As the Daily Caller reports, the continually sagging ratings at MSNBC, particularly in the afternoon and evening, have Phil Griffin looking at some changes… potentially big ones. Some of the most disappointing numbers have come from their latest additions and shifts in the evening lineup. But who is on the chopping block?
Considering a number of their shows are unwatchable — here’s looking at you Chris Hayes and Joy Reid — it’s painfully obvious that MSNBC’s lineup is in need of a serious makeover.
According to TheWrap, Hayes’ crappy ratings are even bringing down those of his TV mentor, Rachel Maddow. Let’s just say Hayes as a lead-in is less than inspiring. His innate preachiness even less so.
MSNBC President Phil Griffin is on the verge of making serious changes to daytime and primetime programs. Those reportedly in trouble include Hayes, who could see his 8 p.m. time slot nixed, Ronan Farrow (whose show is actually fun to hate watch), and the aforementioned Reid.
The ratings for Farrow never got out of the basement, and apparently Joy Reid doesn’t do much better. They manage to lose to CNN, say nothing of Fox which still dominates all time slots, perhaps because rather than having an anchor at least ostensibly reporting on the news as it happens, they fill it up with progressive lectures to the unwashed masses with a list of guests who do nothing but reinforce the media narrative being preached that day.
In the evening, particularly when it comes to Chris Hayes, the numbers are pretty stark. (This is just a sample snapshot from February 3rd)
It’s true that with 83K viewers in the coveted 24-54 age bracket, Hayes racks up more viewers than, say, Al Sharpton, who reels in only 62. But that’s small consolation when Fox is nailing down nearly 600K with O’Reilly and even Anderson Cooper is beating you by a four to one clip. The question which should be facing Griffin at this point, though, is not whether or not to drop the dead wood in the lineup. The real issue here is what to fill those slots with after the purge. This formula has been tried for enough years now that it should be clear what isn’t working. If you unplug Hayes and just stick in another young, hip liberal to preach to the true believers about how evil conservatives are, it defies imagination that a surging audience will miraculously appear. The only real “star” in the lineup is Maddow, and she is losing to the relatively recent addition at Fox, Megyn Kelly, in a 509K to 132K landslide.
MSNBC can either surrender the turf in the evenings and switch over to more true crime type programming such as they run on the weekends, or they can retool the way they approach news. If they switch away from the Voxsplaining style, opinion journalism which is clearly not selling and put some actual anchors on the desk covering any breaking news and recapping the day, they just might be able to take a run at CNN. It doesn’t fix their Fox problem, but they can at least chalk up some sort of a victory and possibly up their advertising revenue. But if they stick with what they have, they’ll be stuck with what they have… in terms of ratings.