Actor Alec Baldwin joins MSNBC to host late night talk show

REUTERS - Actor Alec Baldwin will host a late night current events and culture talk show on MSNBC, the president of the U.S. network said on Thursday.

Emmy award-winning Baldwin, 55, will host "Up Late w/Alec Baldwin," which will air 10-11 p.m. eastern time on the news network, beginning in October.

The actor has hosted a radio podcast on WNYC since 2011 called "Here's the Thing," where he has interviewed high-profile figures including David Letterman, Michael Douglas, Lena Dunham and political strategist Ed Rollins.

"After two seasons of my WNYC podcast, I've developed a fondness for hosting a show that involved talking with smart, talented and engaging people in every imaginable field," Baldwin said in a statement.

"I'm grateful to MSNBC for helping me bring a similar show to television," he added.

MSNBC President Phil Griffin said in a statement that Baldwin has "such passion for ideas and what's going on in the world - he's going to be a great addition to our line-up."

Baldwin most recently wrapped up his role on NBC's "30 Rock," where he played fictional network executive Jack Donaghy, a role that garnered him Golden Globe, Emmy and Screen Actors Guild awards.

He has also hosted NBC's sketch show "Saturday Night Live" 16 times, and co-hosted the Academy Awards with Steve Martin in 2010. The actor welcomed a baby daughter with wife Hilaria Baldwin last month.

MSNBC is owned by NBCUniversal News Group, a unit of Comcast Corp's NBC Universal's television group. (Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy in Los Angeles; Editing by Eric Kelsey and Cynthia Osterman)

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