In ratings compiled by Nielsen for 1Q 2019, MSNBC’s lead over CNN was comprehensive, hitting ratings highs among total viewers for its daytime lineup—most of them shows created in the years since the 2015 shift to hard news: MSNBC Live with Hallie Jackson, MSNBC Live with Craig Melvin, Andrea Mitchell Reports, MSNBC Live with Velshi & Ruhle, MSNBC Live with Katy Tur, MTP Daily with Chuck Todd, and The Beat with Ari Melber.
Another show, Deadline: White House with Nicolle Wallace, finished the first quarter in first place among total viewers, though Wallace, a political insider who served as communications director in the Bush White House, serves as the insider host interviewing journalists.
A year ago, MSNBC president Phil Griffin told me the re-boot toward hard news had built a stronger network, driving loyalty among viewers and creating a culture built around breaking news, particularly in the dayside hours–but with the added benefit of producing reporting that can be covered in prime. “We made a strategic decision three years ago to focus on breaking news during the day and to strengthen our partnership with NBC News,” Griffin told me. “That’s paid off in a big way. We’ve had more exclusives, better coverage overall and record ratings in dayside.”