Among 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.”