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Cenk Uygur Out at MSNBC, Blasts Network for Telling Him to Tone It Down (VIDEO)

by Alex Moaba, posted Jul 21st 2011 11:20AM
Cenk Uyguy out at MSNBC.Cenk Uygur's brief run as the 6 PM anchor on MSNBC has come to a close. The former 'Young Turks' web host left the network Wednesday after starting there in January. The parting of ways was, according to his own blistering account, mutual, and came after MSNBC executives told him to tone down his show because he was making "people in Washington" uncomfortable.

Uygur's video report about what went down in his final weeks at MSNBC is fairly dramatic. Despite improving on Ed Schultz's numbers when he occupied the 6 PM timeslot and besting CNN in June, Uygur paints a picture of network executives, including MSNBC President Phil Griffin, that were more concerned with reining in his brash, challenging, outsider style than ratings. The network offered him a high-paying job as a contributor when they moved him off the 6PM slot, Uygur said, but he turned it down.

The Reverend Al Sharpton has been filling in for Uygur for the last two weeks, notching solid ratings numbers. A report from TV Newser last week said the network was looking to make a change at 6 PM, and that Uygur could be replaced by Sharpton. Now it looks like that may be one step closer to happening.

Keith Olbermann tweeted that Uygur will be joining him as a guest on Thursday night's edition of 'Countdown.' We're going to go ahead and speculate that Olbermann might be eyeing Uygur as a potential host to build out Current's news and opinion lineup, something he's been promising to do since joining the fledgling network as its Chief News Officer in February. As former MSNBC refugees who both left network under pressure from "corporate," the two have a lot in common.

Update: According to Deadline, Uygur said in a press conference this morning that he has indeed been contacted by Current, and that while his immediate focus will be on his YouTube show, he's open to returning to cable news if he's given the freedom to be himself.

MSNBC also released a statement pushing back on Uygur's depiction of the circumstances surrounding his departure:

"Cenk's claims are completely baseless," the network says in a statement. "In fact, we were working on a new contract, to develop him into an even bigger television talent. We did have numerous conversations with Cenk about his style, not substance. It's unfortunate that he's decided to depart in such a negative fashion."




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MKJ

"Cenk's claims are completely baseless," the network says in a statement. "In fact, we were working on a new contract, to develop him into an even bigger television talent. We did have numerous conversations with Cenk about his style, not substance. It's unfortunate that he's decided to depart in such a negative fashion."

The quote says it all. Completely different take than what he said how it went down. This guy will fit right in with all the Big Heads at Current, including Big Al (who looks like a Grown up Eddie from the Munster TV show and the loud mouth, terrible X sportscaster Keith Ob.

October 04 2012 at 6:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
John from Raleigh

Wow... I really enjoyed watching Cenk on MSNBC. It really seemed to stand up for anyone making less then 100k a year. He took on both the left and the right if they were trying to pass policies negative to the working class. His thoughts on the viability of Social Security and why we should not except any changes are outstanding. Do you realize the Republican Party wants people to work until their 70? Think about that, can you image working until 70? Or your parents working until their 70. My Dad has done construction his whole life, thank god he was able to retire at 55 after 30 years of Union membership. Do you think Corporate America will let you keep your job until you are 70 or do you think you will be working at Wal-Mart to make ends meet. You have already paid into SS and Medicare, don't let the Republicans take it away.

July 21 2011 at 11:52 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Becky

MSNBC's loss is Current's gain. Loved Cenk's show and I am sad he is gone. Looking forward to seeing him on Current with Keith and hopefully (fingers crossed) with Rachel Maddow in the very near future.

July 21 2011 at 6:56 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

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