MSNBC No Longer Wants To Be ‘The Place For Politics’

Betsy Rothstein | Reporter

In the never-ending war that is cable news ratings, each network tries to play to its own strengths — if they can ever figure out what those are.

As CNN tries to get away from their strictly “breaking news” persona by adding shows like Somebody’s Gotta Do It–last night’s premiere had the rugged Mike Rowe making hair flowers from real human hair–Anthony Bourdain stuffing his face around the world and Lisa Ling exposing girls who acquire real-life sugar daddies, MSNBC, struggling to keep with CNN in the coveted 25-54 demo, is wondering how to reinvent itself.

How about giving up politics? I mean, why not give up that lame theme three weeks before the midterms and mere months before the presidential race heats up?

“MSNBC is under pressure to cut costs,” an MSNBC insider tells The Mirror, explaining that there is a real push from Philadelphia to do more breaking news and less politics.

With one exception — Chris Matthews — nobody on the network refers to MSNBC as “The Place for Politics” anymore, according to a search of recent transcripts.

Even finding “The Place for Politics” is not straightforward on MSNBC.com when you start from the homepage. The theme has clearly diminished.

What’s more, with Chuck Todd moving to NBC’s “Meet the Press,” there will be even less internal grief to focus on politics. One can recall his wincing on The Daily Rundown when he was forced the cover the never-ending Malaysian plane coverage, which made CNN’s ratings skyrocket.

The insider added, “The need for political experts is waning, which means many political contracts won’t be renewed and Goldie Taylor happens to be part of that collateral damage. She understands politics, but she has never worked in politics. [Things are] shifting to a large degree. It’s not that we don’t cover politics. CNN has been the place for breaking news. There’s nothing MSNBC can do about that. People leave Fox News when there’s breaking news.”  

Taylor announced that she was leaving MSNBC on September 29.

The Mirror requested comment from an NBC spokeswoman.

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