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MSNBC Eyes Joy Reid for Chris Matthews’ Old Time Slot (Report)

Matthews resigned in March after being accused of sexual harassment

Three months after Chris Matthews resigned over sexual harassment accusations he later admitted were ‘highly justified,’ MSNBC is close to naming his successor in the old “Hardball” time slot: Joy Reid, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

Citing unnamed individuals with knowledge of the matter, WSJ reports that MSNBC is “close” to announcing Reid as the new host of the network’s 7:00 p.m. ET slot, establishing her as the lead-in to its liberal-leaning block of prime time programming that includes “All In With Chris Hayes,” “The Rachel Maddow Show” and “The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell.” Reid currently hosts MSNBC’s weekend show “AM Joy” and serves as a frequent fill-in host for Hayes and Maddow.

Representatives for MSNBC didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from TheWrap, but WSJ reports that negotiations are ongoing and the final decision has not been made.

Matthews resigned March 3 following a week of bad press that began when he held a combative interview on Feb. 26 with then-Democratic presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren that was widely criticized as sexist. Among other things, Matthews was criticized for disregarding accusations of sexually inappropriate comments against Mike Bloomberg by a former employee and appearing to chastise Warren for saying she believed the accuser, whose account was corroborated by a coworker.

But things got worse two days later, when journalist Laura Bassett publicly accused Matthews of making repeated sexist comments to her when she appeared on his show in 2016. Matthews apologized on-air to Bassett on the March 2 episode of “Hardball,” then abruptly announced his retirement. In April, he told Vanity Fair “I thought it was very credible and certainly within the person’s rights to write that article, of course. That was highly justified. Basically, as I said, to repeat myself, it’s inappropriate in the workplace to compliment somebody on their appearance, this is in the makeup chair, and I did it.”