As I have reported here previously a few times, MSNBC is currently in the midst of revamping their daytime schedule because of poor ratings. They’re getting clobbered by CNN and Fox News.
As a result, they recently cancelled “Now with Alex Wagner,” “The Cycle” and “The Ed Show,” and replaced them with straight news programs anchored by a shifting lineup of different anchors. Meanwhile Michael Eric Dyson, who has taken over “The Ed Show’s” afternoon slot, has, for the time being, been hosting a similar show not unlike “The Ed Show,” but without a title.
And there were rumors that the network was planning to eventually move the ratings-challenged show “PoliticsNation” hosted by the Rev Al Sharpton, to a weekend slot.
Well, finally, yesterday, MSNBC president Phil Griffith announced that Rev Al’s show would be moved to Sunday mornings in October, taking the 9AM slot (8AM Central) preceding Melissa Harris Perry’s show.
The move means that MSNBC’s early morning weekend show “Up with Steve Kornacki” would be cut by one hour on Sundays, while still retaining its normal two hour slot on Saturday mornings, 8-10PM Eastern time.
The network basically had no choice. Sharpton’s show has been a ratings disaster, hampered by endless controversy (specifically on why the network gave him his show in the first place), almost from the very moment it first premiered. And there was speculation as to why the network still kept it on, while other shows that have fared as badly, and weren’t on the air as long as “PoliticsNation,” were being cancelled by the network.
Of course both Sharpton and the network tried to put a positive spin on what must be a comedown for him. Sharpton said that he was happy about the move because, “First, I can reach a wider audience of people who don’t get home by 6 at night. Second, I can now get the A-list guests and newsmakers I want. And third, a Sunday morning host is what I always wanted to be. I never wanted to be a weeknight pundit. I wanted to be a Sunday morning newsmaker. I wanted to be Dr. Martin Luther King, not Larry King.”
Say what? He never wanted to be on TV 5 days a week? If you believe that, then I have a bridge in Brooklyn I’d like to sell you.
Meanwhile CNBC president Griffith added that: “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.” Which is just another way of saying, “Finally we figured out how to dump him without him starting a protest against the network.”