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Cenk Uygur On Leaving MSNBC: Network Told Me To 'Tone It Down,' Didn't Want To 'Challenge Power'

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Cenk YugurCenk Uygur--the progressive online talk show host whose brief tenure as an MSNBC anchor ended on Wednesday--tore into the network in a lengthy monologue on Wednesday night, saying he had turned down a smaller role on MSNBC because he had been told he was too combative towards "those in power."

Uygur had been the 6 PM host the network since January. But that role came to an end on Wednesday, as the network announced that he would not be continuing. Now, every indication is that Al Sharpton will become the new 6 PM host. Sharpton has been guest hosting in the slot for the past few weeks, and his numbers have apparently improved on Uygur's.

Speaking on his "Young Turks" show, Uygur said that, though the ratings for his show had been satisfying MSNBC executives, his "tone" had not. According to his version of events, his departure from the network was the culmination of a protracted struggle with MSNBC management who wanted him to be more buttoned down.

Uygur said that, in April, MSNBC president Phil Griffin called him in for a talk. Griffin allegedly told him that "people in Washington" were concerned with his tone on the show.

"'Outsiders are cool, but we're the establishment,'" Griffin said, according to Uygur, who said he was also told to book more Republicans on the show. He claimed to have been stunned by the conversation, and said he ignored Griffin's advice.


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