Shepard Smith is reportedly in talks with MSNBC to join the news network.
The gay broadcast journalist escaped Fox News last October after being harassed by a more right-wing host on the conservative network, Tucker Carlson, as well as President Trump, for his refusal to editorialize his news coverage on Shepard Smith Reporting. Smith had worked with Fox News since 1996, and he came out in 2017.
Now the home of Rachel Maddow has expressed interest in hiring the high-profile political reporter in the lead-up to the presidential election — and after his noncompete clause expires. MSNBC President Phil Griffin has been in conversation with Smith about a show, reports The Daily Beast.
“It’s unclear what slot he would take, but we’d want him in prime time,” a source at MSNBC told the Beast. “We are well aware [Jeff] Zucker [president of CNN] is also pursuing him, as are a number of the networks.”
Smith reportedly made $15 million annually at Fox News, which would make him a sizable investment for a competing network.
The announcement of Smith's potential hiring comes in the midst of news of a shakeup at MSNBC during an election. Chuck Todd’s show, MTP Daily, has been suffering from lackluster ratings in its 5 p.m. time slot, leading to rumors of a move to mornings.