Bill O’Reilly isn’t the only one who’s noticed MSNBC’s rating woes; no less than The New York Times has noticed the liberal network is in decline. In an article entitled “Leaning Forward, MSNBC Loses Ground to Rival CNN,” reporter Bill Carter detailed just how bad the third quarter of 2014 was.
“MSNBC has seen its ratings hit one of the deepest skids in its history, with the recently completed third quarter of 2014 generating some record lows,” the piece reads. Among the highlights:
- “The Rachel Maddow Show” has posted its lowest ratings of all time, averaging only 183,000 in the demo. (By contrast, “The Kelly File” averaged around 400,000 in the demo)
- “All in with Chris Hayes” has also posted its lowest ratings of all time.
- “Morning Joe,” an industry talking point and usually a bright spot in the ratings, posted its second-lowest ratings of all time. For six months in a row, it’s been beaten by CNN’s “New Day.”
- “Ronan Farrow Daily” is (in Carter’s words) “largely a dud.”
Compared with 2013, Fox News’ primetime ratings are up 11 percent, CNN’s are up 3 percent and MSNBC’s are down a whopping 21 percent. While in recent years MSNBC has been winning the battle for second place, it’s fallen to a clear third behind CNN.
The Times diagnosis for MSNBC’s horrible ratings: it’s just plain predictable. “In terms of Rachel [Maddow], everybody knows every night what she’s going to say,” one insider told them. “The network just doesn’t surprise you.”
Even MSNBC head honcho Phil Griffin seems to agree something has to give. “[W]e’ve got to adjust,” he admits. “We’ve got to evolve.”