The Rev. Al Sharpton is losing his weeknight pulpit on MSNBC and will move to Sunday mornings.
In a memo to staffers sent late Wednesday, MSNBC president Phil Griffin announced that Sharpton’s program “PoliticsNation” will air as a weekly hourlong show on Sundays at 8 a.m. (Eastern) starting Oct. 4. Sharpton’s weeknight show, which aired at 6 a.m. (Eastern), ends Sept. 4.
“I want to congratulate Al and his team,” Griffin said. “For four years they have done a terrific job bringing his voice and a big spotlight to issues of justice, civil rights and equality. 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 news maker program.”
Sharpton’s program is the latest casualty of the changes underway at MSNBC, which is moving away from opinionated discussion shows and more toward breaking news during the day. Live coverage will air in the “PoliticsNation” hour until a new program is launched.
As a civil rights activist who often found himself in the news, Sharpton was the most polarizing of MSNBC’s hosts. But he was popular among the channel’s more politically progressive fans.
The founder of the National Action Network, Sharpton has most recently found himself at the center of protests over police brutality cases involving unarmed black men.
According to Nielsen, he averaged between 500,000 and 600,000 viewers in recent weeks but typically ran third behind Fox News Channel and CNN in the 25-54 age group that TV news advertisers want to reach.