Last night, MSNBC President Phil Griffin officially announced that progressive radio host Ed Schultz would be joining the network and anchoring a new 6 p.m. weekday program, called The Ed Show, premiering Monday, April 6. Danny Shea of the Huffington Post broke the news.
The Observer first reported on March 20 that MSNBC had made a job offer to Mr. Schultz. MSNBC officials and Mr. Schultz denied it at the time.
Ten days earlier, on March 10, The Observer first reported that sources at the network believed that the 6 p.m. hour—then anchored by David Shuster—might be in play for Mr. Schultz.
Yesterday, as part of their announcement, Mr. Griffin noted that Mr. Shuster would be moving back to dayside, where he will co-anchor from 3 to 5 p.m. with Tamron Hall and continue to serve as the substitute anchor for Countdown with Keith Olbermann.
Mr. Schultz, 55 years old, is a former sportscaster. Until the late ’90s, he was (in his own words) a “hard-charging, what’s-in-it-for-me conservative radio talk show host” who was “a shade right of Attila the Hun.” Subsequently, he converted to liberalism and has become a progressive populist, who regularly rails on his radio show about how corporate America is running roughshod over the needs of the middle class.
Last night, Mr. Schultz appeared on Countdown, where he trumpeted his populist beliefs and told Mr. Olbermann that his new show would “have a strong focus on the middle class.”
“I’m going to be the guy who represents people who take a shower after work,” said Mr. Schultz. “I’m going to be that guy who is going to be there for the working folk of America.”
Mr. Schultz and his wife Wendy have six children. He currently lives in Fargo, North Dakota. One question left unanswered in yesterday’s announcement: where will Mr. Schultz anchor his new show from—New York or Washington, D.C.?
On Thursday morning, a network spokesperson told us that for the first week or two The Ed Show will originate from New York. No word yet on who will serve as the program’s executive producer.