*In an interview with the Daily Beast, Rev. Al Sharpton says he’s fine with MSNBC moving his high profile, 6 p.m. weekday “Politics Nation” to just one hour a week on Sunday mornings.
“I was very comfortable with the fact that I was going to do a Sunday show,” Sharpton said, putting a positive spin on MSNBC’s announcement that as of next Friday, his four-year-old program will be replaced on weekdays by an as-yet undefined news hour.
The Baptist preacher and civil rights activist—who also heads the African American-oriented advocacy group, the National Action Network—has been relegated to 8 a.m. Sundays starting October 4.
“We just wanted to make sure that it was the right time, and we wanted to make sure it was going to be an A-1 show,” Sharpton continued. “I’m talking about doing it in a way that is going to surprise everybody—getting A-list names both in Washington and entertainment, and all of that.”
Sharpton said his goal is to compete with NBC’s “Meet the Press,” CNN’s “State of the Union,” “Fox News Sunday” and other Sunday morning news staples that make and break news—with guests as diverse as Obama administration Cabinet officials and hip-hop mogul Jay-Z.
However, his plan is to tape these Sunday shows on Fridays, rather than broadcast them live.
“Nobody thought we could do a weekday show, and now we’re going to do a Sunday show, and it will be very different, and we’ll do things that the Sunday shows that come on after me are gonna have to deal with—stuff they couldn’t get,” Sharpton said. “Don’t forget, I have one of the best Rolodexes out there from Washington circles and entertainment circles, and I’m going to use it.”
Sharpton, 60, also said hosting “Politics Nation” every night, in addition to his daily three-hour radio show—plus traveling the country on civil rights business—had been taking a toll.
“I always put myself under more pressure than anybody because at the end of the day, I always want to be successful, so that I’ve got a platform for the causes I represent,” Sharpton said, noting that MSNBC will continue to pay him the same reportedly seven-figure salary for one-fifth of his previous work.
“I have a contract,” he said, adding that it runs “for a good while,” but declining to specify how much longer.
He added: “I’m as happy as I could be.”
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