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MSNBC Ends Speculation, Hires Al Sharpton as Primetime Host

The civil rights activist and minister will officially take over the 6 p.m. slot, which he has been hosting for much of the summer

After weeks of speculation, MSNBC has made it official — Al Sharpton will be its new host at 6 p.m.

The well-known civil rights activist and minister has been filling in at the time slot for much of the summer, leading most pundits to assume he would become the full-time host. The rumors have finally been verified, as MSNBC Phil Griffin made the announcement that Sharpton will host “Politics Nation” starting Aug. 29.

Also read: Rachel Maddow: I Love Al Sharpton

"I am very happy and honored to join the MSNBC team as we collectively try to get America to ’Lean Forward,’" Sharpton said in a statement. "It is a natural extension of my life work and growth. We all learn from our pain and stand up from our stumbling and one must either learn to lean forward or fall backwards. I'm glad they have given me the opportunity to continue my forward lean."

The show, which will lead-in to MSNBC shows like "Hardball with Chris Matthews" and "The Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell," will feature a disucssion of the major headlines. Sharpton's longstanding relationship with Griffin and the network was a factor in the decision.

“I’ve known Rev. Sharpton for over a decade and have tremendous respect for him. He has always been one of our most thoughtful and entertaining guests," Griffin said in a statement. “I’m thrilled that he’s now reached a point in his career where he’s able to devote himself to hosting a nightly show. ‘PoliticsNation’ is going to be an incredibly strong kick-off to our evening schedule.”

The 6 p.m. spot was last held by radio host Cenk Uygur, who left after a contract-related disagreement. Uygur later claimed that the MSNBC brass also asked him ot mute his opinions. Griffin and MSNBC denied all such rumors.