UPDATE 8:55 PM
The #1 story on Countdown was Keith Olbermann introducing Ed Schultz as the new host of "The Ed Show" on MNSBC weeknights at 6PM ET.
Olbermann joked that the qualifications for MSNBC hosts are being "an ex-sportscaster born on the 27th of January" (the two share a birthday), and then introduced his new colleague, who was sitting on set with him.
Schultz's show premieres next Monday. David Shuster will be an afternoon anchor, co-hosting 3-5PM ET with Tamron Hall. Norah O'Donnell will move to an as-yet unannounced hour in the morning.
Here's video from Countdown:
The full press release is at the bottom.
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PREVIOUSLY: 7:50 pm
The Huffington Post has learned that radio host Ed Schultz will be announced as the new host of the 6 pm hour on MSNBC. The announcement is due shortly, likely during "Countdown."
No word on what will happen to current anchor David Shuster, or if the hour will remain "1600 Pennsylvania Avenue."
Schultz, 55, has guest anchored in the past.
MSNBC did not respond to a request for comment.
In a recent Observer profile, the progressive talker, who has been guest-hosting for Shuster, was rumored to be a candidate for the 6PM or 10PM slots. But earlier this week, network execs announced that the 10PM slot has been put on indefinite hold.
Schultz's eponymous radio show, which he started in early 2004, is syndicated on more than 150 stations around the country. His 2004 book is titled "Straight Talk from the Heartland."
From a bio on his radio show's website:
Schultz is a graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead. His competitive nature helped him lead the nation in passing & achieve All-American status and as a quarterback at MSUM. His son Dave Schultz is a professional golfer on the PGA Nationwide tour. A devoted family man, Ed and his wife Wendy have six children. He shares his passion for hunting, fishing and flying with his large family.
FULL PRESS RELEASE:
NEW YORK - April 1, 2009 - Veteran talk radio host Ed Schultz joins MSNBC as host of "The Ed Show," premiering on Monday, April 6. "The Ed Show" will air weekdays, 6-7 p.m. ET. The announcement was made today by Phil Griffin, President, MSNBC.
"I am thrilled to have Ed kicking-off our primetime lineup," said Griffin. "Ed's proven that he can connect with Americans and will be a perfect compliment to Chris, Keith, and Rachel. He's already made his mark on radio and I'm excited to see what he'll do with the 6 p.m. hour."
"I'm excited to have this opportunity with MSNBC," said Schultz. "I look forward to having a day to day discussion with fellow Americans on issues that really matter to all of us."
David Shuster, currently hosting "1600 Pennsylvania Avenue" at 6 p.m. ET on MSNBC, will join Tamron Hall as host of a new 3-5 p.m. ET program on MSNBC. Shuster will also continue to anchor breaking news coverage during the day and serve as a regular substitute anchor for "Countdown with Keith Olbermann." Norah O'Donnell's hour will move to the morning. The exact hour will be announced at a later date.
A veteran of 30 years in broadcasting and the radio industry's top rated progressive talker, Schultz is also the host of the syndicated radio program "The Ed Schultz Show," airing live weekdays from noon - 3 p.m. ET with a weekly audience of more than 3 million listeners on 100 stations across the country. Schultz has been the breakthrough talent in an industry dominated by conservative voices. As an avid voice for the middle class Schultz will bring his hard-hitting style to MSNBC.
Schultz has won three Eric Sevareid Awards and has managed and been lead talent for a team that won two Marconis and a prestigious Peabody Award. He has been named one of the top ten radio hosts in the country by "Talkers" magazine in each of the last two years. In 2007, Schultz was nominated for Syndicated News/Talk Personality of the year by "Radio & Records."
Schultz is the author of "Straight Talk from the Heartland" published in 2004.
Schultz is a graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead where he led the nation in passing and achieved All-American status as a quarterback at MSUM. Schultz and his wife Wendy have six children. His son Dave Schultz is a professional golfer on the PGA Nationwide tour. He shares his passion for hunting, fishing and flying with his large family.