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December 22, 2014

Phil Griffin

Al Sharpton Gets MSNBC Show 'PoliticsNation'

by Alex Moaba, posted Aug 23rd 2011 2:45PM
MSNBC has officially blessed the Reverend Al with his own show. Sharpton, who's been filling in on the network's 6 PM hour for the past two months, will now host his own show, called 'PoliticsNation.'

Sharpton began filling in for Cenk Uygur in early July while he was out on vacation, and put up solid ratings in his stead. Shortly after Uygur returned, he and the network had a very public falling out in which Uygur alleged he was pressured to "tone it down."

"I've known Rev. Sharpton for over a decade and have tremendous respect for him. He has always been one of our most thoughtful and entertaining guests," said MSNBC President Phil Griffin in a statement. "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. 'PoliticsNation' is going to be an incredibly strong kick-off to our evening schedule."

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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.

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Joe Scarborough Suspended By MSNBC For Making Political Donations

by Jeremy Taylor, posted Nov 19th 2010 5:10PM
MSNBC is suspending 'Morning Joe' host Joe Scarborough without pay for two days for making eight unreported campaign contributions of $500 each to Republican candidates running for local office in Florida.

Earlier this month, fellow MSNBC host Keith Olbermann was also suspended two days under similar circumstances, except that his contributions went to Democratic Party candidates. Just like in the case of Olbermann, Politico uncovered the donations using a fairly simple database search.

"This morning Joe Scarborough informed me that he made eight contributions of $500 each to local candidates in Florida between 2004-08," read a statement from MSNBC President Phil Griffin. "In my conversation with Joe two weeks ago (in the wake of Olbermann's suspension) he did not recall these contributions. Since he did not seek or receive prior approval for these contributions, Joe understands that I will be suspending him for violating our policy."

Scarborough has issued as statement of apology: "I recognize that I have a responsibility to honor the guidelines and conditions of my employment, and I regret that I failed to do so in this matter. I apologize to MSNBC and to anyone who has been negatively affected by my actions."

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Keith Olbermann Will Return Tuesday, Is 'Furious' at MSNBC

by Jeremy Taylor, posted Nov 8th 2010 12:50PM
Keith OlbermannKeith Olbermann's "indefinite" suspension from MSNBC will end Tuesday, only four days after it began.

MSNBC president Phil Griffin, who suspended Olbermann Friday for making political contributions to three Democratic party candidates, without first disclosing the donations to MSNBC brass, had this to say about the reinstatement:

"After several days of deliberation and discussion, I have determined that suspending Keith through and including Monday night's program is an appropriate punishment for his violation of our policy. We look forward to having him back on the air Tuesday night."

Media watchers on both sides of the political spectrum have criticized MSNBC's decision to take Olbermann off the air, arguing that since Olbermann is a political commentator who makes no effort to hide his liberal point of view, it shouldn't be an issue if he gives money to democratic candidates.

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Keith Olbermann Suspended Indefinitely By MSNBC

by Jeremy Taylor, posted Nov 5th 2010 3:03PM
MSNBC has suspended Keith Olbermann indefinitely and without pay for making campaign contribution to three Democratic candidates in this year's midterm elections.

According to a report by Politico, Olbermann gave the maximum $2,400 to Democratic House Representatives Raul Grijalva and Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, and to Kentucky Senate contender Jack Conway, all of whom had previously appeared on 'Countdown.'

"I became aware of Keith's political contributions late last night. Mindful of NBC News policy and standards, I have suspended him indefinitely without pay," MSNBC president Phil Griffin said in a statement. MSNBC anchors are not barred from making contributions to political candidates, but the company's policy states that donations must first be cleared with network management.

This is a fairly stunning development, as Olbermann is probably the most recognizable face at MSNBC, and is featured prominently in the cable station's new "Lean Forward" re-branding campaign.

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