Cenk Uygur’s days as an MSNBC host appear to be numbered as the network is reportedly eager to replace him with Al Sharpton.
Sharpton has been filling in for Uygur for the past three weeks and the ratings have increased enough during this time that the network is ready to make the switch.
Since Uygur took over the 6 p.m. slot, his ratings have been up and down, beating CNN on some nights and losing on others and never really gaining a good foothold, while trailing Fox News’ Bret Baier by a wide margin.
If MSNBC is looking to generate some controversy, then hiring Sharpton should do exactly that and may give the program an initial boost. But all the network has to do is look at CNN for an example of what can happen when you hire someone with little or no experience hosting a television show. CNN placed the disgraced former governor of New York, Eliot Spitzer, on the air, first in a show paired with conservative columnist Kathleen Parker, and after that failed, with a rotating group of co-hosts. That show also failed.
The situation with Sharpton may be different though, as MSNBC is far more comfortable than CNN with controversial loudmouth hosts (Keith Olbermann, for example), and might succeed where Spitzer failed.