A potential roster shakeup is shaping up at MSNBC, where network executives are talking with former Fox News fixture Shepard Smith, The Daily Beast reports.
Staffers at MSNBC are “bracing for a major 2020 shakeup,” the story reports. Among the moves reportedly being considered is shipping off ratings-challenged Chuck Todd to a morning slot.
“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,” The Daily Beast reports. “One of those is new blood in the form of Smith, who abruptly quit Fox News late last year after on-air skirmishes with Tucker Carlson and other prime-time 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.”
The report quotes an MSNBC insider saying: “It’s unclear what slot he would take, but we’d want him in prime time. We are well aware [Jeff] Zucker [president of CNN] is also pursuing him, as are a number of the networks.”
The Daily Beast adds: “With the lackluster performance of Todd’s ‘MTP Daily’ at 5 p.m. — ‘a hammock,’ as one insider put it, between the robust ratings of Nicolle Wallace’s 4 p.m. show and Ari Melber’s 6 p.m. show — there has been talk of switching Todd to 9 a.m., as Page Six first reported. Under that scenario, the current 9 a.m. anchor, Stephanie Ruhle, could move to 3 p.m., where her financial expertise would mesh well with the market closings.”