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Ed Driscoll

Chat Rock or 3CP1? Where Does MSNBC Go From Here?

January 22nd, 2011 - 12:17 pm

At Newsbusters, Noel Sheppard looks at MSNBC’s middling ratings and ponders Keith Olbermann’s next move:

Certainly, MSNBC’s numbers have improved in the past couple of years, but I’m not sure going from last to a very distant second in a three man race is something to brag about.

As I noted Saturday, I doubt the folks at Comcast, who as of last Tuesday have actual ownership of MSNBC, feel averaging 834,000 viewers per hour during extended prime time is all that spectacular when Fox News is doing almost 2 million.

But Morrissey offered an interesting speculation about Olbermann’s future writing, “A return to sports might be in the offing, although with bridges burned at both ESPN and NBC and his years-long animus towards Fox, there aren’t many options there either.”

A self-proclaimed media insider made the same observation at the far-left website Daily Kos Friday:

It will happen (so I’m told) on the channel now known as Versus. It’s a sports channel owned by Comcast, and the story I’m hearing is that it will be rebranded as NBC Sportschannel once the takeover is complete, with Keith as its star personality.

If Comcast was going to move Olbermann to its own sports channel, why would they humiliate him this way first?

Further refuting this speculation is that according to the New York Post, the former “Countdown” host was offered his full multi-million dollar salary throughout the remainder of his contract to leave. If he were just being moved to another Comcast property, wouldn’t they have renegotiated his existing contract rather than buying him out?

Whatever the answer, as the late Ed Hart used to say, we will know where Olbermann ends up in the fullness of time.

But where does MSNBC go in the post-Olbermann era? That depends on which direction that channel wishes to pursue to revive its perpetually flagging ratings. One way to temper the channel’s hard left politics would be to add a dose of fine Aussie-style harmonies, creating — at last! — the Cop Rock of political chat shows (hat tip: Ricochet):

Perhaps though, MSNBC is considering moving even further to the left. If so, sclerotic builders of Communism are ever-eager to go forth once again toward the new heights in propaganda and broadcasting!

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