MSNBC Ignores Their Viewers By Vowing To Keep Morning Joe And Move Or Cancel Liberal Shows

MSNBC hit a new level of tone deaf by deciding to keep the show that viewers despise (Morning Joe) while threatening to cancel or move everything else that isn’t Rachel Maddow.

Politico reported:

The extent of that change could be vast: In the months ahead, MSNBC is likely to shake up the bulk of its programming, moving some shows and canceling others, high-level sources at NBCUniversal told POLITICO. With a few exceptions — notably “The Rachel Maddow Show” and “Morning Joe” — every program is at risk of being moved or canceled, those sources said. “All In with

Chris Hayes,” a ratings suck that currently occupies the 8 p.m. time slot, will almost certainly be replaced. Network execs are also considering moving some weekday shows, like “Politics Nation with Al Sharpton,” to weekends. “The plan is to re-imagine what the channel is,” one high-level NBCUniversal insider with knowledge of the network’s plans said, “because the current lineup is a death wish.”


For some NBC insiders, the failure of “All In” — Hayes is a distant third place to Fox’s Bill O’Reilly and CNN’s Anderson Cooper, both in total and in the demo — is indicative of the limits of Griffin’s reactive approach to programming. Unlike Ailes, Griffin didn’t set out to create a partisan network because he believed in the ideology. He did it because it made sense from a business perspective. Olbermann was popular, so he gave Maddow a show. Maddow was popular, so he gave Hayes a show. The problem is that not every disciple is as good as the mentor. Maddow was a groundbreaking liberal voice, an entertainer and the first openly gay prime-time news anchor. Hayes was just a smart kid from Brown University.

It is important to note that MSNBC was never liberal due to an ideological belief. MSNBC went left because there was money to be made in serving the underserved liberal cable news audience. This change has nothing to do with Comcast. It is all about the fact that MSNBC has been losing money. Comcast would turn MSNBC into a 24-hour liberal lovefest if it made them more money. Viewers may care about ideology, but profits are the only thing that matters to corporations.


The report goes on to state that beyond the axing of All In, Al Sharpton, and Ed Schultz are going to banished to the weekends. Chris Matthews and Hardball are among the top three most watched shows on the network, so it doubtful that Hardball will be canceled or moved.

Viewer complaints about the three-hour Republican propaganda centered around Morning Joe are always going to fall on deaf ears. The network bosses love Scarborough, so until viewership plunges even more, Morning Joe is not going anywhere. Rachel Maddow hosts the one show on the network that is capable of drawing a respectable audience. It will be interesting to see if the network moves Maddow to 8 PM as has been previously reported, or if they take a different approach to building primetime around her.

The changes that look to be written in stone are more hours of news anchored by NBC News, the shuffling of Schultz and Sharpton off to the weekends, the canceling of Alex Wagner and Chris Hayes, and it has long been suspected that Lawrence O’Donnell and The Last Word will be replaced.


The reason viewers don’t watch MSNBC for breaking news is that the network doesn’t do news. Phil Griffin took MSNBC so far into the realm of opinion that viewers stopped going there for their news.

The changes at MSNBC do not represent a failure of liberal media. MSNBC’s problem is that it has become stale and boring. The network is full of hosts who use the same format and discuss the same issues. There is nothing, outside of Maddow; that is different and exciting in MSNBC’s programming.

There is still a huge and vastly underserved audience for liberal news. The lesson that can be taken from MSNBC’s faceplant is that liberals are also people who want to be entertained. The biggest change that needs to happen at MSNBC is that top management beginning with Phil Griffin needs to be replaced.


View Comments

    • Maybe I see Al Sharpton in a different light than you do. Like, maybe, I haven't judged him based on his past mistakes...

      I like the variety of points of view he has on his hour program, much more than Melissa Harris-Perry (who seems a bit TOO nerdy to me), but the one thing that keeps me from tuning in MSNBC at the beginning of his hour instead of when Hardball begins is Sharpton's high-octave pitched voice. An hour of that and my ears are ringing.

      Actually, Chris Matthews affects me the same way, so I don't always turn MSNBC on during his hour either. But my viewing usually goes straight through until The Last Word, which includes both All In and TRMS.

      You'd think there'd be more people like me to counterbalance the Fox News channel watchers.

    • Amen. He is painful to watch. He cannot speak in complete sentences, even with the assistance of a teleprompter.. Furthermore, he should be in jail for not paying his taxes. Instead, he gets invited to the White House. If he is the official Black spokesperson, the African American population is in a world of hurt.

      • Quit putting blacks under one blanket you self serving undercover cowardly racist!You are afraid of Sharpton because he puts dimwitted punks like you in their place and tears your simple minded ass up. Take a seat idiot!

  • I wish they would separate News from Entertainment. A talking head editorializing is not news, nor is it entertainment. Give me news and I'll make up my own mind; then I'll turn to the entertainment.

  • MSNBC stopped being Left(or pretending to be) years ago...

    The "in" thing now is to be a loud-mouth right-wing asshole and blame the president for everything-that's how they make their money...

    If Dems would stop watching Scarborough and getting on Twitter and complaining about him like he cares about their outrage, maybe his ratings would tank enough and they would have gotten rid of him-BUT NOOOO

  • If Comcast removes the liberals, the ratings will really take a nosedive. Most people saw this shakeup coming when Comcast took over.

    • Al Jazerria has been looking for an opening! If they could get Keith and other liberals, MSNBC will dwindle into another Fox Network! And we know that only one Faux is allowed in the hen house!

      • As long as the ownership of MSNBC is one of the DOD's largest contractors, MSNBC will NEVER be anything but "Liberal Lite" or "Progressive Pablum". They will NEVER allow the full truth whether news or opinion to emanate from their programming. MSNBC could set FauxSnooze on their ear if they stroked the liberal/progressive base with the REAL news as it actually happens. They are afraid of upsetting their corporate masters. They do leave the window open for someone else (Aljazeera?) to come in and not just target the demographic, but to SERVE it, too.

    • I wish they would come up with a station that has only liberal or Dems on it. I'm sick of the RWNJs getting all the attention. I loved MSNBC once, but watching less and less of it now. Could take the libs on there and give them their own channel, that would be worth watching. Whenever a RWNJ is being interviewed on MSNBC, I change the channel. Just not interested in any of their garbage talk.


  • I am not a TV expert, but how could anyone find Morning Joe the least bit interesting or likable? He is more obnoxious than Hannity.

  • The Last time they tried to shuffle off Schultz to weekeneds it lasted all of 3 months max before they put him back on in weekdays because of public outrage

    so i could see if they tried to move Ed & Al to weekends. there would be an outrage again

    • Granny Smith, q.v.; Lodi, q.v.; Criterion, q.v.; Winter Banana,q.v.; Ivory Transparent, q.v.; Orange Pippin, q.v. ... want me to go on?

  • I will not watch another fox lite. Where do progressives go for news that's NOT right wing controlled? Here comes America, the next third world facist state. Wish I was able to relocate.

  • The new Thomas Roberts show is plain awful.

    I can't decide if it is CNN or Fox that they are going for.

    Ed Schultz is a raving lunatic

    Lawrence has an ego issue

    Alex Wagner is awful

    Andrea stutters and stammers constantly

    I like Jose Diaz Balart

    I like Ari Melber but The Cycle stinks

    Tamron Hall is no lose

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