Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Obama Scandal Tanks MSNBC Ratings - Quality versus Politics – the Decline of MSNBC and Lack of Substance






The jury is out - boring, one-dimensional programming is only sustainable for a short period of time - image mediate.com
A theory that the problems dogging the Obama Administration is the root cause of MSNBC’sdismal rankings this past week – the networked pulled only 83,000 in the coveted 25-54 demographics, placing last behind CNN’s Headline News Network. (Deadline.com) The fact that the content has not changed over the past seven years, regardless of which commentator is on-air, is the main problem this network faces. In the grand scheme of cable news programming, the word “news” is an integral part of the programming, which, MSNBC does not offer in any great measures. The competition, Fox and CNN, placing first and second respectively, although considered politically leaning news programs, the fact that they have dedicated newscasts, gives these networks the edge. Talking heads aplenty, as well as programming that features both sides of the political spectrum can be found on these networks as well. Unfortunately, MSNBC’s format of talk, talk, talk and one-dimensional political rhetoric is only sustainable for a short period of time.

Generally the network does best in a general election year, however, at this stage one could easily look at multi-year rankers and get the gist – the other guys must be doing something other than three to four recognizable “commentators” who spend more time ranting that their competitive network counterparts.

One would think that after having thrown good money after bad for an extended period of time, somebody might get the hint – it’s time to change the format. There is certainly a market for the counter-culture that is MSNBC – college students should be enamored, as well as those who lean left politically – yet it’s those individuals in the middle, neither right nor left, that make up the bulk of those who are watching cable news. Although the argument can (and has) been made that both CNN and FOX are politically “biased”, they at least offer other segments that are more in gear with the major networks rather than a cable basic.
Personalities are key as well, considering those whose successes are both on and off screen at the “other networks” should apply as a key hiring or firing point for anyone who has any sense left at the network that can’t quite get out off the ground. Aging old white men, with little to no sense of humor, who are not anchors, should have something to recommend them – besides being comic fodder for other networks and talk radio hosts.

The fact that the Administration is under the gun, is not at issue, regardless of how far the crew at MSNBC either avoids or dismisses or outright defends, the IRS Scandal, Benghazi, Fast and Furious, Wire-tapping the AP, etc.. Perhaps if someone got the bright idea of reporting, then discussing issues (find one), rather than spending far too much time tearing down the “other guy” or an entire political party, they might just attract a broader audience, or at least hold onto those who had watched during the general.

Regardless the content and the delivery have made MSNBC the cable network equivalent of Air America. Dissent and discussion are worthy of programming but changing it up, on occasion, is what continues to draw numbers for the competition.

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