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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 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.

Is Al Sharpton Having a Show on MSNBC the Same as Jesse Jackson’s Show on CNN?

SharptonObamaOn “Reliable Sources” Sunday Brian Stelter and his guests debated the many hats worn by Al Sharpton: preacher, news host, fundraiser, media consultant.

“He wants to pick and choose issues that can keep himself relevant,” Sharpton critic Minister Jonathan Gentry told Stelter. “This man wants to come in and perpetuate hate. When he comes into the equation he makes it about race.”

As for how his activism plays into his MSNBC show, Sharpton tells Stelter it’s no different than when the Rev. Jesse Jackson had a show on CNN in the 1990s. “I wear the same hats he wore,” Sharpton says. A major difference, however, is that Sharpton’s show is on five nights a week. Jackson’s show “Both Sides” was on once a week, on Saturdays.

“I think for the first time it’s probably gotten a little bit sticky,” NY1 anchor Erroll Lewis says of Sharpton’s many hats. “When you see him interviewing somebody who he’s also representing and then he goes to the Justice Department or to the White House, you have to wonder, who in all of this is he really speaking to and for?”


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MSNBC Promo Describes Rachel Maddow As a ‘News Anchor’

140305_2754126_Rachel_Maddow__Ike_BarinholtzYou won’t likely see MSNBC host Rachel Maddow filling in for Brian Williams on “NBC Nightly News.” While Maddow is usually described as the “host” of a cable news show, she is rarely called a “news anchor.” Her own NBC bio describes her as a “host”–and never even uses the word “journalist.”

So it’s worth noting that a new MSNBC promo flips the script, describing Maddow as a “news anchor with a big personality. She’s smart, funny and passionate.” Conservative critics immediately jumped on the promo, noting that previous “Lean Forward” promos for MSNBC included hosts like Maddow talking about their passion for progressive issues. “Given the MSNBC host’s long track record of pushing her agenda it’s hard to imagine anyone seriously considering Rachel Maddow anything more than a liberal commentator with a cable news show,” writes Jeffrey Meyer at NewsBusters.

A story by NBC News on MSNBC’s “Lean Forward” promos noted that “left-leaning anchors” like Maddow and Ed Schultz have made the network “increasingly identified with a rising tide of progressive political sentiment. The new branding campaign, while not overtly political, implicitly embraces the network’s progressive identity.”

In a 2011 Glamour interview with Katie Couric, Maddow dodged the question of whether she’s a journalist or not: Read more

November 2014 Ratings: MSNBC Down Double Digits During Midterm Election Month

Despite the midterm elections, The Place For Politics saw a decline in viewership vs. November 2013. MSNBC was down -13% in viewers and down -16% in the A25-54 demo for total day viewing for the month. The loses were less severe in primetime where the network was down -6% in viewers, and down -8% in the demo.

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

  • Primetime (Mon-Sun): 605,000 Total Viewers / 174,000 A25-54
  • Total Day (Mon-Sun): 350,000 Total Viewers / 104,000 A25-54

MSNBC finished third, behind Fox News and CNN, for the month in total viewers, and in fourth place in total day demo, behind HLN.

Ronan Farrow Posts Worst Ratings in Timeslot Since 2005

ronan farrow_304x200Only 13,000 viewers in the key A25-54 demo tuned into Ronan Farrow‘s MSNBC show Monday during the 1pmET timeslot. The last time MSNBC was under 13,000 for the timer period was back on Feb. 17, 2005 when the network drew 11K viewers in the key demo.

“Ronan Farrow Daily” also averaged 13,000 demo viewers back on September 19 of this year, so technically it’s not his worst day ever. It’s just tied for his worst day ever.

Despite the low number, the show has seen three straight months of growth in the demo. Nov. 2014 was Farrow’s best A25-54 delivery since April.

To put things in perspective, Farrow has 267,000 followers on Twitter. His 13,000 viewers represent 4.9 percent of his followers. At the same time on Monday, 168,000 demo viewers tuned in to CNN, while 230,000 watched Fox News.

Joe Scarborough: ‘I’ve Had It With B.S. on This Network, Other Networks’ Over Ferguson

Morning JoeOn MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Monday, Joe Scarborough said he had reached “a tipping point” on the Ferguson protests which have spread across the country in the days since the death of Michael Brown. Arguing that Brown was a poor choice for role models, Scarborough said anyone, including the host’s own children, would have put themselves in a position to be shot by a police officer if they’d done what Brown was described as doing.

Scarborough said the sight of St. Louis Rams players taking the field with their hands up in protest was “the final straw”. “I have sat here quietly and listened to B.S. being spewed all over this network, and all over other networks. I can’t take it any more.”

Watch it, after the jump: Read more

MSNBC’s Al Sharpton Immersed in Ferguson News, Draws Criticism from Megyn Kelly

SharptonMSNBC host Al Sharpton continues to be front and center in the aftermath of the grand jury’s decision to not indict Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown.

Sharpton spoke at a Brown family news conference this afternoon, speaking directly to St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch. “This is not our first rodeo McCullough. We will deal with this in a way civil rights leaders have,” Sharpton said.

During Fox News’ coverage of the chaos last night Megyn Kelly had some choice words for Sharpton. “Whether they [Ferguson residents] believe the representations of a guy like Al Sharpton, who just went out there and stoked the fires by giving them misinformation after misinformation, never to be corrected.”

Ed Henry Asks White House About Al Sharpton’s Taxes

HenrySharptonAt today’s White House briefing, Fox News’s Ed Henry asked Press Secretary Josh Earnest about last week’s New York Times story about MSNBC host and activist Al Sharpton and an unpaid tax bill of some $4.5 million. Henry set up the question noting the president’s ties to Sharpton. “He is here at the White House frequently as an adviser to the president, the president spoke at his organization,” Henry said, before asking:

Henry: Is the president concerned?

Earnest: The question you are asking underscores the importance that there is not political interference in tax enforcement. I am confident this administration is allowing whatever enforcement procedures are underway to be carried out.

Henry: An adviser to the president should pay his or her taxes?

Earnest: I think every American should pay his or her taxes

Critic: Cable News Walking Fine Line Between Coverage and ‘Inciting Violent Mood’

1408526936999_wps_5_A_protester_joins_hands_wDenver Post media critic Joanne Ostrow detects a “curiously eager” drumbeat in the cable news coverage from Ferguson ahead of the expected grand jury report:

If you’ve watched cable news lately, you are aware of the fine line they are walking between capturing the mood in Ferguson, Mo., in advance of a grand jury decision and practically inciting a violent mood.

Ostrow wonders whether heavy coverage of what might happen will influence what does happen. “It’s the tone that’s worrisome,” Ostrow writes. “Will there be blood? Might there be shooting? They’re guessing for all they’re worth.”

Rachel Racusen Leaves White House for MSNBC

Rachel-MSNBCPRNewser reports Rachel Racusen has been named VP of Communications for MSNBC.

Racusen joins the network from the White House where she has been Associate Communications Director. Prior to that, Racusen was Deputy Communications Director for Pres. Obama’s re-election campaign. Racusen takes over for Lauren Skowronski who was promoted to VP of Corporate Communications for NBCUniversal.

“I’m thrilled to add Rachel to our senior team,” says MSNBC president Phil Griffin. “She has great experience, she’s creative, strategic and passionate about our brand.”

N.J. Gov. Chris Christie: ‘There’s an Agenda at The Network Level at MSNBC’

fleece9n-6-webNew Jersey Governor Chris Christie tells The New York Times Magazine about his once hot, now quite cold relationship with MSNBC, and in particular, with Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski of “Morning Joe,” where Christie was once a regular.

In the profile by Mark Leibovich that appears in print Sunday, but published online Thursday, Christie says the chummy relationship he had at MSNBC dried up as Bridge-gate exploded:

“There’s an agenda at the network level at MSNBC,” Christie told me. “All these folks have to march in line in order to keep their jobs.” I asked Christie if he thought Scarborough and Brzezinski were taking orders from corporate bosses. “I don’t know,” he said. “But it seems to me there is a completely different approach to me than they were approaching me in the past.” (When I asked Scarborough if this was true, he said: “We saw him at the Vanity Fair-Bloomberg party last spring, and he stormed right past us. Mika and I just looked at each other and laughed. It’s a question of temperament with him.”) Yet Christie did not seem entirely displeased with this turn of events, either. Haley Barbour, the former governor of Mississippi and former chairman of the Republican National Committee, said, “A lot of people who vote in our primaries think that if MSNBC attacks you for a month, you must be better than I thought you were.”