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Melissa Harris-Perry is out at MSNBC; 'Farewell #Nerdland,' she tweets

Melissa Harris-Perry has parted ways with cable network MSNBC.

The Wake Forest University professor who refused to show up for an assigned shift on the cable news channel this weekend informed her Twitter followers early Sunday that she will not be back.

"Farewell #Nerdland. Inviting diverse new voices to table was a privilege. Grateful for years of support & criticism," she wrote.

An MSNBC spokesperson confirmed the exit of Harris-Perry, who first joined the channel as a weekend host in 2012.

Harris-Perry was upset that her program, where politics of race was often a lead topic, had been pre-empted in recent weeks for MSNBC's ongoing coverage of the presidential primaries. When she was asked by MSNBC management to be a part of its coverage this weekend, she publicly announced that she would not be there, citing her unhappiness over how her program was treated as the reason.

"Our show was taken -- without comment or discussion or notice -- in the midst of an election season," she wrote in a message to her staff that first appeared on the website Medium. "After four years of building an audience, developing a brand and developing trust with our viewers, we were effectively and utterly silenced."

MSNBC has pre-empted various anchors on its schedule for its election coverage, which airs under the banner "The Place for Politics."

Harris-Perry was hired at a time when MSNBC infused its news coverage with liberal-leaning hosts and commentators throughout the day. Since Andrew Lack gained oversight of MSNBC when he became chairman of NBC News in March 2015, the channel moved back to more straightforward news coverage during the day, leaving commentary and opinion in the prime-time hours.

By not showing up for her assignments this weekend, Harris-Perry was likely in breach of her contract with MSNBC.

Twitter: @SteveBattaglio

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Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times

UPDATE

8:55 a.m.: This story was updated with a statement from an MSNBC spokesperson.

 

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