March 27, 2014
BOTH OF THEIR VIEWERS WILL AGE OUT OF THE DEMOGRAPHIC NEXT YEAR: Politico: MSNBC Is In Serious Trouble. “In a world where liberals wanted to be outraged by George Bush every night, or celebrate the rise of Barack Obama, MSNBC had a theory of the case. But now Obama’s presidency has turned into a slog, and MSNBC isn’t compelling. Prime time is just hours of what often seems like feigned outrage. And the daytime strategy — giving shows to kids in their 20s and 30s, in an apparent bid to reach the youths — is comically bad, and rendered absurd at every commercial break when the catheter ads come on.”
UPDATE: From the comments:
MSNBC is only in trouble if you assume that their goal for their parent company — GE and Vivendi before, Comcast now — is to make a direct profit.
On the other hand, if you view MSNBC as an in-kind political campaign contribution by Comcast to the Democratic Party, so that the company can then get special favors from the Obama Administration (such as that buyout of Time-Warner Cable they’d like the Justice Department to approve), then the cable channel is in no trouble at all.
It’s doing exactly what it’s designed to do, spewing talking points for the party in power in exchange for crony capitalist deals that create back-end value. Just don’t expect Politico to do anything on that angle — its a big enough surprise they’d even admit the network has a ratings problem.
Actually, I see this story as evidence that MSNBC is getting ready to move away from that role, as Obama’s patronage is less valuable. Stories like this prepare the ground for a change.