Mike Richards doesn’t hire himself after all. I know the network tried to spin this as an underdog story. Fans could feel good about it, eh? And working with Alex Trebek all those years rubbed off in some good ways.
I admit that after my snow day/sick day happy time with Art Fleming, it took me years to warm to the old tv screens and even the show’s last host. I’m not steeped in Jeopardy fandom, and I can’t say I watched any of the interim audition hosts at all. I’ve seen the names.
I can imagine the decision is most influenced by the perception of what the fandom will accept. No host less than a paragon of virtue will suffice. But it should probably be someone from outside the network braintrust.