MSNBC claimed that they were boosting their ratings by dumping their liberal hosts and switching to news, but over the last 4 weekdays, they have been the lowest rated cable news network three times with the key 25-54 demo audience.
On August 13, the daytime demo viewership numbers via TVNewser were FNC: 236,000 | CNN: 118,000 | MSNBC: 75,000 | HLN: 102,000. The next MSNBC rose to third place during the day by beating Headline News in the demo 103,000 to 88,000. On Monday, August 17, it was Headline News 102,000 and MSNBC 92,000. MSNBC lost to Headline News again yesterday by a margin of 98,000 demo viewers to 81,000 demo viewers.
Maybe the problem at MSNBC wasn’t that viewers did not want liberal politics. The problem was and remains that viewers would like programs that are interesting. MSNBC’s primetime is not great shape either. The network’s primetime lineup is mired in third place and losing ground to CNN on a daily basis. The Rachel Maddow Show is the only thing that is keeping MSNBC primetime from last place
The bosses at MSNBC threw liberals under the bus when it is clear that one of the main issues at the network is that the people who are in charge stopped listening to their audience. MSNBC’s attempted move to news is not going to go well because CNN already has that market cornered. When breaking news happens, those Americans who don’t watch Fox News turn to CNN.
MSNBC lacks the resources to compete with CNN on the news front. MSNBC execs tried to feed viewers a bunch of dull cookie-cutter shows and didn’t care when viewers responded by not watching. It wasn’t that the programming was too liberal. The hosts, with the exception of Ed Schultz, were dull and lacked the kind of strong personality that is required for success in cable news. Each of the personalities that were let go were talented people, but they were miscast and hung out to dry by a network leadership that lacked clear vision and direction.
MSNBC is sinking, and giving Chuck Todd Ed Schultz’s old timeslot is not going to save them. MSNBC execs are getting what they deserve, as liberals have taken their viewership elsewhere.
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