MSNBC is on the verge of hiring the Rev. Al Sharpton for its 6 p.m. hour, the New York Times reports.
The activist and radio personality has been guest-hosting the time slot for the past several weeks. MSNBC's interim 6 p.m. anchor, Cenk Uygur, of the influential webcast "The Young Turks," has parted ways with the network because, he claims, his "tone" was too strong and "people in Washington are concerned."
In a video posted on his YouTube channel last night, Uygur says he was offered an alternate contributor role at the network for "a lot of money," but turned it down.
"They said, you have really good ratings, you did everything that we asked you to do, but we went in a different direction," he explains in the video, which you can watch above. "I didn't want to work in a place that wouldn't let me do my kind of show, that wasn't interested in my kind of show, that didn't want to challenge power."
In an interview with the Times, MSNBC president Phil Griffin disputed Uygur's take, saying that MSNBC's bookers were having trouble landing guests at 6 p.m. due to concerns over "Mr. Uygur's aggressive body language and overall demeanor," Brian Stelter writes.
MSNBC's evening lineup has been in flux since the departure of Keith Olbermann back in January. As Olbermann attempts to lure viewers over to his new home at Current TV, where he hosts the 8 p.m. hour, MSNBC has been locking down additional liberal talent to fill his shoes. (Uygur is slated as one of Olbermann's guests on tonight's installment.)
Hayes declined to comment. But we're told his move to New York, where MSNBC is headquartered, is imminent, and that there will be a rooftop farewell party in his honor tonight at a popular beltway watering hole.
A spokesman for MSNBC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.