. “We are well aware [Jeff] Zucker [president of CNN] is also pursuing him, as are a number of the networks.”
While Todd is under siege from the threat of Shepard Smith and Nicolle Wallace’s successful 4 p.m. show, he is aggressively resisting calls to bump him to the daytime schedule.