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Over the last few months, Michael Avenatti, the attorney for Stephanie Clifford (aka Stormy Daniels), has demonstrated such proficiency as a cable news guest that many in the industry have taken to speculating about his potential future as a show host (or, at least, as a highly paid contributor).
On Friday’s Morning Joe, panelist Donny Deutsch said that Avenatti is “already auditioning” for CNN president Jeff Zucker and MSNBC president Phil Griffin. Even Fox News host Sean Hannity, who seems to dislike Avenatti, said on his radio show Thursday, “They might as well give that attorney guy, whatever’s his name, a show of his own.”
Avenatti fanned the flames a bit when he told Vanity Fair this month that he’s been approached by “a number of networks” about hosting his own show.
But, reached by The Hollywood Reporter on Friday, the telegenic attorney said he’s not interested, despite the constant speculation. “I have no intention of having a career in television,” he said in an email. “My focus is on this case and my other clients.”
As long as Avenatti is appearing, and flourishing, on the medium, his comment likely won’t quiet whispers about what he plans to do after his star client’s case is out of the news.
“Michael Avenatti is such a natural communicator that he has managed to pull off the ultimate trick: rendering Donald Trump silent,” former CNN U.S. president Jonathan Klein, who has known Avenatti for a while, told THR. “News networks would love to grab a charismatic crusader with an agile mind — if Netflix or Amazon doesn’t sign him up first.”
Were he to make the jump from professional attorney to cable news host, Avenatti would join a popular club that includes former Fox News hosts Megyn Kelly and Greta Van Susteren, MSNBC’s Ari Melber and CNN’s Chris Cuomo.
Avenatti has been filling the airwaves on CNN and MSNBC (but not Fox News, which he’s tussled with) for months now. Beyond providing catchy soundbites and righteous indignation toward the president, he’s also broken news.
On Tuesday, Avenatti used Twitter to share a report concluding that major companies like AT&T and drug giant Novartis gave Trump personal attorney Michael Cohen large sums of money to serve as a consultant in the wake of his boss’ election. Both companies confirmed the payments and the story dominated the news cycle for the rest of the week, with the CEO of AT&T saying Friday that it was a “serious misjudgement” for the company to have employed Cohen.
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