NBC News cable outlet MSNBC finished May in a dismal 4th place in the ratings race delivering a humiliating blow to the left-leaning news network.
If MSNBC execs are rationalizing the 4th place finish by pointing out that CNN Headline News surged thanks to increased interest in the Jodi Arias murder verdict, they’re whistling past the graveyard. A look inside the numbers show serious hemorrhaging that need to be attended to quickly before the patient bleeds out.
The most significant problem: Their newest primetime experiment “All In with Chris Hayes” which delivered the network’s lowest 8PM ratings since the Bush Administration. It’s true. The last time MSNBC had ratings this low at 8PM, Nancy Pelosi had yet to become the Speaker of the House and Vice President Dick Cheney had just had a hunting mishap.
In a more direct comparison, Hayes’ predecessor, “The Ed Show with Ed Schultz” looks like a ratings champion compared to Hayes. Hayes is down a whopping 32% in total viewers compared to Schultz’ May numbers from last year. Hayes replaced Schultz the first week of April in an effort to attract younger viewers, yet the all important “money demo” 25-54 is also way down for Hayes.
“The Rachel Maddow Show,” the only real success story in MSNBC prime time over the past few years, suffered greatly due to the horribly weak lead-in from Hayes. Maddow’s numbers fell to its lowest mark since 2008 and the lowest since 2009 in the 25-54 demo, TV Newser reports.
Even more troubling for MSNBC, the ratings free fall occurred during a relatively busy month in the news business. May saw some very big news stories that drove increases at all the cable stations across the board. The Boston terror bombing, the Cleveland kidnapping drama, the Jodi Arias trial, the IRS scandal, Benghazi, the AP leak investigation, the James Rosen/Fox News leak scandal, the Oklahoma tornado… all big news stories that drove viewers to cable news for information and analysis. But they seemed to everywhere but MSNBC. Not a good sign for a cable news network.
It might be panic time at 30 Rock.