MSNBC Prez: ‘We’re not the place for’ breaking news

Jamie Weinstein Senior Writer

MSNBC President Phil Griffin says if you’re looking for top notch coverage of breaking news, MSNBC is probably not your best bet.

Griffin made the comment in a New York Times article chronicling the recent decline of MSNBC’s ratings, entitled, “Devoted to Politics, MSNBC slips on Breaking News.”

“We’re not the place for that,” Griffin told the Times, speaking of breaking news coverage. “Our brand is not that.”

In May, MSNBC was eclipsed in the ratings by both CNN and HLN. Fox News continued to dominate as cable news’ ratings leader.

According to the Times, MSNBC has become known as more of a liberal political analysis channel than a breaking news station, which is perhaps best illustrated by its slogan: “The Place for Politics.”

While Fox News and CNN have a vast stable of their own reporters to cover breaking news, MSNBC relies significantly on the resources of NBC News, reports the Times.

“We are a news and information channel that focuses on politics and what’s going on in the country,” Griffin told the Times, defining his network.

“To say ‘news channel’ in the modern age is irrelevant,” he said. “E is a news channel. The Weather Channel is a news channel. Politico is a newspaper. They all do news and information in a different way.”

But Griffin says he is not a myopic man. In short, HLN should watch its back.

“You do have to look at the long term,” the Times quotes the MSNBC president as saying in May. “In the first quarter of this year, Fox News had its lowest quarter in a decade. A year ago CNN had its worst month ever. I tip my hat to what CNN has done this month, but let’s not be so myopic as to think the whole world has changed.”

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