Al Sharpton is about to receive a big promotion at MSNBC, with the network planning to double the reverend’s on-air time with viewers and move him to a more desirable time slot.
Sharpton will move from his Sunday hour from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., to 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, a person familiar with the matter told TheWrap. The first day of Sharpton’s new schedule will be Saturday Oct. 13. The show itself is expected to remain broadly the same.
MSNBC declined to comment on the matter.
The move is part of a larger shift at MSNBC toward live weekend coverage, the same person told TheWrap.
News of the shuffle was first reported by Mediaite, which also said that David Gura will absorb Sharpton’s old spot with a two-hour panel program that will air from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Saturday and Sundays.
The decision from MSNBC is a massive vote of confidence for Sharpton, who many believed was on his way out the door after MSNBC canceled his regular 6 p.m. weeknight program in 2015 and moved him to the lonely Sunday morning hour once a week.
“The reason 8 a.m. works for me is that it’s early enough for all the church crowd to watch before they go to church,” Sharpton told the Daily Beast at the time.
The reverend however hung on, becoming a frequent presence across MSNBC programming from “Morning Joe” to late night. Once a lighting rod of outrage during racial tensions of the 1990s, his perch at MSNBC has allowed him to broadly redefine his image to younger viewers and take on the role of elder statesman of the anti-Trump #resistance, which has been a ratings winner for the channel in recent months.