*MSNBC president Phil Griffin was asked about the status of Al Sharpton as the anchor of the network’s 6 o’clock hour.
There had been rumors that a deal was made for Sharpton to replace Cenk Uygur at 6 p.m. Griffin noted that Sharpton was doing well in the timeslot, but said nothing is permanent as of today.
“No decision has been made yet,” Griffin told reporters this morning at the Television Critics Association press tour in Beverly Hills. “Last May, he was a regular on ‘The Ed Show,’ and he filled in for Ed, and he did a very good job. And he held the audience, and the show was terrific. And he sort of fits into the MSNBC sensibility. And then so we are looking at him at 6:00.
“He’ll sort of fill out the summer, but we’ve made no decision. We are sort of looking at a lot of different people to figure out what we are going to do at 6 o’clock, but no decision.”
MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, also on the panel, along with fellow anchors Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O’Donnell, praised Sharpton as a good lead-in to his program.
“He’s done really well from my perspective, because I’m on at 5:00 and 7:00,” said Matthews. “It matters to me who is on at 6:00, obviously, and he has done really well in keeping our audience and helping build it towards 7:00. I mean, he’s not all the way there yet, but if he gets the job, I think he’d do well.
Griffin also addressed the rumors surrounding Cenk Uygur’s exit, which included an online farewell message in which he accused MSNBC executives of wanting him to “tone it down” and be less combative with powerful guests. [Scroll down to watch.]
In the bonus audio below, Griffin explains the specific MSNBC offer that Uygur turned down.