MSNBC Hires Conservative Columnist Bret Stephens As Contributor

The network known for progressive star power is trying to expand its appeal.

Bret Stephens, a Pulitzer-winning conservative columnist hired by The New York Times in April, is joining NBC News and MSNBC as a contributor, a network spokeswoman confirmed Wednesday.

As Mic reported, MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace announced the hire Wednesday, when Stephens appeared as a guest on her program.

Stephens’ hire shows that the cable news network, best known for progressive stars like Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O’Donnell, is moving to broaden its left-wing reputation. The network also has signed conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt to host a Saturday morning show, and hired Greta van Susteren away from Fox News. (NBC News has also hired Megyn Kelly, another former Fox anchor).

Not all of the network’s recent hires, however, fit the conservative mold. The news organization recently signed Democratic pollster Cornell Belcher, former Hillary Clinton adviser Maya Harris, and former Obama administration official Wendy Sherman as contributors.

Stephens will appear “across various NBC News and MSNBC programs and platforms,” the NBC spokeswoman said. He will remain a columnist for The New York Times, which hired him away from The Wall Street Journal this year.

Stephens’ tenure at the Times has been controversial since its start. His first column, a widely criticized piece that doubted climate science, prompted some Times readers to cancel subscriptions.

Stephens stood by his column, and said it wasn’t an effort to “deny facts about climate that have been agreed by the scientific community,” but instead was intended to “say that there is a risk in any predictive science of hubris.”

“I think that’s a distinction that I’m afraid was lost in some of more intemperate criticism,” he told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria in May.

Correction: An earlier version of this story indicated Megyn Kelly was hired by MSNBC. She was hired by NBC News.

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