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 for the 6:00 PM ET show. MSNBC’s decision to dump Uygur “had already been made” before Sharpton went on, Uygur says.
As for Rev. Al, we hear that his negotiations with MSNBC to formally become an anchor are in the home stretch. He’ll continue to serve as a guest host until the deal is done.
Meanwhile MSNBC is firing back at Uygur: “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.”