I don’t know why Current avoided calling itself a politically progressive channel with its new ad campaign and slogan: “We Are Politically Direct.” If you’re direct, then why not just say what you are? In any event, here’s the campaign’s first spot for Current’s primetime lineup with Keith Olbermann, Cenk Uygur, and Jennifer Granholm. It’s voiced by actor, activist, and rapper Common, and was created and produced by LA-based Stun Creative Agency:
UPDATE, 12:45 PM: Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm will anchor The War Room from San Francisco so she and her husband can continue with their temporary appointments teaching at the University of California at Berkeley. She’ll also continue to appear on Meet The Press. Granholm says her show will focus primarily on politics and public policy with a special focus on “solutions to the most pressing problems out there.” But she hopes to leven the mix by regularly featuring contributions from satirist Brett Erlich as well as viewer-generated content such as videos from the campaign trail. Granholm describes herself as being “on the left end of the spectrum” but with views that were shaped by her experience as “a pragmatic governor.” Current co-founder Al Gore says that he’ll appear from time to time on the network’s shows, including Granholm’s — and may participate in coverage of election news events. Although Granholm has no experience as a talk show host, the former vice president says he’s confident that she’ll be a fast learner: “If she had not been born in Canada, she’d be a leading candidate for president,” he says.
The addition of The Young Turks is part of a larger plan to turn Current TV into an all-news network — described by CEO Joel Hyatt as “a new news network for a new kind of news viewer.” The channel’s chairman, former Vice President Al Gore, added in a brief press conference that “you won’t have to wait that long” for an announcement about another on-air hire. It would likely be for a show to follow Countdown With Keith Olbermann, which airs at 8 PM ET. Uygur says that he will continue to host his two-hour daily show on YouTube in addition to his new one on Current, which he descibes as “a gathering place for progressives to meet and discuss the issues of the day.” The network says it has no ratings target for the show, which will be broadcast from Los Angeles. Here’s the release about Uygur’s new show: Read More »
MSNBC today named Al Sharpton as host of PoliticsNation, a new hourlong program topped by the civil rights activist and minister that will air weeknights at 6 PM ET, kicking off the network’s evening schedule. MSNBC president Phil Griffin made the announcement about the show, on which Sharpton “will lead a lively and informed discussion of the top headlines, bringing viewers his take on events in his signature style.” It debuts Monday. The move to bring in Sharpton had been expected as he already was guest-hosting in the hour, filling the slot vacated last month when the network jettisoned Cenk Uygur after it “decided to make a change.” (Later, Uygur claimed he was told to “tone it down” and bring in more Republican guests, prompting him to walk away; at the TCAs, Griffin said he would welcome Uygur back.) MSNBC has been busy shoring up its lineup, inking a multi-year deal with Rachel Maddow and adding The Nation editor Chris Hayes as host of a weekend news block.
Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
MSNBC Announces Multi-Year Contract With Rachel Maddow MSNBC president Phil Griffin, appearing on the cable news network’s Tuesday panel at TCA alongside hosts Rachel Maddow, Lawrence O’Donnell and Chris Matthews, said the door is still open to “Young Turk” Cenk Uygur, who abruptly left the network July 20. Griffin said he was surprised by the departure, although he does not feel that the host worked in the 6 PM time slot. “We wanted Cenk to stay at MSNBC; he fits our sensibility,” he said. “I don’t think all good people are going to succeed at 6 o’clock. We were working on a new contract to have him on the weekends; I was disappointed that he didn’t stay and hope we will work out that he comes back. … I have nothing bad to say about him. He was terrific.” Griffin said no decision has been made about putting Al Sharpton in Uygur’s former slot but that the civil rights leader “fits into MSNBC.” Read More »
The politically progressive radio talk show host doesn’t have specific plans to return to TV now that he has been dumped from MSNBC Live. But Uygur says he “would work on another cable news channel — I’d work at MSNBC again” as long as it would ”be on my terms.” For now his only concrete plan with Current is to appear tonight on Countdown With Keith Olbermann. But Uygur added in a press conference this morning that he “might have news for you in a little while about (his weekday show, The Young Turks, on) You Tube.” Uygur says that “I’m a new media guy….my plan is to dominate media from new media, not old media.” Uygur continued the blasts at MSNBC that he began last night in a video saying that the news network is “obsessed with access (to newsmakers), and you have to play ball to get access.” MSNBC chief Phil Griffin told him to change his tone and become “part of the establishment,” Uygur says. He says he doesn’t believe that Comcast, which bought a controlling stake in NBCUniversal in January, was angling to push him off. Uygur says it’s “endemic to the (media) system” that “if you’re good to the powers that be and soft on the government you’re more likely to advance.” He also said that his departure had nothing to do with the ratings that the Rev. Al Sharpton has been generating as a fill-in host … Read More »
Cenk Uygur’s run at MSNBC sure was short. The news network says that it has “decided to make a change” at 6:00 PM ET, the time slot when since January Uygur has hosted MSNBC Live. “It’s unfortunate that Cenk has declined our offer to have him develop and host a program for another time slot,” MSNBC adds. The Turkish American radio talk show host plans to hold a teleconference with the press on Thursday where, the invitation says, he will ”boldly discuss his departure from MSNBC.” The change comes amid reports that MSNBC may turn the time slot over to controversial civil rights activist Rev. Al Sharpton who generated decent ratings filling in for Uygur while he was on vacation.
Is the Rev. Al Sharpton about to land his own show on MSNBC? The network isn’t commenting about the possibility, raised today by TVNewser. But the web site says it’s being considered after the controversial civil rights activist generated decent ratings over the last two weeks while hosting the 6:00 PM ET newscast MSNBC Live. He filled in for radio talk show personality Cenk Uygur, who has been on vacation. The site says that Uygur “will remain a part of MSNBC in some capacity.”