MSNBC, CNN in Race to the Bottom — Jon Gabriel

 

“MSNBC is in serious trouble.” That according to Dylan Byers, Politico’s left-leaning media reporter and regular critic of Fox News.

The Peacock Network’s crazy uncle in the attic has struggled to find a voice ever since Bush left office and Obama’s halo began to fade. Shockingly, MSNBC’s obsessions with racial insults, ritualistic Palin hate and New Jersey traffic reports have not translated to ratings or revenue.

State of Cable News

MSNBC viewership remained stable 2008-2012, but precipitously dropped as the Obama administration became mired in scandals and policy failures. Worse, the network’s revenues remained anemic during their boom years; the bust seems only to have begun:

MSNBC isn’t seeing that growth, and it’s not clear how it will. 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. Primetime 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.

The network is famed for their amateurish hosts and production standards, most recently demonstrated during yesterday’s Ronan Farrow Daily. As the 26-year-old host smirked about Freedom Tower BASE jumpers, the Chyron showed zero understanding of recent WTC history (shown above).

CNN also suffers weak viewership, but their revenue picture has remained remarkably stable. But their future remains in doubt, considering their ludicrous coverage of the missing Malaysian Airlines plane. (By Thursday, Anderson Cooper will be seeking clues in chicken entrails.) The original news channel is so desperate to beat MSNBC’s ratings, a tacky Chyron wasn’t enough:

Two CNN employees were reportedly caught trespassing at the World Trade Center site in New York Tuesday, according to The New York Post. Anonymous law enforcement sources told the post the individuals in question are Connor Boals and Yon Pomrenze, both of whom are identified as CNN producers on their LinkedIn pages.

One of the people who spoke to the Post said “they were trying to prove a point” about how anyone was able to get in.

Breaking news: OUT. Breaking and entering? IN.

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There are 25 comments.

  1. DrewInWisconsin Member

    I guess I’m out of the loop enough that I had no idea (and still have no idea) what a BASE jumper is. I thought the caption in the photo was . . . well, exactly what you think I thought it was.

    And knowing that this was on MSNBC didn’t dissuade me from my view.

    • #1
    • March 26, 2014, at 11:17 AM PDT
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  2. MLH Inactive
    MLH

    DrewInWisconsin:
    I guess I’m out of the loop enough that I had no idea (and still have no idea) what a BASE jumper is. I thought the caption in the photo was . . . well, exactly what you think I thought it was.
    And knowing that this was on MSNBC didn’t dissuade me from my view.

     Exactly, Drew.

    So what is a BASE jumper?

    • #2
    • March 26, 2014, at 11:39 AM PDT
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  3. Jon Gabriel, Ed. Chief
    Jon Gabriel, Ed. Post author

    I just added a link to the BASE jumpers line. The acronym stands for Building, Antenna, Span, Earth: the various land-based objects from which daredevils parachute.

    • #3
    • March 26, 2014, at 11:45 AM PDT
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  4. DrewInWisconsin Member

    I guess it’s referring to some people who climbed to the top of the new Freedom Tower and parachuted off it. (I know because I followed the link, but without that, I would still be in the dark.)

    I realize that it’s probably tough to find enough for 24/7 news channels, but it seems that there are plenty of more important things happening in the world.

    Furthermore, “Heroes or Zeroes”? That’s the sort of sterling analysis I expect from fifth-graders. (Oh, hi Ronan Farrow!)

    Here’s a good follow-up — perhaps worthy of a post of its own: when most people get their news off the internet, is there a need for 24/7 news channels? And if so, what should their focus be?

    • #4
    • March 26, 2014, at 11:50 AM PDT
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  5. James Of England Moderator

    MLH:

    DrewInWisconsin: I guess I’m out of the loop enough that I had no idea (and still have no idea) what a BASE jumper is. I thought the caption in the photo was . . . well, exactly what you think I thought it was. And knowing that this was on MSNBC didn’t dissuade me from my view.

    Exactly, Drew.
    So what is a BASE jumper?

     Three men jumped off the Freedom Tower with parachutes. Base jumping is jumping from high places that are attached to the ground rather than from planes.

    • #5
    • March 26, 2014, at 11:51 AM PDT
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  6. MLH Inactive
    MLH

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.:
    I just added a link to the BASE jumpers line. The acronym stands for Building, Antenna, Span, Earth: the various land-based objects from which daredevils parachute.

     So, they are just guys with cajones. 

    • #6
    • March 26, 2014, at 11:53 AM PDT
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  7. EJHill Podcaster

    If the ghost of Frank could only come back and give Ronan what he deserves…

     Slap

    • #7
    • March 26, 2014, at 11:56 AM PDT
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  8. DrewInWisconsin Member

    MLH:

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: I just added a link to the BASE jumpers line. The acronym stands for Building, Antenna, Span, Earth: the various land-based objects from which daredevils parachute.

    So, they are just guys with cajones.

    No, no . . . they’re “Heroes or Zeroes”!

    • #8
    • March 26, 2014, at 11:57 AM PDT
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  9. DrewInWisconsin Member

    Television news makes me feel increasingly disconnected from my fellow humans.

    • #9
    • March 26, 2014, at 11:58 AM PDT
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  10. MLH Inactive
    MLH

    DrewInWisconsin:
    I guess it’s referring to some people who climbed to the top of the new Freedom Tower and parachuted off it. (I know because I followed the link, but without that, I would still be in the dark.)
    I realize that it’s probably tough to find enough for 24/7 news channels, but it seems that there are plenty of more important things happening in the world.
    Furthermore, “Heroes or Zeroes”? That’s the sort of sterling analysis I expect from fifth-graders. (Oh, hi Ronan Farrow!)
    Here’s a good follow-up — perhaps worthy of a post of its own: when most people get their news off the internet, is there a need for 24/7 news channels? And if so, what should their focus be?

     Maw Maw had the idea for an 24-hour news station in Season 2 Episode 8 (when an Invention Convention comes to town) but realizes it’s a bad idea because, to paraphrase, they’d probably sensationalize the trivial. (Sorry, I don’t have time to find the clip. . .)

    • #10
    • March 26, 2014, at 12:10 PM PDT
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  11. DrewInWisconsin Member

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.:
    I just added a link to the BASE jumpers line. The acronym stands for Building, Antenna, Span, Earth: the various land-based objects from which daredevils parachute.

     How does Jon know this stuff? Is it because in his secret life, Jon Gabriel is an EXTREME THRILL-SEEKER!?

    (Or possibly the secret identity of Spider-Man?)

    • #11
    • March 26, 2014, at 1:17 PM PDT
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  12. C. U. Douglas Thatcher

    Side note: Back when my then-to-be wife and I were just chatting online, our first “dates” involved queuing up a movie on streaming and watching together as we chatted online. For some strange reason, starting with Tron: Legacy and continuing on, a surprising number of movies we watched had something related to BASE jumping. Now, a couple years later, we still look for BASE jumping when it’s date night at the movies.

    It’s been a common complaint that print news is being beaten by the 24-hour news cycle, but I suspect that’s not the entire story. The lackluster performances of CNN and MSNBC seem to tell me that people care quite a bit about content as well. The inability or refusal to deliver informed and intelligent content factors in a great deal, too.

    • #12
    • March 26, 2014, at 1:28 PM PDT
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  13. Roberto, Crusty Old Timer Member

    DrewInWisconsin:
    Television news makes me feel increasingly disconnected from my fellow humans.

     I would say that it is television news that is increasingly disconnected from the rest of humanity.

    • #13
    • March 26, 2014, at 2:46 PM PDT
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  14. RushBabe49 Thatcher

    Give me just one reason why I should care.

    • #14
    • March 26, 2014, at 3:43 PM PDT
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  15. Jon Gabriel, Ed. Chief
    Jon Gabriel, Ed. Post author

    DrewInWisconsin:

    How does Jon know this stuff? Is it because in his secret life, Jon Gabriel is an EXTREME THRILL-SEEKER!?

    (Or possibly the secret identity of Spider-Man?)

     I have been known to sample Taco Bell’s Fire Sauce and play Scrabble without a helmet.

    • #15
    • March 26, 2014, at 4:29 PM PDT
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  16. Franco Member

    Sorry but I’m not going to get all shadenfreudy over this, since MSNBC is a miniscule tendril of the Comcast/NBC media empire that can afford to lose money, and they aren’t actually losing money even, they just aren’t making as much as Fox. That lefty idiots are not watching is either good news or bad news, I’m not quite sure which.

    I wish Fox would improve its programming but they don’t need to because are competing with other midgets on cable.

    The sad news is that most TV watchers still get their news from NBC CBS and ABC networks and even PBS. So all the reports of Fox winning the cable news wars has to be taken in context. The MSM still rules the roost. MSNBC is pidgeonfeed.

    • #16
    • March 26, 2014, at 4:48 PM PDT
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  17. Rawls Inactive

    Franco, you answered my question before I could even type it out. The question being of course, even if thier revenues are in last place, are they turning a profit? If the answer is yes, then I’m guessing the execs at MSNBC aren’t losing too much sleep right now. They might just be a little jealous of Fox and CNN.

    s a side note, I really hate it when political journos analyze industries they think they understand, but of course don’t. Politico also had an article a few weeks ago about the ‘massive failure’ of news sites’ video efforts, such as HuffPost Live. They declared the efforts a failure, and completely failed of mention that most of these efforts are poising the news sites for devices like Roku, Chromecast, and Apple TV. 

    • #17
    • March 26, 2014, at 5:43 PM PDT
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  18. donald todd Inactive

    Since Moral Swamp NBC still has some viewers, one might assume that it has cornered the market on people who are out of their minds. Why, one might ask? My impression is that no one who is actually sane could watch that drivel and hope to remain sane; and since most of us prefer sanity to insanity we aren’t being caught watching Moral Swamp NBC.

    While I assume that is true of the Ricocheti in general, given the graphs above, it is true of a lot of other people as well, especially the news junkies. Of import, the people who buy advertising have also recognized it by paying for the audiences who they want to buy their products.

    Market share is money.

    One hopes that Moral Swamp is flushed down the drain sooner rather than later. It will have gotten what it deserves and lived much longer than it deserved to live.

    • #18
    • March 27, 2014, at 7:39 AM PDT
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  19. Tim H. Member

    I don’t watch the news except for the one-hour evening news show (Fox’s Special Report), so I don’t know what any of these channels are like during the day. But they’ve all got time to fill. Is Fox News as obsessed with speculation on the Malaysian airliner as I hear CNN is? They’ve got to talk about something, after all.

    • #19
    • March 27, 2014, at 7:42 AM PDT
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  20. Sandy Member

    Tim H.:
    I don’t watch the news except for the one-hour evening news show (Fox’s Special Report), so I don’t know what any of these channels are like during the day. But they’ve all got time to fill. Is Fox News as obsessed with speculation on the Malaysian airliner as I hear CNN is? They’ve got to talk about something, after all.

    I quit tuning in to Fox because of their obsession with the plane, which appeared to dominate their programing day and night.

    • #20
    • March 27, 2014, at 8:53 AM PDT
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  21. James Of England Moderator

    Donald Todd:
    Since Moral Swamp NBC still has some viewers, one might assume that it has cornered the market on people who are out of their minds.

     If only! Sadly, BBC America, Free Speech TV, and pals still have their fans. Even worse, RT regularly gets viewers. There’s a lot of money to be made broadcasting astrology commercials to the credulous.

    • #21
    • March 27, 2014, at 11:35 AM PDT
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  22. Douglas Inactive

    EJHill:
    If the ghost of Frank could only come back and give Ronan what he deserves…

     Child support?

    • #22
    • March 27, 2014, at 6:08 PM PDT
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