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MSNBC

MSNBC is a 24-hour newschannel owned by NBCUniversal, a Comcast company. MSNBC shares a newsroom and studio with NBC News at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. Launched on July 15, 1996, MSNBC was originally a joint venture between NBC and Microsoft. MSNBC acquired Microsoft’s stake in MSNBC TV in 2005 and acquired control of msnbc.com from Microsoft in 2012. Reaching more than 95 million households worldwide, MSNBC offers a 24-hour schedule of live news coverage, political opinion programs and documentaries. Phil Griffin is the president of MSNBC.

Phil Griffin on MSNBC Daytime: ‘Tough Stretch’ but ‘In This for the Long-term’

phil-griffinOn the same day ratings showed a 7-year low for MSNBC, TVNewser spoke to network president Phil Griffin at a luncheon for new morning anchor Jose Díaz-Balart.

“I think we’ve done a lot of good stuff,” Griffin told us regarding the changes he’s made this year to the daytime lineup, which includes adding Ronan Farrow and Joy Reid at 1pm and 2pmET, respectively.

“It’s been a tough run honestly since it’s happened because of the storylines, but I’ve been really pleased. Ronan’s done a lot of good stuff,” he continued, noting a story Farrow did on rape kit backlogs across the country.

“I’m in this for the long term. This has been a tough stretch, for everybody, but I think we’ve got the right people. Look, we’ll probably tinker with it, you always have to figure out where you are and how the world is changing. We should, we gotta respond.”

Will that tinkering include adding new hosts and shifting others around? “Look, I’m always looking at things. I just think you’ve got to respond. Look what’s happening out there and how the country has changed over the last couple of years. I think there’s been a big change.”

So far this year, Griffin added Díaz-Balart, who is Telemundo’s main anchor, at 10amET following Chris Jansing‘s move to NBC News. He shifted Tamron Hall from 2pm to 11amET, Andrea Mitchell from 1pm to noonET, and Alex Wagner from noon to 4pmET. Griffin currently has the 9amET hour to fill following Chuck Todd‘s ascension to “Meet the Press.”

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José Díaz-Balart: ‘Embarrassing’ That There Aren’t More Latino Voices on Cable News

Jose Diaz-BalartWe all know working in TV news can mean very long days.

Jose Díaz-Balart puts in about a 15-hour day, give or take, across two networks. For Telemundo, he’s the main anchor of the evening newscast. For sister network MSNBC, he hosts the 10amET hour. Díaz-Balart, the son of Cuban immigrants, and brother of Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart (R-FL), anchors both shows from Miami.

“Every second that I have the opportunity to work in this calling is a privilege; there’s no sacrifice there,” Díaz-Balart told us during a lunch at Rock Center Cafe.

Since his debut on MSNBC in June, Díaz-Balart has had a mission to use fewer pundits and analysts and put more real voices on the air. In his inaugural hour, during the height of the illegal immigration crisis at the Texas border, he interviewed an undocumented teenager named Maria who’d entered the U.S. illegally after her brother was murdered in Honduras.

“It’s embarrassing that there aren’t more voices [like Maria's] on the air,” he says. But because all cable news roads lead back to politics, Díaz-Balart says real stories from people like Maria, play right into MSNBC’s wheelhouse. Read more

Q3 2014 Ratings: MSNBC Has Lowest Rated Quarter Since 2007

MSNBC just had its worst three month stretch in nearly 7 years. For Q3 2014, MSNBC is down double digits in total day and primetime viewership. Among total day, A25-54 demo viewers, MSNBC placed fourth, behind FNC, CNN and HLN. In primetime, among total viewers MSNBC was second behind Fox News and ahead of CNN and HLN.

The ratings for Q3, 2014 (Nielsen Live + Same Day data):

  • Primetime (Mon-Sun): 328,000 Total Viewers / 97,000 A25-54
  • Total Day (Mon-Sun): 552,000 Total Viewers / 150,000 A25-54

Among total day and primetime viewers, MSNBC had its lowest rated quarter since Q4 2007 in total viewers and the lowest since Q2 2006 in the A25-54 demo. MSNBC is down -12% in viewers and down -25% in the demo for total day viewing. In primetime, the network shed -3% of total viewers while down -21% in the demo.

MSNBC’s three primetime shows, “All in with Chris Hayes,” “The Rachel Maddow Show,” and “Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell,” each had their lowest rated quarters ever in the demo.

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MSNBC Doesn’t Renew Contributor Goldie Taylor’s Contract

MSNBC and contributor Goldie Taylor have parted ways. Taylor, who’s been a contributor for several years appearing across daytime and primetime programs, tweeted out the news.

Taylor also responded to a user’s prediction she might end up as a contributor at the network across the street. Read more

MSNBC Already Planning to Carry 2015 Global Citizen Festival: ‘This Aligns With Our Values’

Chris Hayes and Alex Wagner Global Citizens

MSNBC set aside “Lockup” and “Caught on Tape” for something much more noble and musical Saturday night. The network devoted nearly 1/3 of Saturday’s programming to the Global Citizen Festival, a 6-hour live concert in New York’s Central Park meant to draw attention to, and end, extreme poverty.

TVNewser went backstage as MSNBC anchors Chris Hayes and Alex Wagner hosted a one hour afternoon special, then anchored coverage into the night.

“There are definitely worse ways to spend a Saturday afternoon than in Central Park, on an 80-degree day, with Alica Keys,” Wagner told us just as Keys took the stage.

Adds Hayes: “Cable news is a pretty repetitive undertaking… Tuesday, generally looks a lot like Monday. So anytime you’re doing something new that’s stretching some new set of muscles, it’s fun.”

The concert kicked-off with a set from Dutch DJ Tiësto, then continued with Alicia Keys, The Roots, Fun., and Carrie Underwood interspersed with remarks from the Queen of Sweden, the prime minister of India and the president of Rwanda.

As MSNBC’s Ronan Farrow conducted live interviews with heads of state and celebrity guests, NBC’s Tamron Hall spent much of the afternoon in the crowd interviewing attendees before hosting a primetime special on NBC. “This is phenomenal,” Hall told us before she took the stage. “When you attend an event like this and each person here did something for the world, that’s tremendous.”

This was the third Global Citizen Festival, and the first time MSNBC has been involved. MSNBC president Phil Griffin says it won’t be the last. “I can tell you we’re pretty much committed to doing next year. I guarantee it.”

“This aligns with our values,” Griffin tells TVNewser. “I love it that we’re connecting with all these people. And I think it’s important that we lead in this space.”

The concert culminated with Jay-Z and a surprise appearance by Beyonce closing the show with “Forever Young.”

(Photos: Chris Ariens)

Sharpton: ‘We Are Engaged in Immediate Conversations’ With WH Over Holder Successor

SharptonResponding to the resignation of Attorney General Eric Holder today, MSNBC host and President of the National Action Network Al Sharpton suggested he’s in direct contact with the White House regarding Holder’s eventual successor.

In a statement, Sharpton lauded Holder while looking forward.

“The resignation of Attorney General Eric Holder is met with both pride and disappointment by the Civil Rights community. We are proud that he has been the best Attorney General on civil rights in U.S. history and disappointed because he leaves at a critical time when we need his continued diligence most. We are engaged in immediate conversations with the White House on their deliberations over a successor whom we hope will continue in the general direction of Attorney General Holder.

Sharpton later spoke to Business Insider to clarify the NAN’s involvement: “We did not say we are in the decision making. We are in conversation to reach out to them to have meetings about what we want to see in a successor.”

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Maddow on Understanding Syrian Airstrikes With ‘Absence of International Media’ There

Maddow SyriaLast night, Rachel Maddow examined the difficulty in knowing important details about U.S. airstrikes in Syria in light of the lack of foreign media in the region.

“All of this footage; many, many, minutes of footage,” Maddow began. “We know what the fireworks look like…but we don’t have any independent information as to what those targets actually were or what the effects were of those U.S. strikes.”

Maddow went on to suggest if you wanted to get an independent take on the mission separate from the U.S. military coining it as “successful,” there’s no way to get that right now. “There isn’t a professional international media presence inside Syria right now and nobody’s to blame for that except for the terrorists who keep capturing, and kidnapping, and ransoming, and torturing, and murdering journalists.”

WATCH:
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Best of Behind the TV Scenes: Nash, Xu, O’Hearn, Capus, Schreier

Throughout the summer, we’ve spotlighted the industry’s top producers; getting the inside story about their shows, how they got to where they are, and advice they have for future TV journalists.

Here are some of the best takeaways from our five-part series, “Behind the TV Scenes.”

Don Nash, “Today” EP                                                                                     Don Nash

“I never wanted to go anywhere else. I got out of college, I got a job as a page at NBC, and I never thought in a million years I’d ever work for a show as great as “Today.” I never thought in a billion years I’d ever be running the place. And I never had any desire to go anywhere else because I didn’t think it could get any better. It’s absolutely important to be loyal to whoever you work for, be it at a network or anywhere else. Loyalty is something I value in a big way; it’s something I value in the people who work for me, and it’s something I value in the people I work for.”

Susie Xu, “OutFront” EP                                                                                                                                                                                                   Susie-Xu

This one’s always tough. I think as a producer you never talk about yourself; it’s all about the anchor. What’s shaped me a lot is being the second child in a Chinese family after the one-child rule was imposed. From the beginning of my life, I was really not supposed to be born. The government came down on my parents and said, ‘you’re not supposed to have a second child, we have a one-child policy here, and you already have one daughter and you don’t need another.’ But my parents defied them, and I think that’s shaped a lot of who I am, and I always think, wow, I wasn’t even really supposed to be around and I’m so lucky to be where I am and have the awesome opportunities I have. It’s pretty cool.

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Scarborough Wonders if MSNBC Will Cover a Christie Exoneration As Much as Charges

JoeWhile discussing new reports that federal investigators have found no link between the George Washington Bridge fiasco and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Joe Scarborough wondered how his network will cover it.

“12 nights in a row on a certain network,” Scarborough said sarcastically after co-host Mika Brzezinski said there should be 24 hours of coverage if it comes out that Christie had no knowledge of the bridge closures beforehand. Scarborough’s sarcasm was is in reference to MSNBC’s wall-to-wall coverage earlier this year of the bridge closures and possible connection to Christie.

WATCH:

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‘The Newsroom’ Returns With Storyline Ripped from MSNBC

The-Newsroom-HBO-The-112th-Congress-Episode-3-4-550x366Aaron Sorkin‘s “The Newsroom” returns to HBO November 9. The 6-episode final season will include whistleblowers, a wedding, and a minor storyline ripped from a real newsroom. As Sorkin explains to EW about the characters of Jim and Hallie, played by John Gallagher Jr. and Grace Gummer:

Jim is still dating Hallie, but there’s tension in that relationship. Hallie is actually now working for ACN Digital at the beginning of the season. And mirroring something that happened at MSNBC a while back when someone tweeted a quip that was offensive to Republicans. It was a big deal—MSNBC had to apologize. They had to fire the producer who sent the tweet and everything. So something very similar happens to Hallie. She in the middle of the night, really tired, tweets something from ACN’s account, sort of immediately realizes what she’s done, deletes it but it’s too late. That begins a story that lasts the whole season.

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