Al Sharpton’s days a powerful, influential media person apparently are quickly coming to a close. MSNBC announced that Sharpton’s show is being pushed into an early morning slot on weekends. MSNBC President Phil Griffin tried putting the nicest-sounding spin on the demotion as possible, saying 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. 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 newsmaker program.” Sharpton tried putting his best spin on it, too, tweeting “That new Politics Nation w/ Al Sharpton will premiere on my birthday weekend. I am honored with now being a Sunday Morning TV host, Great!!”
As with MSNBC’s entire lineup of shows for weekdays, Sharpton’s Politics Nation show consistently finished last in the ratings. It isn’t a stretch to think that other primetime shows might be cancelled on MSNBC. MSNBC has already announced the cancellation of other shows, though not all were from primetime:
MSNBC has formally decided to cancel three programs — “The Cycle,” “Now with Alex Wagner” and “The Ed Show” — as part of a larger effort to shift its daytime lineup away from opinion programming, network sources told the On Media blog on Thursday.
Alex Wagner and Ari Melber, a “Cycle” co-host and MSNBC’s chief legal correspondent, will remain with the network. Ed Schultz, the host of “The Ed Show,” will leave the network, as will “Cycle” co-hosts Abby Huntsman, Krystal Ball and Toure. MSNBC President Phil Griffin announced the news in a memo sent shortly after the initial version of this item was published.
At this point, MSNBC’s shows get the worst ratings on cable news. If Griffin wanted to get better ratings, he’d put together a show with the same principles that Morning Joe was built on. On the shows that’ve been cancelled or pushed to the weekends, the fringe element of the Democratic Party were treated like royalty. On Morning Joe, they’re ridiculed.
Sharpton’s demotion was predictable. Sharpton first became famous for his part in the Tawana Brawley rape hoax in 1987-88. Last summer, Sharpton invited controversy when he highlighted the “Hands up, don’t shoot” movement that touched off rioting in Ferguson, MO. MSNBC should’ve fired him then because the movement Sharpton started never happened.
When a journalist doesn’t have credibility, they’re nothing more than a celebrity. That’s all Sharpton is at this point. He isn’t even seen as a civil rights leader like he was in past years. His star has definitely fallen.