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Dave Roepke, Published April 02 2009

Ed Schultz lands MSNBC TV show

Big Ed’s a talking head.

Fargo talk-show host Ed Schultz, the righty-turned-lefty who has a progressive radio show syndicated on more than 100 U.S. stations, will start hosting his own television show next week on liberal-leaning cable-news network MSNBC.

Schultz announced the move Wednesday night on “Countdown with Keith Olbermann,” telling his fellow former sportscaster, “It’s great to be on your team. I’ve never been this excited.”

Called “The Ed Show,” the daily one-hour program will air at 5 p.m. CST and begin on Monday.

“The Ed Show” will have interviews and opinion and focus on the middle class. Schultz vowed he would explore “what’s on the kitchen table in America.”

“I’m going to be the guy who represents people who take a shower after work,” he said.

Schultz snagging a show on MSNBC hardly comes as a surprise. He told The Forum in January he was leasing a studio in Washington, D.C., to be more accessible to broadcasters and that a potential TV gig was “on the horizon.”

Rumors of a deal with MSNBC specifically were reported by various media outlets in March as Schultz took a turn subbing for David Shuster, the host whose time slot he’s taking over.

It’s unclear what his step into TV punditry means for “News and Views,” the local show that Schultz hosts for KFGO 790 AM.

An announcement will be made today during “News and Views,” said KFGO operations manager and afternoon host Joel Heitkamp, who has filled in during Schultz’s midmorning slot for the past week.

Heitkamp, a former state legislator, and Jim Ingstad, the owner of KFGO, said this week that Heitkamp was helming “News and Views” during the flood because he was more up to date with the ongoing local story.

“From my standpoint, Ed Schultz was the host of ‘News and Views’ and is the host of ‘News and Views’ until I hear elsewise from my boss and from my owner,” Heitkamp said late Wednesday.

Ingstad reiterated Wednesday night, before the MSNBC appearance, that Schultz had not been fired from KFGO and that he was still the host of “News and Views.”

Schultz and Ingstad have not talked about it, but the station owner acknowledged that Schultz’s plate is probably too crowded now to continue hosting “News and Views.”

“I can hardly believe he can do his national show and a TV show and his local show, but I would certainly like to keep him involved in KFGO to some extent,” Ingstad said. “Where do you find talent like that?”

Earlier Wednesday, the producer of Schultz’s national radio show, James Holm, said rumors that his boss had been let go from KFGO were not true.

“I just talked to Ed and he said he has not been fired and he plans to be on the air tomorrow on KFGO,” Holm said. KFGO also carries the national program, “The Ed Schultz Show.”

Schultz, ranked the 18th most important talk-show host in America in the last list by “Talkers” magazine, didn’t say during his appearance on “Countdown” whether he would continue his local show. He did tip his cap to KFGO, Fargo and the flood fight on air, calling it “the America I know. That’s the America I want to help bring to MSNBC.”


On TV


Forum reporters John Lamb and Amy Dalrymple contributed to this report.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Roepke at (701) 241-5535