MSNBC television personality Chris Matthews has formally announced his retirement on Monday night's episode of Hardball with Chris Matthews, making his exit from the network now official. "I'm retiring. This is the last Hardball on NBC," Matthews bluntly told his viewers on the program, making it clear that the move was effective immediately with no goodbye shows on the way. Reportedly, Matthews had already planned to announce his retirement in the near future, though an MSNBC spokesperson confirmed that the recent negative press involving the Hardball host played a factor in moving up the date up to now.
Though understandable given recent events, Matthews' departure from NBC comes across as a bit of a shock. The 74-year-old has been hosting Hardball on the network for over two decades, beginning his run with the program in 1999. For the network, he also previously hosted the political roundtable series The Chris Matthews Show, which aired on NBC between 2002 and 2013. Well known for his centrist political views, Matthews would also pen several books during this time. This includes the 2011 book Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero, which found success on The New York Times' best-sellers list.
For all of his accomplishments, however, Matthews' career began nosediving quickly in recent days as he found himself embroiled in one controversy to another. These troubles began in February when Matthews compared presidential candidate Bernie Sanders' victory in the Nevada caucuses to the early days of World War II, and the TV personality was met with tremendous backlash in response. "Senator Sanders, I'm sorry for comparing anything from that tragic era in which so many suffered, especially the Jewish people, to an electoral result of which you were the well-deserved winner," Matthews later said in a televised apology.
Unfortunately for Matthews, his issues wouldn't end there. Just days ago, the Hardball host came under scrutiny again when he inadvertently mistook one African-American Senator for another, referring to Tim Scott as Lindsey Graham. Things only got worse from there when Matthews was also accused by a freelance journalist of making inappropriate comments to her in 2016 while she was preparing to make an appearance on Hardball. The allegation follows a history of accusations against Matthews of making similar remarks. At this point, the writing was on the wall and Matthews' days on television quickly became numbered.
Given the recent controversies surrounding his name, there's likely a lot of people out there not feeling too heartbroken about Matthews reaching the end of his career. Perhaps he'll still be offering his commentary to what's going on in the world of politics of the United States, but he'll now have to do it in the comfort of his own home without an audience of millions watching. As he's previously been estimated to earn about $5 million per year, however, he'll probably be okay, at least financially. Still, it's got to sting for him watching his career come to a sudden end under such circumstances after so many years on the air. This news comes to us from NBC.