MSNBC’s ‘The Cycle’ an early ratings disappointment

Jeff Poor Media Reporter
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It’s not exactly an original concept — an hour-long discussion program with regular panelists and a disproportionate ideological bent — but MSNBC looks to have been trying to replicate the success of Fox News Channel’s 5 p.m. program, “The Five,” with its new 3 p.m. show “The Cycle.”

But ratings provided by Nielsen show that MSNBC’s efforts to breathe life into its afternoon lineup — by replacing Dylan Ratigan and shuffling the order — has not been a smashing success so far. Despite a debut of 425,000 viewers, with 105,000 in the key demographic of viewers aged 18-49 on Monday, the numbers dramatically dropped 26 percent for P2+ —persons aged two or higher — and 17 percent in the demo on its second day, with “The Cycle” finishing behind even CNN and Fox News Channel.

Monday, June 25

FNC Studio B: 1,142,000 (P2+), 244,000 (25-54)

MSNBC The Cycle:  425,000 (P2+), 105,000 (25-54)

CNN Newsroom: 354,000 (P2+), 115,000 (25-54)

Tuesday, June 26

FNC Studio B: 1,125,000 (P2+), 232,000 (25-54)

CNN Newsroom: 367,000 (P2+), 119,000 (25-54)

MSNBC Cycle: 314,000 (P2+), 87,000 (25-54)

“The Cycle” has also already had its first bit controversy, with show-regular Touré Neblett seemingly having suggested on its Wednesday show that the tragic friendly-fire death of U.S. Army Cpl. Pat Tillman could be viewed as intentionally the fault of the U.S. military to prevent Tillman from speaking out against the Afghanistan war effort.

Notably, “The Cycle” was also beaten by Fox’s 5 a.m. program, “Fox & Friends First,” in both categories on Tuesday and looks to be lagging behind its 3 a.m. program, “Red Eye,” which averaged 455,000 viewers and 198,000 in demo in the second quarter.

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