So how does MSNBC fix this? Well hopefully the dozens of media writers have some ideas of their own. But when looking at what has been successful for the network, certain themes emerge. With Keith Olbermann as the face of the new MSNBC, we see strong personalities, and yes, a liberal tilt. That works for Rachel Maddow, as well as Ed Schultz and Chris Matthews before prime time. It doesn’t worry about appealing to the lowest common denominator – and in the process has built a loyal audience that has grown in the last few years (although MSNBC shows have declined year-to-year, as most programs have).
One solution could be to build up the dayside hours with more personality-driven news. While Andrea Mitchell and Chuck Todd are well respected journalists, their anchoring duties have not produced significant ratings. For a visual representation of these ratings, take a look at the usual ratings charts, but with the 9am-5pmET ratings filled in.