After a month of speculation, MSNBC has announced that the Rev. Al Sharpton will permanently host a nightly political show on the network at 6 p.m. Eastern time.
Titled "PoliticsNation," the program will feature Sharpton, a Baptist minister, political activist and radio personality, leading "a lively and informed discussion of the top headlines, bringing viewers his take on events in his signature style," according to a press release.
In a statement, MSNBC president Phil Griffin billed the forthcoming show as "an incredibly strong kick-off" to the network's prime-time lineup, which usually finds itself nestled in second place between Fox News and CNN in the cable news ratings.
"I've known Rev. Sharpton for over a decade and have tremendous respect for him," said Griffin. "He has always been one of our most thoughtful and entertaining guests. 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."
Sharpton has long been a frequent guest on MSNBC. For the past two months he has been filling in as a guest host at 6 p.m. following the departure of the hour's interim anchor, Cenk Uygur. His arrival at the network makes him one of the few African American hosts on TV news, though his support of the Comcast-NBC Universal merger in exchange for promises of diversity within the organization has raised questions about whether joining MSNBC in a full-time capacity would present a conflict of interest.
Sharpton, for his part, was sanguine in his own prepared remarks about the move.
"I am very happy and honored to join the MSNBC team," he said. "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."