MSNBC ratings “unexpectedly” take a turn

posted at 2:31 pm on June 1, 2013 by Jazz Shaw

Our friend Jim Geraghty stumbles across some numbers which may serve to take the collective temperature of the electorate more than any poll coming out of the political analysis factory. (This was also featured in the Morning Jolt, in case you’re not signed up for it yet.) In the midst of a prolonged media strike on various “wacko birds” and a general theme that conservatives were once again in trouble, there seems to be a distinct lack of interest in politics on the part of the Obama faithful.

Read the complete rankings, May 2013 versus May 2012, via Nielsen:

Total Day
FNC: 1,246,000 total viewers, up 24 percent (236,000 in 25-54, down 5 percent)
CNN: 465,000 total viewers, up 61 percent (161,000 in 25-54, up 92 percent)
MSNBC: 346,000 total viewers, down 10 percent (115,000 in 25-54, down 7 percent)
HLN: 494,000 total viewers, up 111 percent (175,000 in 25-54, up 90 percent)

Primetime
FNC: 1,973,000 total viewers, up 17 percent (308,000 in 25-54, down 6 percent)
CNN: 660,000 total viewers, up 70 percent (225,000 in 25-54, up 97 percent)
MSNBC: 539,000 total viewers, down 20 percent (175,000 in 25-54, down 19 percent)
HLN: 624,000 total viewers, up 91 percent (209,000 in 25-54, up 97 percent)

There are a number of nuggets to look at here, none of which seem to fit with current media gossip lines. Fox is up again, though not by a larger margin than you might expect. CNN Headline News was up massively, but as Geraghty points out, it was largely due to their wall to wall coverage of the Jodi Arias trial which kept all the gossip columnists riveted for months. CNN was the butt of many jokes for their jumping the gun on a number of stories, particularly the Boston bombing, but they still managed a staggering jump in their numbers. (Could that be because Jake Tapper joined the crew and lent some credibility to the network in the middle ground between the day shift and the evening?)

But who did that leave to soak up the losses? Yes… MSNBC. Particularly their evening, personality driven, opinion shows.

The soft start for All In With Chris Hayes has not helped. Hayes, down 32 percent in total viewers from The Ed Show last May, has offered a poor lead-in for MSNBC’s primetime flagship, The Rachel Maddow Show, at 9 p.m. The show delivered its lowest-rated month since it debuted in September 2008 (717,000 total viewers) and its second lowest with adults 25-54 (210,000). Maddow was topped by typical time slot victor Sean Hannity and CNN’s Piers Morgan.

I’m not sure which is worse… losing to Piers Morgan or to a spinal inversion therapy infomercial, which probably garnered about the same ratings. But viewer habits can sometimes tell us more than a snapshot delivered by a polling firm which relies on people willing to sit through a phone survey during an off cycle year. As Jim notes, even some of the most liberal bloggers are taking on a decidedly Eeyore tone and wondering if the boat is springing a leak.

Ratings aren’t a perfect indicator either, of course, but it does seem to follow a pattern. Mid-term elections tend to produce low turnout for younger voters and the majority of liberal activist blocks. Or maybe the scandals in DC actually are taking a toll and disillusion is setting in. Either way, we’ll need a few more cycles to see if this is a trend or an aberration.


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Is that a girl, or a guy?

John the Libertarian on June 1, 2013 at 4:37 PM

That’s about right. I do give them a little credit for at least looking at it from a business viewpoint instead of just slobbering over barky 24/7 now like they were.

VegasRick on June 1, 2013 at 4:14 PM

But that’s my point! Is CNN a business channel (Fox News has one of those)? Are they a channel which focuses on news and not opinion? Do they get more opinion oriented like FNC or MSNBC?

To mix mediums- CNN is currently the USA Today of cable news. Generic, boring, and something most people only watch at hotels where the TV has limited offerings.

Were I to advise CNN about a strategy, I would advocate they break new ground again. Figure out a way to beat Fox and NBC on getting local coverage of any breaking story since they don’t have affiliates in virtually every city (I’d point them to try and channel social media in some way) Then I’d tell them figure out what they can offer in the way of programming the competition does not. Finally, I’d tell them that they need to establish what exactly their viewpoint is. We know the basic viewpoint of FNC and MSNBC. CNN and C-Span’s viewpoints are equally clear.

If I wanted to do this in an aggressive way, I’d denounce both FNC and NBC and declare CNN the single source of objective and fair reporting and discussion of the news. I’d hire anchors who would do that. I’d only book guests willing to express real opinions and not the army of faces that flit from outlet to outlet as professional sound-bites.

Happy Nomad on June 1, 2013 at 4:41 PM

Libtards screw everything up by voting like morons and then stop being interested in politics because it just reminds them how stupid they are.

Then after their long term memory cells lose all traces of the past they get interested in politics and screw things up again.

SparkPlug on June 1, 2013 at 4:44 PM

No surprise really, I imagine that much of their audience has shifted over to the Al Jazeera network.

TheLoudTalker on June 1, 2013 at 4:50 PM

Forgive me for asking a stupid question here, but if Rachel Maddow is their highest rated primetime host, shouldn’t she have the 8 pm ET/7 pm CT slot instead of Hayes? Shouldn’t a known commodity like Maddow be the lead-in to the relatively new Hayes?

JimLennon on June 1, 2013 at 4:53 PM

Forgive me for asking a stupid question here, but if Rachel Maddow is their highest rated primetime host, shouldn’t she have the 8 pm ET/7 pm CT slot instead of Hayes? Shouldn’t a known commodity like Maddow be the lead-in to the relatively new Hayes?

JimLennon on June 1, 2013 at 4:53 PM

You’re forgetting time zones. People on the west coast are not home from work and watching TV at 8pm ET.

Happy Nomad on June 1, 2013 at 5:01 PM

The soft start for All In With Chris Hayes has not helped. Hayes, down 32 percent in total viewers from The Ed Show last May, has offered a poor lead-in for MSNBC’s primetime flagship, The Rachel Maddow Show, at 9 p.m. The show delivered its lowest-rated month since it debuted in September 2008 (717,000 total viewers) and its second lowest with adults 25-54 (210,000). Maddow was topped by typical time slot victor Sean Hannity and CNN’s Piers Morgan.

So much for the meme about private concerns not tolerating incompetence, that being the sole realm of government.

Can we finally lay that one to rest?

Dr. ZhivBlago on June 1, 2013 at 5:05 PM

You’re forgetting time zones. People on the west coast are not home from work and watching TV at 8pm ET.

Happy Nomad on June 1, 2013 at 5:01 PM

I was under the impression that they reran their primetime lineup at 11pm ET/ 8pm PT, like what Fox News does when they run O’Reilly at 8 pm ET and again at 11 pm ET after Greta.

Regardless, it seems like the better programming decision might be to let Maddow be the lead-in to Hayes instead of vice versa.

JimLennon on June 1, 2013 at 5:07 PM

Is that a girl, or a guy?

John the Libertarian on June 1, 2013 at 4:37 PM

…both?

KOOLAID2 on June 1, 2013 at 5:08 PM

Is that a girl, or a guy?

John the Libertarian on June 1, 2013 at 4:37 PM

Which one, Chris Hayes or Rachel Madcow?

AZfederalist on June 1, 2013 at 5:10 PM

The fact that the CNN and HLN numbers pretty much track each other tells me that there was a effort to ourt cable providers involved in these numbers, but MSNBC still seems to have other problems.

J_Crater on June 1, 2013 at 5:13 PM

…both?

KOOLAID2 on June 1, 2013 at 5:08 PM

Neither.

VegasRick on June 1, 2013 at 5:29 PM

How long will Comcast let MSNBC bleed ?

J_Crater on June 1, 2013 at 5:32 PM

Their problem over there at MSLSD is they haven’t used Melitha Harrith-Perry enough.

TarheelBen on June 1, 2013 at 5:35 PM

The 98% of Americans who aren’t queers, and the 90% of Americans who aren’t members of the kook-left-fringe have little interest in watching queer-centric navel gazing, androgynous sissies, half-retarded affirmative-action minorities, and the lunatic left all peddling their particular lunacies.

Who knew?

Jaibones on June 1, 2013 at 5:48 PM

Their problem over there at MSLSD is they haven’t used Melitha Harrith-Perry enough.

TarheelBen on June 1, 2013 at 5:35 PM

My bet is that by the end of the Summer you’ll see Melitha in Hayes’ spot. A black woman is the only thing they haven’t tried against Bill-O.

Marcus on June 1, 2013 at 5:50 PM

Hayes, down 32 percent in total viewers from The Ed Show last May,

I think it’s hilarious that Comcast execs are longing for the golden age of…Ed Schultz.

BuckeyeSam on June 1, 2013 at 5:52 PM

To be fair, can you really blame Obama supporters for not wanting to watch the news these days?

myiq2xu on June 1, 2013 at 5:52 PM

My bet is that by the end of the Summer you’ll see Melitha in Hayes’ spot. A black woman is the only thing they haven’t tried against Bill-O.

Marcus on June 1, 2013 at 5:50 PM

I think she has a child or children. Her schedule wouldn’t permit. Maybe Alex Wagner. She could enthrall primetime viewers with her air quotes.

BuckeyeSam on June 1, 2013 at 5:54 PM

How long will Comcast let MSNBC bleed ?

J_Crater on June 1, 2013 at 5:32 PM

…I don’t think there’s a tampon thick enough or large enough…too stop it!

KOOLAID2 on June 1, 2013 at 5:55 PM

You know who they’ll replace Chris Hayes with? ETHRA KLEIN.
I saw Ethra being interviewed by Chrith and what an estrogen-fest it was indeed.

Marcus on June 1, 2013 at 6:07 PM

Rachel Maddow hosts a “primetime flagship?”
ExpressoBold on June 1, 2013 at 3:00 PM

The Titanic, it would seem.

whatcat on June 1, 2013 at 6:09 PM

Regarding FOX, I’ve quit watching it, with the exception of the Stuart Varney Show on the Fox Business Channel. As an British immigrant from 40 years ago, he’s more patriotic and sane than any of the current talking heads. He knows what he left and where he came to escape and sees us going in the same direction.

I quit watching FOX when they took their turn to the left after the Saudi prince bought some voting shares in their company, and after they tuned out Perry and picked Romney as their candidate.

They can take a flying leap along with the rest of the MSM……until/if they regain their sanity. *not holding my breath*

avagreen on June 1, 2013 at 6:12 PM

I was under the impression that they reran their primetime lineup at 11pm ET/ 8pm PT,

You are correct. Most of the cable talkers are run in multiple time-slots on weeknights. You make a good point. Fox’s lineup reflects your thinking.

Capitalist Hog on June 1, 2013 at 6:18 PM

watching madcow and chris the priss i get a weird feeling like watching day- lewis as Cecil or Hawkeye. I’ll let you figure out who is who .

rik on June 1, 2013 at 6:22 PM

There are a number of nuggets to look at here …

MSNBC is quite the sampler box o’ butt nuggets.

The 98% of Americans who aren’t queers, and the 90% of Americans who aren’t members of the kook-left-fringe have little interest in watching queer-centric navel gazing, androgynous sissies, half-retarded affirmative-action minorities, and the lunatic left all peddling their particular lunacies.

Who knew?

Jaibones on June 1, 2013 at 5:48 PM

Oof. Smack. Down.

M240H on June 1, 2013 at 6:50 PM

Rhetorically proximate to being unemployed

Laughed out-loud at that. :) That’s excellent.

Axe on June 1, 2013 at 6:36 PM

Comment originally posted — inexplicably — on an unrelated May 24 thread. Reprinted here with permission. :)

Axe on June 1, 2013 at 6:56 PM

@Jazz, you guys do know the software serving your pages is mangling them here and there, right? Associating the wrong comments on the basic page, and/or creating “Previous,” “Next” links to the wrong pages?

I’m only asking because the problem is much older than one would expect. This isn’t the kind of problem that’s usually allowed to persist so long.

It’s pretty disorienting, the first few times it happens.

Axe on June 1, 2013 at 7:02 PM

Memo to MSNBC leftist powers what be.

If non visual “Air America” crashed and burned like the Hindenburg.

What made you think that a visual “Air America” wouldn’t?

Just thought I’d ask.

Jack Deth on June 1, 2013 at 7:25 PM

I know you are from London and all but here in America, not all republicans are racist however most if not all racist tend to be republican. Where there is smoke, there is likely to be fire.

HotAirLib on June 1, 2013 at 2:49 PM

All racists are republicans? Wow..

Who is that nerd?

American Dream 246 on June 1, 2013 at 7:36 PM

Lastly, how the heck does Shepard Smith keep his job? What an annoying little panty waist.

Dr. ZhivBlago on June 1, 2013 at 2:51 PM

Shep?

This is all second hand so just skip if you love reliable facts:

There are marketing tests for jobs like he has and a round of field tests, followed by a closely watched, painful slog to the job and his probation period after that. He seems to have a profile of southern and commonsense posturing which plays to their base. He demonstrably annoys people less than the alternatives despite his sometimes humorous mistakes and I would bet that they have numbers to support that.

In an operation the scale of big time cable, I think that there are exceptions to the close monitoring of ratings and audience response tests like Brit Hume and O’Reilly who are quasi-institutions at FOX. MSNBC is an exception to all of this since it is a long term “halo” venture and loss leader for NBC and spews their favorite flavor of propaganda.

MSNBC is more than a laftist (laughable form of leftist I invented) PR firm. It is also a mental institution.

IlikedAUH2O on June 1, 2013 at 7:37 PM

All racists are republicans? Wow..

Who is that nerd?

American Dream 246 on June 1, 2013 at 7:36 PM

I could write a dissertation on how the racism idea is obsolete. I may do so and send it to the NYT or Harvard.

Minorities may have been better of when they just had white bigots tossing fits over their sitting on buses or at lunch counters with them.

Now they have slick propagandists lying about alleged crimes (Zimmerman), ignoring real issues (Chicago violence and national poverty) while creating false issues (back in chains)and all to manipulate them to help the new overseers win elections.

Not good.

IlikedAUH2O on June 1, 2013 at 7:51 PM

@Jazz, you guys do know the software serving your pages is mangling them here and there, right? Associating the wrong comments on the basic page, and/or creating “Previous,” “Next” links to the wrong pages?

I’m only asking because the problem is much older than one would expect. This isn’t the kind of problem that’s usually allowed to persist so long.

It’s pretty disorienting, the first few times it happens.

Axe on June 1, 2013 at 7:02 PM

The HA server needs some maintenance, doesn’t it? I wonder how long ago it was rebooted…

PS a belated “goodnight” to you! :)

Anti-Control on June 1, 2013 at 8:00 PM

OT/

The HA server needs some maintenance, doesn’t it? I wonder how long ago it was rebooted…

PS a belated “goodnight” to you! :)

Anti-Control on June 1, 2013 at 8:00 PM

Not sure it’s just a fragged db server. I’ve been thinking someone changed the script. And since they left it, I suspected they were getting ready for a revision — new site time, maybe — the new script not 100% compatible with the old, but will do for now, since they are about to throw the switch — something like that.

But I dunno what to wildly guess now. :)

/OT

Axe on June 1, 2013 at 8:14 PM

…both?

KOOLAID2 on June 1, 2013 at 5:08 PM

Neither.

VegasRick on June 1, 2013 at 5:29 PM

Brothers?

The 98% of Americans who aren’t queers, and the 90% of Americans who aren’t members of the kook-left-fringe have little interest in watching queer-centric navel gazing, androgynous sissies, half-retarded affirmative-action minorities, and the lunatic left all peddling their particular lunacies.

Who knew?

Jaibones on June 1, 2013 at 5:48 PM

Try telling a sheeple that blacks make up only 11-12% of the U.S. population. Always fun to see their eyes get big and shake their heads as if, “Noooo, that’s not possible!”

Yes, that’s why they’re called minorities.

Americans are routinely brainwashed into believing that minorities really aren’t minorities, that at least half of all Americans are gay, that being a Liberal is Main Street America, that illegal Mexican immigrants really don’t exist in the millions…

Dr. ZhivBlago on June 1, 2013 at 8:48 PM

NEWS FLASH FROM MSMBC:

Reports that Michael Mann has recived a patent using his hocky stick graph!

If you need to mesure how high a dead horse bounces upon the horse falling off a cliff.

It works every time Dr. Mann claims.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on June 2, 2013 at 12:17 AM

MSNBC,

Guys,

Lies do not sell like they use to. Ask Al Gore and Dr. Mann.

Seek help.

U.S.A.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on June 2, 2013 at 12:19 AM

Well Schultz is not boring unlike Hayes, he mined that ‘rich vein of crazy’ that had some people watching, like a car wreck.

narciso on June 2, 2013 at 12:52 AM

Hayes is just weird.

I think people are leaving MSNBC and settling for CNN. I don’t know why else CNN would be taking on viewers. From Fox? No way.

PattyJ on June 2, 2013 at 1:33 AM

Anytime I try to watch what the “intelligent” side watches it’s a prison show.

Wagthatdog on June 2, 2013 at 1:37 AM

Hayes is Madow with glasses. pretty creepy. Plenty stupid. And i am not being derogatory. He is really stupid.

pat on June 2, 2013 at 2:32 AM

Where there is smoke, there is likely to be fire.

HotAirLib on June 1, 2013 at 2:49 PM

..like in your pants?

The War Planner on June 2, 2013 at 4:38 AM

Americans are routinely brainwashed into believing that minorities really aren’t minorities, that at least half of all Americans are gay, that being a Liberal is Main Street America, that illegal Mexican immigrants really don’t exist in the millions…

Dr. ZhivBlago on June 1, 2013 at 8:48 PM

Zackly.

Jaibones on June 2, 2013 at 7:04 AM

You know who they’ll replace Chris Hayes with? ETHRA KLEIN.
I saw Ethra being interviewed by Chrith and what an estrogen-fest it was indeed.

Marcus on June 1, 2013 at 6:07 PM

Heh. Hayes is the life-imitating-art character “Pat” from SNL.

Jaibones on June 2, 2013 at 7:06 AM

most if not all racist tend to be republican. Where there is smoke, there is likely to be fire.

June 1, 2013 at 2:49 PM

Putting aside the other reasons why this statement exposes your retardation, you seem to be saying that there are no black racists. You need help getting dressed for school, don’t you?

Jaibones on June 2, 2013 at 7:10 AM

Hayes is Madow with glasses if Madow suffered from severe water retention/bloat each month. pretty creepy. Plenty stupid. And i am not being derogatory. He is really stupid.

fify

MidniteRambler on June 2, 2013 at 8:28 AM

I wish MSNBC would hired Shep Smith away from Fox.Then he could help them go down faster and we would not have to watch this jerk.

logman1 on June 2, 2013 at 8:35 AM

I haven’t watched FOX News Channel since the early morning hours of last November 7.

With Dick Morris and Karl Rove getting plenty of airtime last year, FNC pushed the Romney-is-the-best-available-candidate meme pretty hard, and assured us that Soetoro was a one-termer.

Once Rove, Morris, and the rest of the GOP Beltway crowd were discredited by the epic Charlie Fox the Low Information Voters served up on November 6, I saw no reason to keep tuning in just to hear Bill O’Reilly’s special brand of populist outrage disguised as conservative thought, or any of the other FNC talking heads. Don’t even get me started on that awful morning show.

Thanks to their lineup of prison docu-shows, I actually watch more MSNBC than FNC now.

MidniteRambler on June 2, 2013 at 8:37 AM

As for the article, I’ll believe the left is suffering from disillusionment with their ideology when a fiscal conservative is elected President in 2016.

The 2014 midterms are looking cautiously optimistic, but of course the LIVs tune out Congressional elections anyway. There can be no single Messianic figurehead to rally the LIVs on a national level with pablum like “Hope And Change” in off-cycle elections.

MidniteRambler on June 2, 2013 at 8:43 AM

So much for the meme about private concerns not tolerating incompetence, that being the sole realm of government.

Can we finally lay that one to rest?

Dr. ZhivBlago on June 1, 2013 at 5:05 PM

Your mistake here is assigning the same kind of ‘private concern’ basis to MSNBC as you would Bob’s Widget Manufacturing, Inc.

It is not. They’re not competitive, and don’t have to be. The thing they sell is advertising time, and so long as there are liberal sh1twits out there that will funnel advertising dollars to them so long as the content is reliable liberal red meat, then ‘incompetence’ as the market would view it is not ‘incompetence’ as they would view it at all.

If the comparison were valid and needed ‘putting to rest’, MSNBC (and other similar endeavors) would’ve been bankrupt *years* ago.

Midas on June 2, 2013 at 9:10 AM

As for the article, I’ll believe the left is suffering from disillusionment with their ideology when a fiscal conservative is elected President in 2016.

The 2014 midterms are looking cautiously optimistic, but of course the LIVs tune out Congressional elections anyway. There can be no single Messianic figurehead to rally the LIVs on a national level with pablum like “Hope And Change” in off-cycle elections.

MidniteRambler on June 2, 2013 at 8:43 AM

I’ll believe it when we can believe that the left isn’t openly stealing elections anymore because we have voter ID laws in place, and actual investigations/prosecutions/jail time for voter fraud, up to and including Eric Holder.

Midas on June 2, 2013 at 9:12 AM

I find Chris Hayes watchable. He is pleasant enough. What is puzzling about his ilk is that they will basically concede economically conservative ideas in private conversation, but won’t bother to integrate those ideas into their political thought. Instead, they go back to tin foil hat thoughts about oil companies controlling our politics. I wish there were some way to get them to take the political thoughts seriously so they would come to better economic ideas, but all they take seriously is the game of politics.

thuja on June 2, 2013 at 12:06 PM

I know you are from London and all but here in America, not all republicans are racist however most if not all racist tend to be republican.
 
HotAirLib on June 1, 2013 at 2:49 PM

 
And yet it’s not the (R)s who seem surprised and think speeches and plaques are in order every time a black/woman/Hispanic/gay/etc. accomplishes something.
 
Square that circle.

rogerb on June 2, 2013 at 12:13 PM

When channel-surfing, I occasionally land on MSNBC, and see that “Lean Forward” banner at the top of the screen.

It makes me want to lean forward over the toilet and puke.

However, at least they stopped pretending to be impartial. As if anyone ever thought they were.

KyMouse on June 2, 2013 at 5:24 PM

When channel-surfing, I occasionally land on MSNBC and see their “Lean Forward” banner at the top of the screen.

It makes me want to lean forward over the toilet and puke.

However, at least they have stopped pretending to be impartial. As if anyone had thought they were.

KyMouse on June 2, 2013 at 5:27 PM

Hayes here appears to be grooming himself like his hero, Jay Carney.

Chris con Carney?

Sherman1864 on June 2, 2013 at 8:24 PM

Plus I hardly watch msnbc. Matthews is horrible, the rev is boring and Hayes just comes across as a lib who has yet to live the life of a struggling American.

HotAirLib on June 1, 2013 at 2:45 PM

There’s a reason the 1%’s are called Limousine Liberals…

dominigan on June 3, 2013 at 10:24 AM

I know you are from London and all but here in America, not all republicans are racist however most if not all racist tend to be republican. Where there is smoke, there is likely to be fire.

HotAirLib on June 1, 2013 at 2:49 PM

The Democrat party has always been the party of slavery, segregation and racism. As the oldest political party, it opposed the Republican party, which was born out of the elitist Whigs. When the Whig party elitists moved too slowly on opposing slavery, the conservative body of the party formed a third party called the Republicans. It was formed for the purpose of advancing freedom… first in abolishing slavery, and then for Civil Rights. That’s right, the Republican Party pushed the Civil Rights bill and had a few Democrats who switched over to join. Did you know that after the Civil War and into the Civil Rights era, the Democrat party helped start the KKK? You know… the same KKK that up until a few years ago still had a supporter (Grand Kleagal) as a Democrat Rep for WV.

I don’t care about the level of melanin in skin cells. And I don’t know a single member of the Republican party who does. But I hear just about every Democrat use that to describe the measure of a person… usually their opponents. What does that tell you about someone that always looks to race first?

Yeah… you and most other Democrats project too much. But then, maybe its guilt for always being on the wrong side of every ethical argument. Maybe you have to project so that you feel better about being wrong all the time.

Go ahead… tell us about how we’re all racists when you support the Party that defended slavery, argued against Civil Rights, helped start the KKK, and even had a KKK member as a House Rep up until a few years ago.

Yeah… like we should take you seriously… right…

dominigan on June 3, 2013 at 10:38 AM

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