MSNBC: Post Olbermann…

The New York Times’ Bill Carter writes about MSNBC primetime after Olbermann left…

A big concern among MSNBC executives was potential mass defections from Mr. Olbermann’s most loyal viewers. Some of those younger viewers seem to have defected –- at least for now — from MSNBC at 8 p.m. But so far that has not affected the channel’s 9 p.m. host, Rachel Maddow. Her ratings are essentially the same as they were before Mr. Olbermann left.

For his part, Mr. O’Donnell has been showing an aggressive side in recent commentaries that seem to take a page directly out of Mr. Olbermann’s playbook. The most noticeable play: take a whack at Bill O’Reilly.

29 Responses to “MSNBC: Post Olbermann…”

  1. I’m not looking forward to LOD picking up the “let’s think of something to bash O’Reilly about” habit every night, but I like the reasoning he’s used so far. Both O’Reilly segments were in response to something Bill said about MSNBC or NBC. The MSNBC comment was especially egregious: “They are anti-American” was a lazy, cheap shot that deserved to be knocked down.

  2. realreal10 Says:

    I wish Carter wrote about msnbc’s 6pm and 10pm hours, which were also effected with the movement of Ed Schultz and addition of Cenk (even if temporarily).

    Oh, and today Cenk didn’t host the 6pm hour, Chris Hayes did. I wonder why. Ratings?

  3. Ratings?

    I think it was a “family politics” move. The hour consisted mostly of Ed Schultz on scene in Wisconsin. Having Ed turn Cenk into a bit player on what is normally his own show (for now) wouldn’t have looked right.

  4. ^ It’s also Friday the day (along with Monday) when hosts start or end long weekends.

  5. I think we’re going to have to wait a few months before we can really see how KO leaving MSNBC is going to play out. News events & host changes are scrambling the CNN/MSNBC ratings at the moment.

    I see todays ratings are showing CNN in a firm third place with numbers about what they were before the Egypt story broke.

    Another point that hasn’t been factored in yet is whether the LOD viewers are migrants from his old slot or holdovers from Countdown. The same goes for Ed’s show. i used to watch LOD at !0PM and only occasionally KO at 8PM. I hardly ever watched Ed. Now I watch LOD all the time, still don’t watch Ed much and rarely Cenk.

  6. Wow, Ed’s getting a live hour tonight. I wonder if he threw a tantrum or it’s just a big news story.

    Ali Velshi in for Spitzer tonight on P/S. Interesting that Spitzer gets to do the show solo but Parker has to get a co-host. I’m just sayin.

  7. I don’t like Ed’s show – although I generally agree with him, and appreciate his fight for the working man – but the weak spot for me now is Rachel. The show is becoming increasingly preachy and boring.

  8. Ed is on site in Wisconsin, and that story – with the potential compromise in the works – is still breaking. Might as well use him.

  9. “I don’t like Ed’s show – although I generally agree with him, and appreciate his fight for the working man – but the weak spot for me now is Rachel. The show is becoming increasingly preachy and boring.”

    Gee joe your a hard man to please. 😉

  10. Joe, Ed is simply securing some new viewership in Wisconsin. He is making some excellent points.

  11. ^Fritz, your point on Rachel is applicable, I think, only to the last 10 days. Her staff will get their gears rolling soon – I assume.

  12. ^Fritz, your point on Rachel is applicable, I think, only to the last 10 days. Her staff will get their gears rolling soon – I assume.

    ^Fred: I was quoting joe and teasing him. I love Rachael’s show, although the first half of tonights was kinda a repeat of last night. But her segment on Beck, Egypt, Wisconsin and the Antichrist was priceless.

  13. At what point did KO ever increase viewers for attacking O’Reilly?…and if it didn’t work for KO what makes Crazy Larry think it’ll work for him?.. I mean atleast Larry has more talent than KO so you would think he would be able to do better then just copy KO’s act.

  14. O’Donnell had Coulter on this week. Something Olbermann could never do. Not that the rabid left viewers liked it, but just like O’Reilly has lefties on to give his core audience something to yell at, LOD knows he needs to have some conservatives on. TV is more interesting when different views are discussed and debated.

  15. Rachel has two pet projects – g@y rights and violence against abortion providers – that she applies much earnestness and time to. I support the repeal of DADT, and oppose the murder of doctors providing a legal service, but her insistence that I put these issues at the top of my priority list is irritating. It reminds me a little too much of the tirades that Glenn Beck goes on: “This is very important, and I’m here to tell you the truth about it.”

  16. “It reminds me a little too much of the tirades that Glenn Beck goes on:”

    ^Beck preaching about Obama being the Antichrist & the Muslim Brotherhood taking over the US = Maddow lecturing us on DADT is a bad thing for America & pro life terrorists murdering doctors in Kansas!!!

    I get your point but you need to take a few deep breaths before you push send.

    Every host has a few pet subjects they like to push and Maddow is no different; but comparing her commentaries and and Beck’s ‘tirades’ is like saying Jim Jones and Billy Graham are alike because they both preached.

  17. ^ I think most discerning adults get my point, and know that I’m not comparing Beck’s Crazy with Maddow’s Earnest. But thanks for playing.

  18. “At what point did KO ever increase viewers for attacking O’Reilly?…and if it didn’t work for KO what makes Crazy Larry think it’ll work for him?.. I mean atleast Larry has more talent than KO so you would think he would be able to do better then just copy KO’s act.” – mlong

    Attacking FNC and O’Reilly hasn’t worked for Larry. I read that his ratings have gone down 45% since he took over the 8 p.m. slot.

  19. Where did you read that carol?

    My understanding is that the ratings for the 8PM time-slot declined slightly; but not 45% you state and that he kept about the same ratings at 8PM that he had had on his 10PM show; and perhaps even increased them a bit.

  20. bushleaguer Says:

    Joe – good point re: Rachel’s two ‘pet projects.’ At the least, she doesn’t implore her audience to “call your friends” and “DVR this week’s shows” as Beck does every week.
    I don’t mind Rachel running with those as her pet projects, but it’s odd to hear her rail against the Republicans for focusing on abortion issues in the Congress when their attention should be on the economy….and then she does her segment on abortion providers. Just sayin.

    As for MSNBC post-Olbermann, I agree with fritz that it will take a while to see how the numbers shake out. They should be getting a sustained boost once Republicans start announcing they are running for President and the network goes into 2012 mode. That said, I don’t think that O’Donnell will be able to pull the same numbers that Olbermann did. Things will get real interesting when Olbermann’s show starts on Current.tv and he goes head-to-head with The Last Word.

  21. Part of my problem with the current version of The Rachel Maddow Show is that it’s not the show I liked anymore. Same thing happened to Countdown. When it’s something like Glenn Beck that I’m never gonna care for, whoopie-do. Having a show I’m into go sour is more bothersome. Last season of Lost, anybody..?

  22. According to The Wrap, LOD had 1.17 million total viewers the week it debuted. On January 24th at his new 8 p.m. time slot, he had 534,000 total viewers.

  23. Slight error there carol . According to TVNewser’s ratings on Jan.24th LOD’s ratings were 1,533 million. your out by a million viewers. 😉

  24. I finally found the Wrap piece you reference and the 1.17 is the average TV for LOD’s first week. The 1.533 is high because it was his first show and people were checking it out.

  25. BL: I doubt KO will have any lasting effect on LOD’s or MSNBC’s PT numbers. CurrentTV is not available everywhere and although many MSNBC viewers will check out the new show most will fall back to MSNBC in the end.

    I expect KO’s ratings will settle in at 500,000+/- TV after the first few days. Depending in what time-slot the show is televised there may be a small loss of viewers to someone’s show at MSNBC but not enough to push them down to third place anywhere.

  26. Thanks for the correction, fritz.

  27. If Olby gets 500K viewers on Current, that will sink Larry O’Donnell. Because the viewers will come straight out of MSNBC’s audience. But then I think the notion that Olby’s numbers will settle in at half a million is kind of preposterous given that he’s on a channel with numbers somewhere around those of The Kumquat Channel. If Olby can get Current’s viewership into six figures (which he might, barely) that will be reason enough for them to celebrate. But those viewers will come out of O’Donnell’s hide.

  28. “If Olby gets 500K viewers on Current, that will sink Larry O’Donnell.”

    I’m sure that’s your hope Johnny but i don’t think it’s not likely to happen. If after say six months KO is averaging 500,000 TV then some will come from MSNBC; maybe something like 1/5 but a most will be the those that now or will subscribe to CurrentTV as well as loyal leftist fans that like their politics hardcore like KO delivers.

    There is also no guarantee that KO will even go up against LOD. He could pick another hour.

    But he main reason that MSNBC will not suffer a big viewer loss is viewer loyalty. MSNBC watchers are like FNC watchers; but on a smaller scale and less fanatical; in that their they watch the network and not necessarily a particular host.

    I dislike Ratigan and Schultz as hosts but often watch some of their shows because I agree with the general POV.

    Anyway we can take it up next year when whatever is going to happen has all played out.

  29. KO has already committed to the time slot. Half of his viewers will timeshift on DVR. LOD’s numbers will not be affected.

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