Rev Al Sharpton
Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images Record 21044592

It’s official: MSNBC is giving a nightly talk forum to the Rev. Al Sharpton.

Sharpton has been guest hosting the cable news network’s Live at 6 p.m. show, but today MSNBC made a formal announcement that Sharpton will take over the slot permanently.

Sharpton’s program will be called PoliticsNation and it will make its official premiere on Monday. MSNBC has been criticized for considering the longtime community leader for the gig instead of a black journalist.

Explained MSNBC president Phil Griffin in a statement: “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. 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.”

Added Sharpton in a statement: “I am very happy and honored to join the MSNBC team as we collectively try to get America to ’Lean Forward.’ It is a natural extension of my life work and growth. We all learn from our pain and stand up from our stumbling and one must either learn to lean forward or fall backwards. I’m glad they have given me the opportunity to continue my forward lean.”