According to a new report from the DailyBeast, MSNBC is considering moving Chuck Todd to a morning time slot to make room for ex-Fox News host Shep Smith in prime time.
The DailyBeast notes Chuck Todd’s ratings at the 5pm slot have been “lackluster.”
Shep Smith, a staunch critic of President Trump, said goodbye to Fox News in October.
The DailyBeast 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.”
At 30 Rock, much of the tinkering is currently focused on the daytime schedule.
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.
However, Todd is said to be resisting such a move. 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. Others said that some of the show’s staffers were less than thrilled by the scheduling demands of an earlier time slot. One source told The Daily Beast that NBC News and MSNBC Chairman Andy Lack recently traveled to D.C. to meet with the Meet the Press staff to discuss the team’s weekend show and various other projects, including the show’s podcast and a possible role on NBC’s forthcoming streaming platform.