...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.
...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.
...One source told The Daily Beast that NBC News and MSNBC Chairman Andy Lack recently traveled to D.C.
...MSNBC recruited Joshua Johnson from NPR late last year for an anchor role; he's expected to eventually join the weekday lineup as well.
...However, the Today show, Nightly News, and Chuck Todd's Meet the Press have all been leading their rivals in the all-important ages 25-54 demographic under Lack's tenure; and Lack essentially saved the career of disgraced former Nightly News anchor Brian Williams, who, after a scandal involving his exaggerations and fabrications of his journalistic adventures, is thriving as anchor of MSNBC's weeknight 11 p.m show.
...Multiple sources told The Daily Beast that Shell has been "very aware" of the antipathy toward Lack among some of the rank-and-file inside MSNBC and NBC News.
...Two insiders said Shell's arrival is expected to benefit MSNBC President Phil Griffin-a longtime NBC veteran who has run the cable outlet since 2007-but could not be specific as to how.
Submitted 5 days ago