Former Fox News anchor Shepard Smith is reportedly exploring a return to television news.
After months of behind-the-scenes clashes with Fox’s right-wing political personality Tucker Carlson, Smith (who came out in 2017) abruptly announced on October 11 he was leaving the network where he’d worked for 23 years.
In his farewell announcement, he told viewers he was looking to begin a “new chapter,” and it looks like that chapter may take place at Fox News’s competitor, MSNBC.
The Daily Beast reports the 56-year-old out journalist is in talks with MSNBC President Phil Griffin about anchoring a new show at the more liberal-leaning news network once his non-compete clause with Fox expires.
An unnamed insider at MSNBC told The Daily Beast, “it’s unclear what slot he would take, but we’d want him in primetime.”
“We are well aware [Jeff] Zucker [president of CNN] is also pursuing him, as are a number of the networks,” added the source.
One possibility might be the 5 p.m. slot currently held by the lackluster, ratings-challenged MTP Daily currently hosted by Chuck Todd. There are rumors the powers that be might move Todd and his crew to a morning slot.
If Smith does end up at MSNBC he would be joining fellow out journalist Rachel Maddow, who currently hosts the top-rated show on the network.
One wonders, though, if his years at right-leaning Fox News might color how MSNBC’s more liberal audiences connect with the veteran newsman.
When Greta Van Susteren left Fox after 14 years for MSNBC, she only lasted six months before the plug was pulled on her new gig, For the Record with Greta.
Wherever he lands, his new network will need to be ready to pony up some heavy-duty duccets as Smith was reportedly earning $15 million a year at Fox News.
You can watch Smith’s goodbye to Fox News below.