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Olbermann Drops In Key Demo Five Quarters In A Row

Now that CNN's Campbell Brown is out of the picture, MSNBC's star primetime host Keith Olbermann can no longer hide behind her dismal ratings. The spotlight is now shining bright on his declining ratings. Business Insider reports:

Nielsen's latest quarterly ratings reveal what seems like a troubling threat for Olbermann.

Olbermann averaged 1,059,000 total viewers in the second quarter of 2010 (March 29-June 27), down slightly from 1,159,000 during the same period a year earlier, but up slightly from the first quarter of this year (1,000,7000).

However, it is not just his total viewership that does not look good. Olbermann has been losing viewers in the coveted (age) 25-54 demo for five quarters in a row:

Keith Olbermann Quarterly Ratings -- Demo
(image source: Business Insider)

Olbermann has long been considered the titular head of MSNBC, calling the shots behind the scenes at the network. Most recently, he was suspected to be behind pulling NBC's Donny Deutsch off the air temporarily after he dared to label the 'Countdown' host as "angry".

Benzinga is reporting MSNBC is considering dropping the plummeting Olbermann for younger "emerging talent":

Sources tell me that MSNBC has tolerated the poor performance since it's well known that no one there has any control over Olbermann and by and large he calls the shots at the network and MSNBC has not had a bench of emerging talent to replace him with. Until now......former CNBC'er Dylan Ratigan was the recipient of a fawning profile in the NY Times yesterday and there's talk of whether he could be a suitable replacement for Olbermann if this trend continues. Ratigan has now moved from news to opinion and is gaining some traction in doing so, making him a good fit for primetime, the most valuable real estate in cable news.

In other news, the unabashed MSNBC host tweeted the following after learning of Larry King's retirement: "Larry King is a lovely, generous man who tried, for 8 years, to convince his bosses to hire me to be his 8 PM lead-in at CNN." Que lástima.

(Ratings Source: The Nielsen Company)

MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Ranks Last In Important 25-54 Demo

MSNBC's "Morning Joe" has consistently ranked in fourth place amongst all of the cable news morning shows (including HLN) in the 25-54 demo - the advertiser friendly demo and also the demo that consists of so-called "influentials."

MSNBC's "Morning Joe" is losing even more of that important audience - the program is down 15% for the quarter vs. the same time period last year in that demo. So, who really watches "Morning Joe"?

Headline News' Robin Meade is even giving "Morning Joe" a good run for its money.

2Q'10 vs. 2Q'09 Ratings (6-9AM)

· FOX & Friends: 999,000 in total viewers; flat; 332,000 in 25-54, up 2%

· CNN American Morning: 335,000 in total viewers, down 27% and 138,000 in 25-54, down 13%

· Morning Joe: 402,000 in total viewers - flat; 117,000 in 25-54, down -15%

· HLN: 304,000 in total viewers, up 8%; 183,00 in 25-54, up 18%

(source: The Nielsen Company)

Matthews Proves He Is a Chip Off the Ol' Beck

I rolled out of bed with a roaring headache, so I figure it can get no worse for me as I bang away at the big, dense rock that is cable news' evening political theatrics.

What has my morbid interest today is a looming documentary by MSNBC's Chris Matthews titled, "Rise of the New Right." It airs tonight at 7 EST.

As the title suggests Matthews will take a chilling look at the evil-doers leading the far-right side of the political spectrum, and their efforts to co-opt people's minds in the hope of making them do outlandish and sinister deeds to the country he so loves.

He'll do this, of course, by following the cable news inflammatory playbook which says very early in Chapter One that to take the steam out of the other side you must first turn up the rhetorical heat to blaring on your end, and then claim you are simply trying to cool things down by letting about 50 percent of the truth shine in. Context is forbidden.

Or you can just pitch a lighted match atop a pile of dynamite ...

Continue reading "Matthews Proves He Is a Chip Off the Ol' Beck" »

Rand Paul Cancels 'Meet the Press' Appearance

Rand Paul's (R-KY) campaign confirms that it has canceled his scheduled appearance on this Sundays' "Meet the Press."

The campaign says Paul's appearance on "Good Morning America" this morning is the last interview he will give on the Civil Rights controversy.

"When does my honeymoon period start? I had a big victory," Paul told George Stephanopoulos on "Good Morning America" today. "I've just been trashed up and down and they have been saying things that are untrue. And when they say I'm for repealing the Civil Rights Act, it's absolutely false. It's never been my position and something that I basically just think is politics."

MSNBC's Matthews Makes Misogynistic Comment On "Tonight Show"

Chris Matthews appeared on NBC's "Tonight Show" last night. While he going on a diatribe about how former Vice President Dick Cheney, Halliburton and big oil are tied to the current spill in the Gulf he made a misogynistic comment to a female guest next to him. Here's the transcript:

CHRIS MATTHEWS (speaking rapidly): I found with 220,000 miles of oil pipeline in this country they have one federal guy looking out for this. It's a joke. They do not regular the oil industry --

CHELSEA HANDLER, GUEST, COMEDIAN: Can you talk faster?

MATTHEWS: The oil industry is completely ... (pause) You know, my dear, you're beautiful but if you concentrate you can keep up.

After he made that comment the audience went nuts and Jay Leno even gave Matthews a high-five.

Watch the video here.

Dogs That Didn't Bark

A certain media watchdog blog reports on the underreported.

Foxey MSNBC Still Has a Personality Problem

Just because MSNBC has finally come out and admitted what it is and wants to be, does it make it right (er, left)?

Further, does this admission impact the entire Peacock Network's newsgathering team as a whole?

The answer to both those questions is, you bet it does.

There's a story that's been heating up many of the likely media stops on the Information Highway the past couple of days. The Chicago Tribune's media columnist Phil Rosenthal gets the credit for providing the spark.

Seems that during an interview with Rosenthal late last week, Phil Griffin, the MSNBC president heaped praise on his chief rival and tormentor, Roger Ailes, the president of Fox News.

Continue reading "Foxey MSNBC Still Has a Personality Problem" »

Ford Turns Around, Drives Home to MSNBC

After getting the Bronx cheer from the well-oiled Democratic Machine in New York, Harold Ford Jr. has decided not to run for the Senate after all.

The New York Times was nice enough to give the former congressman from Tennessee plenty of space to type to the many hundreds of people still reading newspapers that what the venerable machine spit out (him) was wrong -- really, really wrong.

Ford assures everybody in his op-ed he will soldier on, "but ... not as a candidate for senator from New York."

And most likely not until he spots another weak Democratic candidate in another high-profile state somewhere across the fruited plain.

Frankly, given what happened in Massachusetts with Ted Kennedy's old seat recently, he probably has about 49 other choices in which to aim his moving van.

Continue reading "Ford Turns Around, Drives Home to MSNBC" »

MSNBC's Hockey Ratings Soar Over Ankle-High Bar

Have you noticed that NBC executives aren't out there standing on all the highest rooftops, holding up TV antennas, and trumpeting the fact that the hockey game between the U.S. and Canada on Sunday night gave its cable news channel, MSNBC, its second-biggest ratings night ever?

Why, after these glowing numbers came out Monday, you'd think you wouldn't be able to shut the generally insufferable PR-types up.

I mean before this news, we had been hearing how wonderfully things were going for the Peacock Network during these Games. And this after they sandbagged us beforehand, saying they expected to take advertising losses soaring into the hundreds of millions while bringing the Games to your home.

Then again, I suppose after the recent drubbing the network took for its mishandling of the late-night fiasco with talkers Conan O'Brien and Jay Leno, it was probably shrewd to lower any and all expectations where the Olympics and ratings were concerned.

Continue reading "MSNBC's Hockey Ratings Soar Over Ankle-High Bar" »

FOX Is Right, MSNBC Left, and You're Shocked

The horses bolted the stable a long time ago, and it is now just plain fact that political partisanship is the well-oiled cog that makes two of the largest cable news networks spin these days.

I find it impossible to come to any other conclusion than Fox News is playing to viewers that lean to the right side of the political spectrum, and that MSNBC is catering to viewers on the left.

And now, I suppose, you are waiting for me to break it to you that the world is round.

But, please, bear with me on my naive stroll -- if only for a minute.

Continue reading "FOX Is Right, MSNBC Left, and You're Shocked" »

MSNBC's Baghdad Bob

MSNBC President Phil Griffin tries to explain away Keith Olbermann's plummeting ratings thusly:

He [Griffin] attributes Olbermann's January ratings slip to a news cycle in which international news, rather than domestic politics, was the No. 1 story. "On big, breaking international news, CNN tends to do better than us. They did a great job in Haiti, and I tip my hat to them," he says. "We're the place for politics, and there are times when politics does great, and there are times when it doesn't."

Domestic politics wasn't a big story in January? What about the, er, special election in Massachusetts and the State of the Union? Griffin tips his hat to CNN for covering Haiti but doesn't mention (of course) that FOX had its biggest January ratings ever thanks in large part to its political coverage.

I don't blame Griffin. Like Baghdad Bob - the former Iraqi Information Minister whose public statements were at comical odds with reality - Griffin is simply trying to put the best possible spin on the fact that he and his network are losing the media war - badly.

UPDATE: Andrew Malcolm: Countdown begins for end of Keith Olbermann's 'Countdown'?

That FOX Is Most Trusted Is All Right

If we needed more evidence that in 2010 television news-consumers shop for fare that favors their individual political palates, we needn't look any further than an eye-opening poll conducted Jan. 18-19, by Public Policy Polling.

In its questionnaire, the professional polling company based in Raleigh, N.C., simply asked Americans whether they trusted the five major networks' news operations.

When the results of the poll were released last week, Fox News was the clear winner in a race that, it can be argued, ended up fielding five losers.

It turns out 49 percent of the respondents said they trusted Fox News. Thirty-seven percent said they didn't, and another 15 percent said they weren't sure.

ABC News brought up the rear, with only 31 percent saying they trusted that operation. CNN (39 percent); NBC (35) and CBS (32) ran two, three, and four respectively.

Continue reading "That FOX Is Most Trusted Is All Right" »

Nothing Bites Like Mockery

Nothing bites like mockery.

Howard Dean Wanted to Scream

Chris Matthews catches a good deal of crap (including from yours truly) for some of the silly partisan things he says. He is a dyed-in-the-wool liberal with a loose tongue who is on television for an hour five nights a week, and we all see the results.

So it's only fair to give Matthews credit for calling Howard Dean on his silly, "black is white" interpretation of Tuesday night's results. Watch:

Fear and Loathing at MSNBC

The panic that has over taken liberals watching the Massachusetts Senate race has been perfectly reflected in the comically hysterical coverage on MSNBC.

Just in the last day or two we witnessed: Keith Olbermann's unhinged rant calling Scott Brown "an irresponsible, homophobic, racist, reactionary, ex-nude model, teabagging supporter of violence against women"; Ed Schultz suggesting that Democrats cheat to keep the Republican "bastards" from winning the Massachusetts Senate race; David Shuster introducing a segment on the Massachusetts Senate race by asking whether the Democratic leaning state has "lost its mind"; and Chris Matthews pining for the "old school" days when Democratic machine politicians would use "walking around money" to pack voters into booths to make absolutely sure they'd win races.

Poor Tim Russert must be spinning in his grave watching what passes for political commentary and analysis on MSNBC these days.