The trouble MSNBC is in cannot be overstated. The openly left-wing (that’s a compliment) cable news network has already off-loaded Joy Reid and Ronan Farrow over disastrous ratings. No one really understands why they were replaced by a two-hour block of Thomas Roberts (who just a year earlier was replaced by Reid and Farrow over his own failed ratings), but how do you solve a problem like Alex Wagner?
According to TV Newser, Wagner’s demo ratings have dipped an astonishing -54% over last year. Thus far this year “Now with Alex Wagner” has earned an average of only 51,000 viewers in the coveted 25-54 demo. Things appear to be getting worse. Lately she has had episodes slide to as low as 15,000 and 21,000 demo viewers.
In total and demo viewers, Wagner is pulling as little to a quarter to a third of her competition: CNN’s Jake Tapper and Fox News’s Neil Cavuto.
Wagner is an appealing anchor. The problem is that her show is the dullest on television. Wagner makes CNN’s Michael Smercornish look like David Lee Roth on meth. Instead of “Now with Alex Wagner,” the show should be titled, “Alex Wagner Invites Her Beltway Pals Over to Completely Agree with Her About Absolutely Everything.”
There’s nothing informative about Wagner’s show. If Wagner has ever made news, I’ve forgotten. “Now” is just a bunch of DC liberals getting together for an hour to reaffirm how right they are about everything.
This isn’t a political judgment. Keith Olbermann is a terrible person but he’s great TV. “Now” is objectively terrible TV.
Wagner isn’t alone. Ed Schultz and “Morning Joe” are also in a demo death spiral.
CNN’s move to the hard-left under the guise of objectivity is no doubt siphoning viewers away from MSNBC. CNN chief Jeff Zucker was right in thinking that leftists looking for confirmation bias would prefer to get it served as behind a phony shield of objective as opposed to pablum.
John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC