Who’s in trouble over the disaster known as MSNBC? By rights nobody should be safe; the collapse has been spectacular. Chris Ariens at TV Newser pinpointed two examples that paint the downfall in bold primary colors:
In January 2014, “The Rachel Maddow Show” was the fifth most-watched show on cable news in the demo, averaging 305,000 viewers. Last month, Maddow’s show ranked No. 26 in the demo, averaging 153,000, down -50% year-over-year. It remains MSNBC’s most-watched show. Last year, “Morning Joe” was ranked #28 of all cable news shows in the demo. This January it is #47, and in fourth place in the demo behind “Fox & Friends,” “New Day,” and “Morning Express.”
Ratings are notoriously mercurial. “Riding high in April, shot down in May” could have been written about The Cable Game. But MSNBC’s steep decline over just one year is extraordinary. The January 2015 Cable News Ranker has to be an embarrassment to the suits at 30 Rock. Maddow is their highest rated show in the key demo—and it still loses to most every show on Fox News. (It doesn’t fare much better against CNN.) Al Sharpton has fewer demo viewers than Fox’s 3:00 am Red Eye; Ed Schultz can’t top the audience of that HLN powerhouse Dr. Drew on Call. At rock bottom are the likes of Ronan Farrow and Andrea Mitchell: the smallest fish in MSNBC’s rapidly evaporating puddle.
Phil Griffin’s experimenting is making things worse. Comcast pockets are deep, but not bottomless. We’re at the point where the team owner is ready to change the line-up and fire the coach. The Cable Game will not tolerate a loser.