Things got so bad for MSNBC’s conservative-leaning shows Morning Joe and The Daily Rundown with Chuck Todd that they lost with younger viewers to The Weather Channel last month.
According to TVNewser, “While the show got off to a slow start in March, “AMHQ” has been seeing some bright spots. For the month of June, “AMHQ” topped the 7am-10am hours on MSNBC in the A25-54 demo by +3%. On July 4, “AMHQ” averaged 173,000 total viewers, outranking MSNBC, CNN and HLN.”
Let’s toss out the bad ratings for MSNBC on July 4th, because regular hosts are on vacation and it is significant weather day as most people are outdoors for cookouts and fireworks. It is telling that two hours of Morning Joe and one hour of Chuck Todd’s The Daily Rundown were beaten by the weather in the month of June. It wasn’t the middle of hurricane season so extreme weather events were not dominating the news. The other essential point is that MSNBC didn’t lose to The Weather Channel with older viewers. They lost with people age 25-54. This is the demographic that the Lean Forward network is targeting.
The problem at MSNBC remains that the people running the network continue to give the viewers what they don’t want. MSNBC viewers don’t want to hear three hours of inside the Beltway talk led by a host who sings the praises of the Republican Party. Chuck Todd’s MSNBC show is more balanced than Scarborough’s, but still features so much Beltway conventional wisdom that is so out of step with the rest of the country that it is easy to see why Todd is not popular with the MSNBC faithful.
MSNBC incorrectly believed that by getting younger hosts they could attract younger viewers. This has not happened. Most of the worst performing shows on MSNBC (Ronan Farrow to name one) are fronted by the younger hosts.
MSNBC loves Joe and Mika. They will never make a change to their morning show unless they are forced to. The network adores them, because they are a mostly steady second-place finisher behind Fox and Friends in the ratings. MSNBC isn’t listening to what their viewers want, but things have reached a whole new level of bad when the network’s centerpiece morning show is losing to The Weather Channel.
MSNBC is capable of doing much better, but it won’t until those who are calling the shots start giving viewers what they really want.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association