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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.

Ebola Arrives in New York; Cable News Clears the Decks for Rolling Coverage

B0rMF7DIgAAD5i0Well, Canada, it was nice, but, well, we’ve got Ebola in New York. You could almost hear the cell phones ringing with news executives’ re-worked plans: We’re going to pull you guys out of Ottawa as soon as you’re off the air. Everybody to New York.

The cable news networks reacted with a frenzy of reporting Thursday evening in the wake of New York City’s first confirmed case of Ebola.

As New York is home to the nation’s major media, the emergence of Dr. Craig Spencer was enough to send producers pulling the keys from around their necks to unlock the nuclear launch codes. This, my friends, was big. Sorry, Dallas and Atlanta, I mean, well, do we really have to explain this to you?

CNN and MSNBC devoted wall-to-wall coverage to Ebola ahead of a planned news conference in New York, while planning extended coverage into the night and for Friday morning. Fox News announced it would air a live edition of “Hannity” at 10 p.m., followed by a live hour of “The Kelly File” with Megan Kelly at 11 p.m. “Fox and Friends First” will begin live coverage at 4:30 a.m.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, at the Ebola news conference that was carried live on cable news and streamed online, said New York, essentially, had been ready and waiting for this. “What happened in Dallas was the opposite,” the governor said. “The more facts you know, the less frightening the situation is.”

So on with the intense coverage then–and no panic, okay? FoxSports.com writer Erik Malinowski grabbed a photo of CNN’s Ebola 7-box (above), about which author Adam Sternbergh noted “there are more people on that screen than have contracted Ebola in the USA.”

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Fox News and MSNBC Have the Same Amount of ‘Mostly Liberal’ Viewers

Well here’s something surprising coming out of today’s new Pew survey looking into political polarization and media habits. Five percent of people who consider themselves “mostly liberal” watch MSNBC, equal the percentage who watch Fox News. CNN takes the majority of that audience with 20% saying CNN is their “main source of news about government and politics.”

No surprise here: the “mostly” and “consistently conservative” viewers overwhelming choose Fox News. In total, CNN edges Fox News (16% vs. 14%) as the main source of government and politics news. Today’s results are part of Pew’s year-long look at political polarization in America.

PewPolarization2

Gannett Editorial Accuses Cable News of Catching ‘Ebola Bug’ and ‘Transmitting Fear’

Cole-Ebola-ISIS-2-690-e1413163765212An unsigned editorial in the Asbury Park (New Jersey) Press–and carried in Gannett newspapers across the country–blasts Fox News, CNN and MSNBC of “ramping up the fear” over Ebola “in order to carve out higher ratings.”

The editorial accuses the networks of “manufacturing a bogeyman” in Ebola, and ignoring a far more real threat to Americans–flu:

When are CNN, MSNBC and FOX going to mount their round-the-clock coverage of the plague of influenza stalking our nation and particularly our senior citizens? Don’t hold your breath.

In the race for ratings and market share, the exotic, foreign killer will nearly always beat out the mundane. And speaking of exotic foreign killers, when the cable news networks take their eyes off the Ebola ball for a moment, it’s only to pick up the ISIS ball and tell us of the imminent threat of those barbarians at America’s gate.

It turns out that fear-mongering translates not only into dollars and cents for news-gathering organizations, but also allows talking heads to politicize the issue. That’s certainly true with ISIS as criticism mounts about just how badly the administration misjudged its threat.

Changes Coming to MSNBC

msnbc_logo_sticker_3_7x2.5Among the parts of Bill Carter‘s dissection of MSNBC’s ratings woes of late that jumped out at us is a quote from network chief Phil Griffin: “You can look at the dysfunction in Washington, the wariness about politics, the low approval ratings. That’s had an impact. But we’ve got to adjust; we’ve got to evolve,” Griffin says.

In fact, when the third quarter ratings came out — during which MSNBC had its lowest quarter in 7 years — TVNewser dug deep into the numbers. We tracked the president’s approval ratings going back to the beginning of his presidency, and compared them to cable TV news ratings during the same period. What we found is there is a correlation between the president’s popularity and that of MSNBC.

So what’s the plan for the NBCU news channel? Expect programming changes, less reliance on a recognizable pool of contributors, and an approach that goes beyond “The Place for Politics.”

“We have a good brand, a strong brand,” Griffin tells Carter. “But we’ve got to get outside Washington and open up our aperture a little.”

Alex Wagner Will Host ‘After the ALMAs’

MSNBC’s Alex Wagner will host After the ALMAs, a special program that will air live from Pasadena tonight at 11pmET immediately following the America Latino Media Arts Awards, also airing on MSNBC.

Wagner will be joined by Telemundo and MSNBC anchor José Díaz-Balart. Scheduled guests include Eva Longoria, NCLR President Janet Murguia, fashion designer Narciso Rodriguez, and Orange is the New Black stars Selenis Levya and Dascha Polanco.

Longoria and Mario Lopez will host the awards show celebrating America’s most outstanding and inspiring Latinos in the entertainment industry.

The Scoreboard: Wednesday, October 8

25-54 demographic (Live +SD)

  • Total day: FNC: 305 | CNN: 180 | MSNBC: 78 | HLN: 99
  • Primetime: FNC: 475 | CNN: 355 | MSNBC: 132 | HLN: 75

4p: 5p: 6p: 7p: 8p: 9p: 10p: 11p: 12a:
FNC
Cavuto:

159

TheFive:

265

Baier:

376

Greta:

364

O’Reilly:

556

Kelly:

544

Hannity:

322

O’Reilly:

343

Kelly:

383

CNN
Tapper:

184

Blitzer:

220

Blitzer:

252

Burnett:

211

Cooper:

282

Rowe:

507

Tonight:

277

Cooper:

145

Rowe:

138

MSNBC
Wagner:

56

EdShow:

85

Sharpton:

135

Matthews:

127

Hayes:

104

Maddow:

143

O’Donnell:

148

Hayes:

66

Maddow:

50

HLN
Now:

69

Files:

35

Files:

78

Jane:

93

Grace:

69

Dr.Drew:

61

Files:

94

Files:

123

Files:

250

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As President Obama Goes, Here’s How Cable News Goes…

FOX_NEWS_CHANNEL_LOGO_USECNNLogomsnbc_logo_sticker_3_7x2.5

Obama-Watching-Mubarak-on-TV1

With the midterm elections approaching and President Obama three quarters of the way through his presidency, we thought we’d see how the big three cable news networks’ ratings have fared in direct comparison to the president’s popularity.

We looked at President Obama’s monthly Gallup approval ratings dating back to January 2009: from his inauguration through September’s approval ratings, which was released yesterday. The president began his first term with a 64% approval rating. As of today, he is at 42%, a 22-point drop. For the networks, we looked at the Monday-Sunday total viewership for both total day and primetime (Live +Same Day). Our chart (after the jump) breaks down the networks’ quarterly averages.

Of the three networks, Fox News’ ratings have been the most stable in comparison to fluctuations in the president’s approval rating. FNC’s high point was around the 2012 presidential election, when Obama was at 51% approval. The network’s low point came earlier this year, when Obama was at 43% approval.

CNN’s peak came at the time of President Obama’s first inauguration, when Obama sat at 64% approval. Its basement was the second quarter of 2012 when Obama had dropped to 47%. At that time, all networks were in wall-to-wall presidential campaign coverage.

Like FNC, MSNBC’s high point came at the time of the 2012 election, when Obama was at 51%. MSNBC has had the biggest drop since the 2012 election, and is at its low point right now, just as President Obama is, who’s tied for his all-time low at 42%.

Network and presidential ratings, after the jump.

Read more

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.”

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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