Tags: Fox News | MSNBC | ratings | low

MSNBC's Ratings Sliding Toward 2005 Low Point

MSNBC's Ratings Sliding Toward 2005 Low Point
(Paul Morigi/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 29 October 2014 01:31 PM

In the October ratings race, MSNBC once again came in behind Fox News and CNN in terms of total day viewership, and registered its lowest prime-time total audience since 2005, Mediabistro reports.

The prime-time schedule at MSNBC drew 502,000 total viewers and 122,000 in the key 25-54 demographic, which represents a 37 percent decline in total viewers since last year.

MSNBC ranked second in prime-time total viewers, ahead of CNN and behind first-place Fox News. The network ranked third behind Fox News and CNN in the prime-time demo and total day viewers. In total day viewership in the 25-54 demographic, MSNBC did even worse, ranking behind Fox News, CNN, and HLN.

Phil Griffin, the president of MSNBC, recently told The New York Times that his network's declining ratings were simply a reflection of an overall decline among the cable networks.

“This has been a tough year all around,” Griffin told The Times. “All three cable news channels are drawing a smaller combined audience than they were five years ago.”

Griffin is correct that cable viewership has declined across-the-board. Compared with 2013, Fox News prime-time was 8 percent lower in total viewers.

However, Fox remains the number one network, with the top 14 cable news programs in total viewers and the top nine programs in the coveted 25-54 demographic, according to The Wrap.

Joe Concha, a reporter for Mediaite, told Fox News' media critic Howard Kurtz that while MSNBC once was a challenge to Fox, their decision to turn away from breaking news was a major driver of their downward spiral.

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"So why did that happen? Partially because or maybe mostly because last year MSNBC president Phil Griffin said that they no longer did breaking news and the strategy was to go to more opinion," Concha said.

"Now the problem with going to more opinion is outside of the morning show, which does have some dissent and diverse views from 9:00 am to about 11:00 pm, outside of [Chris] Matthews and [Rachel] Maddow, it's impossible to discern one show from another," he said. "It's like listening to a Milli Vanilli album. Every song sounds the same."

In a somewhat scathing open letter to Griffin, Ken Tucker, Hollywood Reporter's culture critic, offered several recommendations on how the network could revamp its revamp.

Noting that "Hardball with Chris Matthews" is the network's "biggest evening draw," Tucker advised Griffin not to "be afraid to put people over the age of 40 on the air," and said Fox News wins because "they don’t care if a guest is 21 or 81 as long as he or she makes an impact."

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In the October ratings race, MSNBC once again came in behind Fox News and CNN in terms of total day viewership, and registered its lowest prime-time total audience since 2005.
MSNBC, ratings, low
449
2014-31-29
Wednesday, 29 October 2014 01:31 PM
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