Tags: MSNBC | ratings | drop

MSNBC Exec: 'We're Not the Place' for Breaking News

Monday, 03 Jun 2013 12:03 PM

By Dan Weil

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MSNBC has dropped 20 percent in the ratings race in the past year, apparently because the liberal cable channel is "not the place" for breaking news, the network's president said.

And MSNBC executives apparently want to keep it that way, The New York Times reports.

“We’re not the place for that [breaking news],” MSNBC President Phil Griffin told the Times. “Our brand is not that.”

That stance didn't help the network in May, when viewers were strongly interested in stories such as the deadly tornadoes that swept across Oklahoma.

MSNBC generally places second in ratings to runaway winner Fox News among cable news channels. But last month MSNBC dropped to fourth, trailing CNN and HLN (formerly Headline News), after its ratings plummeted 20 percent from a year earlier.

The network is all about political coverage with a healthy dose of liberal spin, as personified by its star commentator, Rachel Maddow, and reflected by MSNBC's brand slogan, “The Place for Politics."

Executives at the cable channel hope that formula can keep it in second place, ahead of CNN. It has beaten that network in ratings about 80 percent of the time over the past three years, Griffin told the Times. He admits, however, that CNN will thrive in times of heavy, hard news, but he questions whether that will last.



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