WASHINGTON, D.C. — Ed Schultz, who found fame as one of the signature voices of “progressive talk” on the radio dial and as a MSNBC host, has died of natural causes.
According to WDAY-6 in Fargo, N.D., which first reported on Schultz’s death, he was 64 and had been in the Nation’s Capital.
Schultz began his career as a sportscaster in the Fargo, N.D.-Moorhead, Minn. market some 35 years ago, and served as WDAY’s Sports Director.
He eventually shifted to Talk radio in 1992, working at WDAY-AM 970 in Fargo. Both WDAY-AM and WDAY-TV are owned by Forum Communications.
Interestingly, Schultz’s career as a Talk host mirrored that of such talent as the acerbic Bob Grant at WABC-AM in New York, and Rush Limbaugh at KFBK-AM in Sacramento. But, he changed his viewpoint in later years and became the liberal counterpoint to the abundant conservative, right-wing voices heard across Talk stations across the U.S.
In 2004, Schultz’s show went national via Democracy Radio and distribution partner Jones Radio Network; his program was often paired with the AM drive offering helmed by Stephanie Miller.
Five years later, Schultz gained a prime-time slot on MSNBC; he exited the network in July 2015, and joined RT — the network with ties to Russia.
Schultz is a 1977 graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead and was a standout football player, later signed by the Oakland Raiders.