To conservatives, CNN is extra mockable than MSNBC. MSNBC is open about its liberal biases, whereas CNN claims it is a reasonable different, immersed in solely info. Teasing a liar is extra rewarding than the shameless counterpart admitting their narrow-mindedness. CNN additionally promotes its uncommon viewership spikes throughout breaking information durations. Meanwhile, MSNBC’s self-promotion machine is quiet and ineffective. While CNN has two in-house media critics, Brian Stelter and Oliver Darcy, paid to bash Fox News, MSNBC stays largely out of the media beat. And lastly, CNN’s complete viewership is smaller than MSNBC, creating a better goal.
Because of these outcomes, mainstream media detractors have coated CNN’s fall this yr and largely ignored MSNBC’s, apart from a few gross clips of Joy Reid. Yet, regardless of the warranted mockery of CNN, MSNBC is the community with the graver set of challenges.
In summer time, CNN’s primetime programming failed to succeed in one million viewers. To see that fall was beautiful. How may a cable information community’s primetime reveals not hit at the very least one million viewers? It was remarkable. Now, much more telling, MSNBC has joined CNN at that location.
On Friday, two of MSNBC’s primetime packages fell below the 1 million mark, The ReidOut (7 pm) and The Last Word (10 pm ). Those reveals are horrible in high quality but have all the time managed to get at the very least one million retired liberals to tune in.
Joy Reid and Laurence O’Donnell once more be part of CNN’s whole prime-time line up in falling beneath the humiliating line of 1 million complete viewers. Joy has fewer viewers than the reveals earlier than & after her. Don Lemon & Anderson Cooper barely getting 500k complete. Almost no viewers below 55. pic.twitter.com/OVJwfiYEBw
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) October 5, 2021
What’s alarming for MSNBC is Chris Haynes is limping and trending in the identical route. MSNBC’s complete attain is eroding with out Donald Trump to give attention to. The community is now clawing for outrage, and determined for any white man to emerge as a “threat to Democracy.” To be clear, MSNBC’s viewers don’t thoughts if the topic is an precise risk, however it may possibly’t be a cable information host. It should be somebody who influences the federal government. Tucker Carlson is a enjoyable goal, however he is not the reply as a alternative for Trump.
MSNBC viewers, those whose grandchildren have logged on to a pc, see CNN’s demise and assume their community is nice. That is incorrect. Though MSNBC nonetheless leads CNN in complete viewership, CNN is pulling away in the 25-54 demographic.
Cable information executives measure success primarily based on that age demographic. The viewership in the class is the quantity the networks current to advertisers in return for advert charges. So if a community slumps amongst adults 25-54, its advert income will decline the next yr (except it takes this short-term method Today and GMA tried). Enter MSNBC.
Here are the viewership averages in the demo in the third quarter of 2021, (6/28/21 to 09/24/210):
Fox News: 227,000
Fox News: 377,000
Notably, MSNBC is struggling in the demo throughout primetime hours. The Rachel Maddow Show led the corporate in the class with 285,000 viewers, the eighth highest present of the quarter. Then got here the dropoff. All In with Chris Hayes ranked second at MSNBC, all the way down to twenty second. MSNBC could be non-competitive in the primetime demo if it weren’t for Maddow, simply because the community is throughout the day. What’s extra, that’s a preview, not a hypothetical.
MSNBC is getting ready for Maddow to depart its daytime lineup in 2022 as she strikes to a weekly program. In response, MSNBC is mulling over an inventory of B-level replacements. Whether Fox News and CNN rise or fall in 2022, MSNBC will undeniably expertise the latter.
MSNBC’s viewers is not going to keep as a result of Maddow was once there. We know this as a result of the community’s viewers gained’t even hold the channel on for The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, which airs at 10 pm, instantly following Maddow’s present.
On common, round one million viewers flip MSNBC off after Maddow palms the keys to O’Donnell. Maddow’s handoff to her alternative may result in an identical viewership pattern. It doesn’t matter if MSNBC replaces Maddow with Nicolle Wallace, Joy Reid, or another progressive. When Maddow leaves, her viewers depart along with her. Perhaps they go to Twitter?
MSNBC’s trajectory features a declining base viewers, a disconnect from the coveted demographic, and the upcoming departure of its sole particular person draw. It’s exhausting to seek out three worse points for a cable information community.
MSNBC desperately wants Maddow to alter her thoughts and keep, for Donald Trump to win in 2024, and for one more Russia hoax. Unfortunately, solely the final hope is in MSNBC’s palms.
CNN is a large number. Two of its primetime hosts are creeps. Yet, by some means, CNN is higher off than MSNBC.