The cancellations of Ronan Farrow and Joy Reid were just the beginning of the changes at MSNBC. It is being reported that the network is going to get rid of their liberal hosts and move away from “left-wing TV.”
Lloyd Grove at The Daily Beast reported:
In the longer term, these sources said, the Rev. Al Sharpton—a larger-than-life personality who attracts a 35 percent African-American audience but continues, after 3½ years of nightly practice, to wrestle with his Teleprompter—could eventually be moved from his weeknight 6 p.m. slot to a weekend time period, as MNSBC President Phil Griffin attempts to reverse significant viewership slides by accentuating straight news over left-leaning opinion.
“Everybody in the food chain from top to bottom understands that the Olbermann era is over,” said an MSNBC source, referring to the glory days during George W. Bush’s administration when incendiary liberal Keith Olbermann regularly attracted a million viewers—many of them seeking refuge from White House and Republican talking points.
The MSNBC source said, “Going left was a brilliant strategy while it lasted and made hundreds of millions of dollars for Comcast, but now it doesn’t work anymore…The goal is to move away from left-wing TV.”
This move away from liberal hosts would likely mean that Ed Schultz, Al Sharpton, Chris Hayes, and Lawrence O’Donnell will all be gone. Rachel Maddow will move up to 8 PM, and the rest of the night would be a to be determined question mark.
Last year it was reported that the network views Morning Joe, Hardball, and The Rachel Maddow show as their three keepers. Maddow is still beloved by the left, but both Hardball and Morning Joe elicit loud complaints from some sections of the network’s viewership.
The fear is that MSNBC will overreact to their recent rating slide by making a knee jerk move to the right. There is a huge liberal audience that will watch left-leaning programming. The mistake that Phil Griffin made was offering viewers boring liberal programming. Griffin’s cookie cutter strategy of trying make more shows look and sound like Maddow created a redundancy of tone that caused viewers to flee.
The problem with MSNBC wasn’t that they were liberal, but that they treated their audience so badly for so long that viewers didn’t trust the network to keep their favorite hosts, outside of Maddow, on.
It all started to go wrong for MSNBC when Keith Olbermann departed. The MSNBC viewers used to know could be leaving soon. If my suspicions are correct, get ready for the era of Scarborough at the former Lean Forward network.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and 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