One of the great untold stories in cable news these days is the ratings free fall over at MSNBC. The Lean Forward network seems to only exist in order to make CNN’s abysmal ratings look like something less than catastrophic.
Two weeks ago Variety’s Peter Bart tried to sound the alarm with an open letter to MSNBC chief Phil Griffin. Bart, who’s to the Left of Karl Marx is so dismayed he praised Fox News:
The bottom line, Phil, is that you’re making the Fox news-and-propaganda network look young and agile, which is remarkable given its aging demos. Fox still delivers news, not just tirades. To be sure, viewers have to decode the polemics, but Fox’s polemics are more entertaining than Rachel Maddow’s pedantics. …
If MSNBC seemed ignored in the shuffle, that served you well, Phil, since your network had quietly settled into third place in total-day ratings behind Fox and CNN, with primetime ratings at a 10-year low.
Since then the network’s ratings have sunk even more; to a point where its best primetime showing in the all important 25-54 age demo occurred during a marathon of the reality series “Lockup” on Saturday, September 13th.
Alex Wagner and Ed Schultz appear to be huge drags. Schultz does a little better, averaging close to 50K demo viewers. Wagner is a catastrophe sometimes dropping to as low as 26K demo viewers. By comparison, during the same two hours, CNN’s Jake Tapper and Wolf Blitzer usually pull in as many as five times that many 25-54 viewers. Fox News, naturally, beats everyone.
As the night rolls on through Al Sharpton, Chris Matthews, Chris Hayes, and Rachel Maddow, the numbers improve some. But all 4 regularly lose to CNN and are in turn annihilated by Fox News.
MSNBC was unable to summon young viewers during the biggest presidential speech of the year. The Obama Channel lost to its leftwing competition at CNN during President Obama’s primetime ISIS address on the evening of September 10. Rachel Maddow beat CNN in total viewers but could only summon 361K 25-54 viewers, compared to CNN’s 633K. Fox nearly beat them both combined with 994K.
CNN Chief Jeff Zucker turned his network sharply to the left over the past year. That political and tactical move appears to be draining young people from MSNBC.
What CNN offers Leftists is the pablum of disguising confirmation bias as straight news reporting. This allows Leftists to pretend they are objectively correct. MSNBC is nothing more than leftwing talk radio with pictures.
If MSNBC were more interested in making money than playing Obama’s Palace Guards, the “Lean Forward” network would become the “Lockup Network.”