Rumors have been swirling over the past week that Rev. Al Sharpton is poised to either lose his MSNBC gig or, at the very least, be moved to a weekend time slot. Responding to the rumors, Sharpton told The Daily Beast that he isn’t going anywhere any time soon.
The Daily Beast started the rumors after speaking with an MSNBC executive who said the network is going in a different direction:
In the longer term, these sources said, the Rev. Al Sharpton—a larger-than-life personality who attracts a 35 percent African-American audience but continues, after 3½ years of nightly practice, to wrestle with his Teleprompter—could eventually be moved from his weeknight 6 p.m. slot to a weekend time period, as MNSBC President Phil Griffin attempts to reverse significant viewership slides by accentuating straight news over left-leaning opinion.
In a conversation with Lloyd Grove, however, Sharpton said the rumors are false.
“I am pretty certain that I am solid at the time period that I’m at for the next foreseeable future,” the MSNBC host told Grove on Friday, adding, “And any rumors to the contrary are totally unfounded.”
As Grove observed, Sharpton’s not doing well in the ratings game.
“His 445,000 viewers at 6 p.m.—with 61,000 in the key 25-54 age demographic—are far below Fox News and CNN, but well ahead of CNN’s sister network HLN.”
MSNBC gave both Joy Reid and Ronan Farrow the axe last week, keeping them around as correspondents, but dumping their shows. According to the rumor mill, there are more firings to come as the network moves away from left leaning politics and back to hard news.
Dr. Boyce Watkins and Yvette Carnell discussed the rumors swirling around Sharpton and speculated on whether black talking heads are being purged now that Obama’s second term is winding down. You can watch the conversation below: