×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

MSNBC Moves Al Sharpton To Sunday Mornings

Reverend Al Sharpton, who has hosted an early-evening program on MSNBC for four years, is moving to a once-a-week perch at the NBCUniversal-owned cable-news network as it seeks to focus more intently on breaking-news coverage and less on partisan viewpoint and opinion.

The last edition of Sharpton’s weekday program, “PoliticsNation,” will air Friday, September 4, according to a memo sent Wednesday evening to MSNBC staffers by network president Phil Griffin. The program will now air on Sundays at 8 a.m., Griffin said.

MSNBC will air breaking-news coverage in Sharpton’s current 6 p.m. slot, Griffin said, and will unveil a new program in that time period at a later point. Sharpton’s new show will have its first Sunday airing on October 4.

“I want to congratulate Al and his team. For four years they have done a terrific job bringing his voice and a big spotlight to issues of justice, civil rights and equality,” Griffin said in the memo. “And as many of you know, The Rev never missed a show. I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do with a Sunday morning newsmaker program.”

For the last several months MSNBC has sought to move away from the progressive analysis and viewpoint that once fueled it to new heights. Gone are shows hosted by Ronan Farrow, Joy Reid and Ed Schultz, among others, and in their place is programming aimed to burnish the reporting of NBC News. The gradual turnaround comes not only after MSNBC ratings have tumbled in recent years but after the arrival of Andy Lack as the new executive overseeing both MSNBC and NBC News.

Sharpton’s arrival at MSNBC caused some people to do a double take. The network’s appointment of the host, a noted civil-rights activist and Baptist minister, raised issues of whether a network with ties to a network-news operation should air such a program. Sharpton’s program was also the subject of satirical pokes from “Saturday Night Live.”

In a tweet Wednesday morning, Sharpton said he was happy to move the program to Sundays. “I am honored with now being a Sunday Morning TV host. Great!!”

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • George Schweitzer, President of CBS Marketing

    Amazon's Mike Benson Will Succeed George Schweitzer as CBS Marketing Chief

    George Schweitzer has enjoyed a broad career out of a very narrow practice. He finds new ways to get people to watch more TV. Those methods can range wide. He once tucked a paper-thin interactive video player into the pages of Entertainment Weekly so readers could sample new CBS shows. He got supermarkets to use [...]

  • Kane Brown 52nd Annual CMA Awards,

    CMT Boosts Kane Brown, Luke Combs, Dan + Shay as 'Artists of the Year'

    Country music’s youngest superstars don’t always catch a break with the CMA Awards. When the latest slate of nominations was announced, Kane Brown had none, and Luke Combs had a far-from-leading three. But CMT is making up the difference by including these two ascendants as part of their annual “CMT Artists of the Year” slate, [...]

  • Timothy Olyphant Once Upon a Time

    'Fargo' Season 4 Casts Timothy Olyphant in Recurring Guest Role

    Timothy Olyphant has been cast in the upcoming fourth season of “Fargo,” Variety has confirmed. Olyphant will appear in a recurring guest star role as a character named Dick “Deafy” Wickware. It was previously announced that Chris Rock would star in the fourth season of the critically-acclaimed anthology series. Other stars of “Fargo” Season 4 are: [...]

  • TV Ratings: 'Dancing With the Stars'

    TV Ratings: 'Dancing With the Stars' Premiere Flat on Last Season

    Casting Sean Spicer on “Dancing With the Stars” doesn’t seem to be having the desired effect on ratings for ABC. The show premiered its new season to a 1.0 rating and just under 8 million total viewers. That’s the same rating as the Fall 2018 season premiere which was watched by 7.7 million viewers. The [...]

  • Inside Tinder's User-Controlled, Secret Streaming Sereis

    Inside Tinder's Secret Streaming Series (EXCLUSIVE)

    Popular dating app Tinder is set to release a choose-your-own-adventure-style original series in early October, marking its first outing as a content financier and distributor, numerous individuals close to the project told Variety. The series is set against an impending apocalypse, one of the insiders noted, and asks the question “Who would you spend your [...]

  • Streaming Wars Placeholder TV

    Explosion of Streaming Services Points to Price Wars on the Horizon

    With its $800 iPhones and $1,400 Hermès smart watches, Apple’s not exactly in the business of bargain-bin pricing. But the surprisingly low-priced debut of Apple TV Plus, at $4.99 per month for a family subscription, is a signal that the streaming video market of tomorrow — soon to be awash with services from Disney, WarnerMedia [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content