MSNBC taps Al Sharpton for 6PM slot


After two months in the timeslot, Al Sharpton has now become the permanent host of MSNBC’s 6 p.m. hour. The news channel said 8/23 that the weeknights time slot would be renamed “PoliticsNation” 8/29. Sharpton will “lead a lively and informed discussion of the top headlines, bringing viewers his take on events in his signature style,” MSNBC said.

In addition to being a frequent guest on MSNBC, Sharpton has also been a guest host on several programs, most recently on “MSNBC Live at 6PM” and “The Ed Show.”

“I am very happy and honored to join the MSNBC team as we collectively try to get America to ’Lean Forward,’” said Sharpton. “It is a natural extension of my life work and growth. We all learn from our pain and stand up from our stumbling and one must either learn to lean forward or fall backwards. I’m glad they have given me the opportunity to continue my forward lean.”

Matthew Saal is the Executive Producer for the show.

Sharpton was among the many activists who chose to support Comcast’s successful bid for NBCUniversal, which owns MSNBC.

MSNBC CEO Phil Griffin has a decade-long relationship he has developed with the minister and civil rights activist. Sharpton worked with Griffin on “A Stronger America: The Black Agenda,” a special MSNBC aired last year that grabbed headlines for a debate between Sharpton and professor, author and activist Cornel West.

Shartpton told The Wrap that the show will deal with issues in an opinionated way, “my expressing my views and others giving their views. But we will do some stuff that will be my signature segments. The focus will be from another point of view, and I will be dealing with those that disagree…I certainly want to deal with the issue of the economic disparities in this country, deal with what’s going on in the political season of 2012. I know politics. I ran in 2004. Just like a Huckabee knows on Fox, I know it on here. I’m the only one on this station that has run for President and knows what it is to go through a primary and presidential debate. It’s just like why Roger Ailes hired Huckabee.”