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On Monday, “Hardball” host Chris Matthews took viewers by surprise when he announced that he was retiring in the wake of accusations that he acted inappropriately toward a female guest.

According to Page Six, national political correspondent Steve Kornacki is supposed to fill in for Matthews. However, folks over at MSNBC are considering him along with Shepard Smith and Joy Reid to lead “Hardball” and folks on social media are hoping for Reid.

Right now, Reid hosts, MSNBC’s popular weekend show “AM Joy” and she frequently substitutes for other MSNBC hosts, including Rachel Maddow and Chris Hayes. The “Hardball” 7 p.m. slot is a hard spot to fill, according to a senior news TV source.

“It comes straight after the evening news, when viewers want anchors to weigh in with their own thoughts and analysis — not just read the headlines, so it’s a tough gig,” the source told Page Six.

Smith quit his Fox News show “Shepard Smith Reporting” back in October and he’s been asking Fox to cut him from his contract so he can begin a new phase in his career, saying, “After requesting that I stay, they graciously obliged.”

Matthews announced his departure from “Hardball” on Monday night, opening his show with, “I want to start with my headline tonight: I’m retiring.”

“This is the last ‘Hardball’ on MSNBC and obviously this isn’t for a lack of interest in politics,” he continued.

 

An MSNBC insider told Page Six that network executive Phil Griffin told Matthews this weekend that “he had to resign or retire immediately” because of the inappropriate flirting accusation against him.

“The news was kept a secret at the network until around 6 p.m. on Monday when all the senior staff were informed Matthews would retire at the top of his show, at 7 p.m.,” the insider explained.

Matthews said he was leaving his role to make way for “younger generations” who are “improving the workplace.” Kornacki took over Monday night’s show after a commercial break and paid tribute to Mathews during his tenure.

The accusations against Matthews came from freelance journalist Laura Bassett in a published column in GQ. She accused Matthews of making inappropriate advances toward her twice as she was getting ready to appear on his show.

Along with this alleged inappropriate behavior, Matthews also received backlash for a question he asked Sen. Elizabeth Warren during last Tuesday’s Democratic presidential debate. He questioned why Warren believed a woman who accused Michael Bloomberg of telling her to have an abortion while working at his company.

A few days earlier, Matthews was also slammed for comparing Sen. Bernie Sanders‘ Nevada caucus win with Nazi Germany’s defeat of France in 1940. All these things most likely contributed to his retirement.

Meanwhile, folks are completely ready for Joy Reid, especially considering the lack of Black women on primetime news shows. Political commentator, Aisha C. Moodie-Mills, tweeted, “This slot should go to @JoyAnnReid!!! She’d be briiliant and MSNBC has no Black hosts in primetime. Shameful.”

 

Hey @MSNBC with Chris Mathews retirement today I would like you to give a daily evening show to @JoyAnnReid,” wrote another Twitter user. “She is smart, thoughtful and so deserving. Retweet if you agree. Thanks!”

 

Reid seemed to be about the idea, tweeting, “In shock. But let me say: being on @hardball was on my dream board from back in my @MiamiHerald column days. Chris Matthews not only let me on as a guest, he was 1 of the 1st to let me fill in. He has always been a genuine supporter & friend, who even sang for me when I was down.”

 

Time will tell if MSNBC will make the move to have Reid lead “Hardball”.

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