MSNBC president Phil Griffin, whose cable news network is the only one among the big three to lose primetime viewers this season, told staffers he would look to turn things around by continuing a push for younger viewers in 2015.
Griffin, in a memo sent Monday, also promised “to get on the road — and outside of Washington” to broaden the network’s coverage.
“It’s no secret that 2014 was a difficult year for the entire cable news industry and especially for msnbc,” Griffin wrote.
“We have a long history of finding and nurturing great talent — and with an eye toward 2016 — we continued to build our next generation of top-notch journalists,” Griffin wrote.
The memo then singled out such 20-something hosts as Ronan Farrow, Kasie Hunt and Alex Seitz-Wald.
The fact that I had to run Kasie Hunt, Mike’s brother, and Alex Two Names through the google machine tells me they need to keep looking for the next “great talent” to nurture. The only reason I know anything about that squealing sissy, Ronan Farrow, is he was fun to mock at one point. Clips of him having a hissy fit would turn up in my mailbox. If Frank were alive today, Ronan would not be.
It also touted Shift, MSNBC’s just-launched streaming news service, which “is already allowing us to reach new, younger audiences.”
MSNBC’s push to embrace youth makes sense for the only cable news network to see its primetime audience erode in the current season, as measured by Nielsen.
Its 548,000 primetime viewers age 2 and older — down 18 percent from the comparable season a year ago — ranked third to CNN’s 560,000 (up 15 percent) and Fox News Channel’s 1,845,000 (up 1 percent).
Viewers “2 and older”?? You’ve got to be kidding me. The fact there’s a metric for toddlers left in front of the TV while mommy gets another glass of wine says that TV ratings are mostly bullshit. Regardless, in a country with over 100 million cable homes, getting one half of one percent to tune in says you’re about as appealing as ass cancer. There’s no way to spin those numbers.
This is why a la carte pricing of cable should be at the top of the conservative agenda. MSNBC would not exist without cable fees. If people could drop it, everyone would and 99% of the money to this outfit would disappear. The same is true of CNN. Fox would make it because they have a solid audience with money to buy stuff. The ad dollars would probably go up for Fox once the others folded. Just as Fox tries to play both sides of the street, competing news outlets would be forced to follow suit. The news would start to look like America.
This is a microcosm with what’s gone wrong on the professional right. They never understood the long game. Public sector unions were never about public sector workers. It was about taxing those workers to finance liberal causes. Grants to non-profits were never about charity. They are jobs programs for liberals, usually engaged in get out the vote activity. Up and down American society you see a skim. Wherever money changes hands, the Left is getting a cut to finance their operations. In that regard, they operate just like the Mafia.
The Feds finally broke the Mafia by cutting off their money. Tax laws turned out to be the best weapon. The annual audits of unions, pension funds and front companies made it impossible for the mob to make a living. The American Right needs to take the same view. Scott Walker paved the way in Wisconsin, of all places. Now that he has cut the Left off my from union money, the state is suddenly a lot less progressive.