Source: MSNBC eyes Shepard Smith for ‘prime-time’ role

In October, longtime Fox News personality Shepard Smith announced his departure from the network. Now, it seems he may have found a new home.

According to the Daily Beast, Smith is being considered for a position at MSNBC.

“It’s unclear what slot he would take, but we’d want him in prime-time,” an unnamed source from MSNBC told the Daily Beast.

The alleged “insider” went on: “We are well aware [that Jeff] Zucker [president of CNN] is also pursuing him, as are a number of the networks.”

Shuffling at MSNBC

The Daily Beast speculates that MSNBC could do some shuffling to fit Smith in. According to the outlet, the network wants to move MTP Daily with Chuck Todd from the 5 p.m. time slot to 9 a.m. amid the host’s lagging ratings, moving more popular pundits like Katy Tur and Stephanie Ruhle into afternoon spots and clearing up an evening position for Shep.

But according to the Daily Beast, “Todd is said to be resisting such a move.” The outlet reported: “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.”

If Smith does get a prime-time role with MSNBC, it would be a change of pace for him: he held down the 3 p.m. time slot for Fox News for years, according to the Washington Examiner.

But Smith’s departure from his old employer seemed to happen on good terms. “Recently I asked the company to allow me to leave Fox News and begin a new chapter,” the anchor announced during his last broadcast on Fox.

“After requesting that I stay, they graciously obliged,” Smith added. “The opportunities afforded this guy from small-town Mississippi have been many.”

Tense times at Fox

Still, those pleasant words may have hidden simmering tensions behind the scenes. The veteran anchor came into conflict with fellow Fox host Tucker Carlson last September over comments made about Judge Andrew Napolitano.

Smith accused Carlson of not “challenging” one of his guests for “attacking our colleague, who’s here to offer legal assessments on our air, in our work home,” something he called “repugnant.” Carlson responded by mocking Smith’s outrage and inviting the same guest for a second time to reiterate his comments.

Smith was also known to have a contentious relationship with President Donald Trump, whom he frequently criticized, even as other network stars, like Carlson and Judge Jeanine Pirro, praised him. For his part, Trump had little affection for Smith, once tweeting that “Fake News CNN is better than watching Shepard Smith.”

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