“Nicolle is the most obvious in-house candidate," an NBC News executive tells media reporter Dylan Byers, who recently left NBC News for the startup Puck News. “We have no bench,” a producer tells Byers. "And yet," Byers adds, "as you move higher up the organization, it's clear that one person has emerged as the preferred successor: @NicolleDWallace." Byers explained in Puck News how The View alum Wallace, who served as President George W. Bush's White House Communications Director, could end up having the highest-profile timeslot on the left-leaning MSNBC: "The idea that a former Republican operative could replace a progressive icon like Maddow will surely confound and even anger some MSNBC loyalists. But from the vantage point of NBC’s C-suite, it has its logic. Wallace is smart, capable, charismatic—'producible,' as one former NBC executive put it. No one should underestimate how important that is in television, even to a network that caters to liberal political sensibilities. Today, Wallace may just be a likeable Never Trump ex-Republican advocating for competent policy and politics; with the right packaging and marketing, she could become a hero of that cause. She is also well liked by Maddow, several sources said, and would have her blessing." ALSO: Byers reports Rachel Maddow, in leaving her MSNBC daily show, sees herself as "a producer, a visionary, the Oprah model."