American television host and commentator Ed Schultz, who held positions at both MSNBC and RT America during his career has died, aged 64.
Schultz started his broadcast career in Fargo, North Dakota, where he took his first position in the 1980s before rising to the top levels of American broadcast.
The commentator is being remembered as an advocate for unions and organised labour at MSNBC, though his show at that network, The Ed Show, was cancelled in 2015 as the network reimagined its programmatic approach.
"Ed was a brilliant and persistent voice for those without a voice in this country," Dylan Ratigan, a former colleague at MSNBC, told The Hollywood Reporter.
“We at RT America are sad to announce the passing of Edward Andrew Schultz,” the channel said in a statement. “Ed Schultz passed quietly early morning on July 5 at his home in Washington, DC This announcement comes as a shock to all of us here at RT America.”
MSNBC had not immediately released a statement following the announcement of his death, which local media in Fargo reported was of natural causes.
After the start of his career in Fargo, where he held the position of sports director at one point, Schultz moved into talk radio, where he initially ruled the local airwaves as a conservative firebrand in the 1990s.
But, his politics later evolved and he came out as a Democrat, eventually taking his radio show nationwide in 2004 before then moving to national television. He joined MSNBC in 2009, and was a prime time personality for the organisation during the years of the Obama administration.
Schultz left that network in 2015, and announced that he was joining RT America in early 2016.
"I'm back in prime time at 8 o'clock where I belong," he said at the time.
"This is a great career opportunity. It's an international news organisation that functions on all continents. It's something that I have never had the opportunity to do, and that's anchor a nightly news program," he said of his show, News with Ed Schultz.