Edward Andrew "Ed" Schultz (born January 27, 1954) is an American television and radio host, a political commentator and a former sports broadcaster. Schultz currently hosts a daily primetime weekday show on RT America TV channel based in Washington, D.C., that is part of the RT network.
Schultz has hosted a nationally syndicated podcast, Ed Schultz News and Commentary, since 2015 and a nightly television show, News with Ed Schultz, since 2016. He was the host of The Ed Show, a weekday news talk program on MSNBC, and The Ed Schultz Show, a talk radio show, nationally syndicated by Dial Global. The radio show ended on May 23, 2014, and was replaced by a one-hour podcast.
Schultz was born in Norfolk, Virginia, and grew up in the Larchmont area near Old Dominion University, the son of George (June 19, 1910 – May 6, 1992, an aeronautical engineer) and Mary (July 27, 1915 – July 22, 2002, an English teacher) Schultz. He attended Larchmont Elementary School, Blair Junior High, and graduated in 1972 from Maury High School in Norfolk.
He moved to Minnesota to play football on a scholarship from Minnesota State University Moorhead. He made All-American and became the NAIA passing leader in 1977 and signed as a free agent with the Oakland Raiders. In 1979, Schultz tried out for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, a Canadian Football League team.
After his football career, he worked as a sportscaster in Fargo, North Dakota for two local stations, first KTHI-TV (now KVLY-TV) then from 1988 WDAY-TV. Schultz anchored nightly sports broadcasts at WDAY and starting in 1982 did radio play-by-play of North Dakota State University (NDSU) football games. Management asked Schultz to take some time off after an incident in which Schultz exited the broadcast booth to look for a North Dakota State fan who threw a bottle of Southern Comfort through the booth window.
Schultz, who was touted as the "Voice of the Bison" for many years at WDAY, left in 1996 and began broadcasting for KFGO in Fargo, doing play-by-play work on University of North Dakota (UND) Fighting Sioux football broadcasts beginning in 1998. Schultz left as UND play-by-play man in 2003 to focus on his national radio show. Schultz was a finalist to replace Lee Hamilton, who was fired, as the radio voice of the Minnesota Vikings, but the job went to Terry Stembridge, Jr., but he was released also and Paul Allen was hired to replace Stembridge in 2002.
In 1992, Schultz became a conservative political talk show host on WDAY-AM. In 1996, Schultz moved to KFGO. Schultz's News and Views radio show was very similar to his WDAY Viewpoint program and quickly grew into a regional broadcast dominating the North Dakota airwaves, with additional listeners in South Dakota, western Minnesota, Montana, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan. His political views leaned towards the right during the early years, and Schultz told the Los Angeles Times that he "lined up with the Republicans because they were anti-tax and I wanted to make a lot of money." His political views became more liberal after he visited a Salvation Army cafeteria in 1998 and later took his radio show on the road riding in a 38-foot motor home. Throughout the tour, Schultz visited families in rural North Dakota and described his tour as "the on-the-job experience that have changed my thinking as to where we're going as a country."
The Ed Schultz Show was broadcast from the Fargo, North Dakota, studios of KFGO via the Jones Radio Network to over 100 radio stations (as of October 2005). The show was syndicated by Dial Global, and could be heard nationwide on Sirius Satellite Radio's "Sirius Left" channel, and XM Radio's America Left channel. The program was also be heard on Armed Forces Radio. Schultz's radio show moved to New York City in May 2009, a relocation brought on by his new television show at MSNBC. He continued to experience audience growth throughout 2005 and into 2006.
Schultz interviewed guests and often featured Norman Goldman as "Senior Legal Analyst" when issues of law were discussed. Goldman was a frequent substitute host because he maintained high ratings for Schultz's show. Goldman's popularity made it a natural step for him to host his own national talk show. Norman Goldman, a Los Angeles lawyer, describes himself as "fiercely independent" and continues to acknowledge Schultz's mentoring.
According to a 2008 survey done by Talkers magazine, Schultz ranked #17 nationally, with a weekly audience of more than 3 million listeners. On November 30, 2006, Schultz announced he was moving to the "prime real estate" time slot from noon to 3 p.m. Eastern Time, to compete directly with Rush Limbaugh whose show is broadcast in that time slot.
During his show on May 24, 2011, Schultz called Laura Ingraham both a "right-wing slut" and a "talk slut." Feminist organizations including the Women's Media Center called for his suspension. The following day he issued an apology by saying he "used vile and inappropriate language when talking about talk show host Laura Ingraham. I am deeply sorry, and I apologize. It was wrong, uncalled for and I recognize the severity of what I said. I apologize to you, Laura, and ask for your forgiveness." He offered an indefinite self-suspension without pay. Ingraham accepted his apology: "Ed Schultz said something about me on his show that was not all that nice, to say the least. It was pretty crude. He apologized, and I accept his apology. It seemed heartfelt, it seemed like he really wished he hadn't said it and I accept that apology." MSNBC issued a statement saying that it had accepted Schultz's offer to take one week of unpaid leave over the matter. Schultz ended his radio show on May 23, 2014. He stated on MSNBC, "This change will give me more flexibility to be on the road, to do the kind of shows I want to do here for The Ed Show here on MSNBC. This is on me, you know. I just don't want to do a three-hour talk show anymore."
The Ed Show
On April 1, 2009, MSNBC announced the launch of The Ed Show, anchored by Schultz. The program replaced the 6 p.m. show 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue with David Shuster, who moved to the 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. slot. The Ed Show debuted at 6 p.m. on Monday, April 6, 2009. At the close of 2010, Schultz made The Nation's Progressive Honor Roll as the Most Valuable TV Voice and was deemed the "most populist of MSNBC's hosts".
On August 15, 2011, Schultz used an edited video clip of Texas Governor Rick Perry at a rally talking about the national debt crisis. Governor Perry said "getting America back to work is the most important issue that faces this country, being able to pay off $14.5 trillion or $16 trillion worth of debt. That big black cloud that hangs over America, that debt that is so monstrous." The audio of the clip was cut off after "America", so Schultz's audience did not hear "that debt that is so monstrous". Governor Perry refers to the debt before and after the "big black cloud" statement. Schultz said, "That black cloud Perry is talking about is President Barack Obama." The following day on his TV show Schultz apologized for taking Governor Perry out of context. "We did not present the full context of those statements and we should have ... No doubt about it, it was a mistake and we regret the error ... we should not have included it in our coverage."
On October 19, 2011, NBC announced that effective October 24, 2011, The Ed Show would be moving to the 8 p.m. Eastern slot, with The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell returning to the 10 p.m. slot. On March 9, 2012, Politico reported that Schultz had received nearly $200,000 in speaking fees and advertisement charges from labor unions without publicly disclosing this income, a potential conflict of interest for his television show, which is billed as a news program.
In April 2011, NBC News producer and sound engineer Michael Queen sued Schultz, claiming Schultz should have compensated him for helping him get a TV show on MSNBC. Schultz argued there was no such agreement with Queen, and countersued Queen. On April 30, 2012, Washington federal district court Judge Beryl Howell issued a summary judgment that neither party owed anything to the other party. On April 4, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit overturned part of that judgment, saying that Queen's claim of breach of partnership duties presented a "genuine issue of material fact" that deserved to be heard by a jury. Judge Howell scheduled the lawsuit for trial on May 11, 2015.
Schultz left his nightly 8 p.m. ET show to host a twice-a-week MSNBC show on weekends from 5 PM to 6PM ET beginning April 2013. The 8 PM weekdays time slot was taken over on April 1, 2013 with Up with Chris Hayes. Effective August 26, 2013, The Ed Show moved back to weekdays at 5 PM ET.
On July 30, 2015, MSNBC President Phil Griffin announced that the series had been cancelled in an effort to transition to news reporting.The program aired its final episode on July 31, 2015 without Schultz being present.
Ed Schultz News and Commentary
After cancellation on MSNBC, Schultz now does a half-hour podcast every weekday commenting on news and issues. His platform is much more mobile and able to take his show to the streets among those people whom he supports in the labor movement. His podcast is carried by RingofFireRadio.com and Wegoted.com.
The News with Ed Schultz
In the late 1990s, Schultz stated that a series of events changed his political views from the right of the political spectrum to left of the spectrum. One event was his mother's battle with Alzheimer's Disease, which began a long, slow decline of her mental health. Schultz found it frustrating trying to get her the services that she needed. Another was that he met a psychiatric nurse named Wendy who ran a homeless shelter in Fargo, North Dakota. He attributed much of his political change to her. Although he had criticized the homeless on his show, he said in his book that she helped to humanize them and he reportedly found that some of the people he had insulted were veterans, unable to get the psychiatric or medical services that might help them. He says that was the moment he began to look at poverty differently.
He became a Democrat in 2000, marking the formal turn in his politics from conservative to liberal. He began to hold benefits to raise money for people in the heartland who were going through tough times. Schultz considered running for the Democratic-NPL party nomination for governor against incumbent Republican John Hoeven in 2004, but decided to continue his more lucrative career in radio. Schultz has since declared himself a "lefty" and centers a large portion of his radio show on the "plight of working Americans". He stated that he and his sons are gun owners, although he supports some gun control measures. Regarding abortion, he was quoted as stating: "Now, as far as abortion is concerned, in my heart I'm a Christian. I'm against it. But we're livin' in a country where the majority rule and I'm not, as a talk show host, overturning Roe v Wade."