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MSNBC's Chris Matthews expected to decide soon on Senate bid

January 5, 2009 | 11:38 am

Chrismatthews “Hardball” host Chris Matthews is expected to let his bosses know in the coming weeks whether he’s going to pursue a Senate run in Pennsylvania or renew his contract at MSNBC.

In recent weeks, network executives have spoken to Matthews about his interest in running for the U.S. Senate and asked him to let them know soon whether he’s planning on a bid against Republican Sen. Arlen Specter, network sources said.

The cable host is in talks with MSNBC about reupping his deal as host of “Hardball” and the syndicated “The Chris Matthews Show.” If Matthews does decide to run for office, he would have to immediately relinquish his post at the network. Media ethicists have already said that Matthews’ exploration of the post raises questions about his journalistic independence.

NBC executives appear confident that he will ultimately decide to forgo a Senate bid. “I think he’s going to be here for a long time,” MSNBC President Phil Griffin told the Hollywood Reporter last month.

In an interview with Broadcasting & Cable, NBC President Steve Capus said flatly that Matthews wasn’t going to leave the network for politics. “Look, if he were running for office, he wouldn't be on TV,” he said.

-- Matea Gold

(Photo courtesy AP)