Thursday, May 30, 2013

Why MSNBC's ratings are down

Everybody has a theory. Certainly Steve M. points to some valid reasons for MSNBC's ratings drop. It's true compelling current events will trump opinion programming. Perhaps some of their core audience is disillusioned because of the scandals, but I don't think that applies as strongly. And as far as the summer lag in readership for left wing political blogs, as long as I've blogging these ten years, that happens every summer. I think that's more because every damn summer brings some blitz of GOP generated faux outrage that draws their base and the lack of real news leaves liberals with more free time to do real world stuff like create Vines and take Instagrams of their cute pets. Also liberals tend to travel more than conservative poli-junkies. Liberals post travel pix. Meanwhile the cons are caught up in pushing the lastest haterage. It never ends for them.

The other thing I'm seeing in terms of the current drop in ratings is based solely on what I see on social nets. I don't watch any of the talk shows anymore, but I do *watch* Chris Hayes and Rachel Maddow on the twitter every night. I'm seeing mostly viewer dissatisfaction with Hayes new format. What they loved about Uppers was the comprehensive coverage of undercovered stories and the mix of mostly liberal guests. What I'm seeing now is a lot complaints about too many conservatives on his show and a notable lack of pushback by Chris. In fact, I've seen more than one accusation about Hayes "going emo" and gettin all anti-Obama. That's not what they're tuning in for. They want to see right wing memes get shot down, not validated by yet more exposure.

To some extent that's Rachel's current problem too. Lately I've been seeing a lot of -- oh, you're giving air time to that right wing idiot ... click. This was especially true about her show that joined in on the Obama bashing over the leak investigations. The complaints about that one survived well past the actual airing of the program. However you want to define Chris and Rachel's viewer base, within my circle of view anything that smacks of both sides do it turns them off. We're inundated with that sort of journalism already. They want a refuge where the liberal view is fully aired and undiluted by too much conservative view balance.

Far as I can see, Rachel is already turning that around. Last night's program was being cheered again. As for Chris, not seeing any love for his new format. Apparently it's just not the same kind of show anymore. They should probably work on that.

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