Greta Van Susteren will try out her third network at MSNBC


One of the worst-kept secrets in the media world today is around the impending landing place of former Fox News host Greta Van Susteren, who is all but certain to be heading to MSNBC. 

But don’t take my word for it. Just ask Howard Fineman, an NBC analyst who felt compelled to share this news on Facebook on Wednesday night.  

{mosads}Given that MSNBC or NBC isn’t commenting on the matter, it’s just a bit odd to see that kind of news shared without the corporate public relations team’s blessing.


But just to be absolutely certain that Greta-to-MSNBC is as sure a thing as cold weather for the Giants-Packers playoff game in Green Bay this weekend, let’s check in with “Morning Joe” co-host Joe Scarborough.

“Hey. I’m not sure the Greta deal has been confirmed, but she would certainly fill the role of a legal host that the network hasn’t had on a full time show since Dan Abrams left,” Scarborough said on his Dec. 29 program.

And then there’s Van Susteren herself, who is refreshingly candid on social media, not denying anything while not exactly being cryptic until the announcement from MSNBC is finally made official:

This is all I am looking for: an hour when I can do my best and fairest work and the necessary resources to do it

— Greta Van Susteren (@greta) January 5, 2017

At last check, MSNBC has an hour available at 6:00 pm ET following the ending of “With All Due Respect” with Mark Halperin and John Heilemann (a Bloomberg program that MSNBC would rebroadcast). 

Greta’s old show on Fox, “On the Record,” was broadcast each night at 7:00 p.m. Eastern.

Looks like a nice fit.

The former criminal defense and civil trial lawyer, who shot to stardom on CNN in 1994 covering the O.J. Simpson murder trial, will be an interesting addition to MSNBC. It’s hard to imagine any Fox News talent on the channel, described in 2012 as “Fox’s Evil Twin” by the New York Times’ Alessandra Stanley.

In 2014, MSNBC went harder to the left by adding more opinion programming in the early afternoon via Ronan Farrow and Joy Reid to compliment a lineup that already included Alex Wagner and Ed Schultz, both proud progressives. All of the programs hosted by the aforementioned were cancelled in 2015 as the network pivoted back to more relatively traditional news programs.

From my perspective, Greta isn’t what one would call conservative. She isn’t exactly liberal either. She seems to go issue to issue with a particular interest in controversial legal cases, which only makes sense given her background.

MSNBC’s liberal audience likely won’t embrace her at first simply for having “Fox News” on her LinkedIn page. But perhaps broadening the network’s viewer base isn’t such a horrible thing if the echo chamber MSNBC created in 2014 with one opinion show after another sounding like a Nickleback album. (See: the same.)

Diversity is more than about color, it’s also about thought, and Van Susteren — even if you disagree with her on some things — is principled and doesn’t seem to walk any kind of party or politically-correct line. If we’ve learned anything from 2016, it’s that authenticity resonates.

MSNBC needs to fill a void at 6:00 p.m. 

In what isn’t exactly a secret anymore — thanks to Howard Fineman and Joe Scarborough — Greta Van Susteren is on her way shortly to fill that void.  

 When it happens, she’ll join Fox’s new 9:00 p.m. host — Tucker Carlson — as one of two people to have hosted programs on all of CNN, Fox and MSNBC.

The only question is: Will MSNBC’s audience rally around her or give the proverbial Bronx cheer?

Joe Concha is a media reporter for The Hill.

The views expressed by Contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill.

Tags CNN Fox News Greta Van Susteren Joe Concha MSNBC

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