MSNBC Cuts Another Hour of News in Favor of Talking Head Politics…

TVNewser’s Alex Weprin scoops that MSNBC is adding a new 12pm show M-Fr. Read this from the internal Yvette Miley memo Weprin quotes and tell me how this is different from The Daily Rundown or Andrea Mitchell Reports…

Alex Wagner, MSNBC contributor and frequent network guest and Dana Haller are developing a new show to air weekdays at noon. The show will be hosted by Alex and feature regular contributors who will explore what’s driving the day’s political stories.

The difference between what Miley says this show will be about and what Daily Rundown and Mitchell Reports already do, especially Daily Rundown, seems almost too insignificant to ponder. At least on paper. Acutual execution when the time comes may be different however. But with no way of knowing that now, I have to go by the information at hand and the information at hand points to a practical carbon copy of Daily Rundown.

What this appears to be to me is the continued erosion of live news on MSNBC in favor of more political back and forth. There are only three hours on MSNBC that can be considered live news now; Jansing & Company, Thomas Roberts’ hour, and NewsNation with Tamron Hall. That’s it. Everything else on MSNBC dayside; Daily Rundown, Mitchell Reports, Martin Bashir, Dylan Ratigan, and this new 12pm hour are not live news, though they do interrupt for breaking news. That’s three hours out of a possible eight; not even 50% of Dayside.

Note to Weprin: This is not very accurate…

The channel has had a number of anchors filling in during that time period in recent months.

Up until August 26th, 12 noon was Contessa Brewer’s shift. Craig Melvin has been the predominant anchor for that shift ever since, except when he was either off or on assignment.

59 Responses to “MSNBC Cuts Another Hour of News in Favor of Talking Head Politics…”

  1. I think pretty soon it would be accurate to not call MSNBC a news channel. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that but it clearly looks like the vast majority of their lineup is opinion. They still have a place in cable news (whether you agree with it or not) but it’s becoming abundantly clear they are pursuing the caliber of CNN or FNC news wise. At least there’s NBC news.

  2. Yes, and we’ll continue to pretend that Jon Scott, Jenna Lee and Megyn Kelly are doing “straight” news. Bollocks. There’s barely any more regular news on FNC than there is on MSNBC. They counterprogram each other. CNN is rightfully called the Cable News Network. They’re the only ones who focus on it.

  3. Joe don’t give me that “they work for Fox so they are propaganda” BS. spud said it himself, the news hours are not even half of dayside. HALF. Phil Griffin has said it many time that MSNBC is catering to a niche audience, forgive me for pointing that out. MSNBC is not seeking to become a news channel, you know it and I know it. Sorry if that hurts your feelings, there will be other opportunities to interject FNC hate.

  4. It’s not hate, Sparky, it’s fact. You don’t notice it because the conservative bias comes off as “the truth” to you. Those “news” shows do pretty much what MSNBC opinion does: Present news with a particular leaning, then load up panels with mostly people who agree with it, countered by the occasional token opposition.

    The only difference is FNC will add missing blondes and Michael Jackson trials to provide a little useless news content.

  5. This programing change has probably been in the works for months; although who the host would be was likely decided more recently.

    It was noted by many the Contessa’s show never was named and thus some new named program was always planned. The host was probably not finalized until recently and the auditions this summer were most likely the deciding factor. I’m a bit surprised they went with Alex Wagner instead of Melissa Harris-Perry or Ezra Klein because she had no tryout, that I can remember, but her appearances on various MSNBC shows have shown a very smart, articulate and telegenic reporter with lots of potential as an anchor. We’ll see how it works out in the coming months.

    It should also be noted this was MSNBC’s last non-named program on dayside, evening or primetime.

  6. The direction of MSNBC is terribly upsetting, and terribly inconsistent.

    I don’t enjoy The Daily Rundown (even though I’m a huge Chuck Todd fan) and I don’t enjoy Andrea Mitchell Reports.

    If this is the direction MSNBC’s going to go, they need to just go there and dump news programming and the weekend documentaries.

    CNN’s starting to look mighty good — too bad that network is unwatchable.

  7. joeremi Says:
    October 20, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    From that thinking you probably find bias in a piece of toast. this is the fact – MSNBC added another opinion shoow reducing its news portion to dayside to less than half. Phil Griffin has said numerous times that MSNBC is for a niche audience. From this I said it is safe to conclude that MSNBC is not pursuing news. I said nothing about bias or their liberal opinion.

    If you don’t like Fox, don’t watch Fox. I don’t like MSNBC so I don’t watch them. All I am doing is commenting on what direction the channel seems to be going to. Their slant in this context is meaningless; save the rant for another day.

  8. I think Joe means that it’s primetime shows masked in a news structure.The Fox “Live News” programming at least maintains the image of a news program, whereas MSNBC has fully gone into producing shows that all out exclaim their leaning. I think it would be fine if it was Current, but it tarnishes and brings down the NBC News Brand that’s attached. How are they going to cover Breaking news, with legitimacy, or does a Brian Williams breaking news simulcast just good enough? I understand the business behind ideology news, but I hate what it stands for. When MSNBC was in 3rd and not leaning left I loved the NBC News influence-even if it was in 3rd place. The network in my opinion is now less relevant selling ideology, and it’s pulling the network down with it.

  9. The “rant” is because several here are under the mistaken impression that just because FNC pretends to do a lot of straight news on dayside, that they do. They do not. MSNBC is honest about their “opinion news” shows. Fox lies about what they do. That includes Jarrett and Childers. Most of FNC’s so-called news shows are a news/opinion hybrid. Shep, Bret, and Harris stand out as the straight newsers.

  10. FNC relies more on reporters than MSNBC does, or at least that’s my impression. Sure, FNC might be mascaraing as news in the view of liberals, but even liberals have to admit that MSNBC is more like a bunch of talk shows than liberal-slanted newscasts.

  11. ^Again what does this have to do with MSNBC putting on another hour or opinion programming? Joe, get off the soapbox. If you want to argue FNC bias then fine, do it in the free for all.

  12. ^ Dude, you brought up the comparison to CNN and FNC in the first comment. You be trippin.

  13. Lol guys both Nets are bias, and this is the point of spuds post is to point out that MSNBC has allowed Primetime style shows to pour into daytime. If NBC wasn’t attached this wouldn’t be an issue. Fox Daytime is Masked but does the same, as MSNBC brands their live hours just like they do in primetime. Everyone should not be happy that their being fed what they want to hear. That’s not news. It’s misleading. What if someone like my brother who could give a shit about news flips through and lands on either network. Then he would think whatever he’s fed. We all know what’s going on because we follow it, everyone else in this country who has no interest in politics and news is fed anything. That’s why we have the tea party and occupy wall st. and any nut job writing a slanted blog.

  14. ^ Just don’t call him “brother”. That would be too weird.

  15. -my brother would see “News” attached and go oh ok, that must be it. is what i meant

  16. lol laura.

  17. They be bumpin’ nets. Stop me…

  18. Wait, those two “brother” comments aren’t related, are they?

  19. Dude, you brought up the comparison to CNN and FNC in the first comment. You be trippin.

    Read it again. I said it looks MSNBC is not pursuing the news like CNN or FNC, that’s all. I also said they don’t need to since there is NBC news. How did you get from that “FNC rules MSNBC drools”?

  20. Because I disagree with the correlation of FNC to CNN. They’re not in the same news game, FNC just says they are. That’s a thing with Murdoch and Ailes: “Just say this stuff, they’ll go along with it.” I prefer to see things as they are, not what I’m told they are.

  21. I disagree that it doesn’t snow in the summertime but we can’t always win can we? Whether you like it or not CNN’s and FNC’s news programs have a correlation (primetime is a different story).

  22. Au contraire, my brother (there, I said it), What you see as a neutral news show because it complies with your conservative leanings, I see as a rightwing snarkfest masquerading (badly) as “news”. I don’t have to worry about that with MSNBC. When I’m being fed opinion with the news, I’m being told so.

    Well, technically, in Bashir’s case, not being not told not so. They’ve never actually come out and said what he’s doing, but it pretty obvious, and no one BS’s me that it’s “news”.

  23. ^I think that’s totally wrong but i’m not arguing it with you here because first: we wouldn’t get anywhere and second: this is not the place to discuss it.

  24. Is there another place?

  25. I was talking my younger biological Brother who has no concept of news haha. But the Perry “Brother” ref is great and could be used I guess

  26. It should also be noted this was MSNBC’s last non-named program on dayside, evening or primetime.

    No it shouldn’t because it wasn’t. Thomas Roberts’ hour is still not branded…

  27. Is there another place?

    Free for all or a topic pertaining to cable news bias.

  28. Comparing Alex Wagner, a Huff Post opinionator, to Jon Scott, a journalist with decades of experience (some of it at NBC), is ridiculous. Putting a HuffPoster on to replace an hour of news helmed by an actual journalist would be like Fox News took off Shep Smith and replaced him with an hour of Charles Krauthammer. Might be interesting television, but it ain’t straight news.

  29. Nice. Neither Jackie nor Dollar got the “place” reference. Come on, people!

    I don’t think Alex will do straight news. Neither does Scott.

  30. MSNBC is now not giving great journalists a chance to have their own chance at doing something. Chris Jansing, Thomas Roberts and Tamron hall that’s it. Craig Melvin didn’t get a chance really. and They cut back on Alex witt because they gave Chris Hayes a show because they didn’t want him on current tv and they can’t some how remove the harball repeat. it’s sad to see genral news being cut back

  31. No. All those reporters and stories and live remotes are in everyone else’s imaginations.

    Some day you’re going to have to accept that just because you insist something is true doesn’t make it true. JPeople who actually watch ‘Happening Now’ have a better handle on what it is than you do.

  32. Uh…Dollar…Wagner was a journalist and a formwer White House Correspondent. May not be a full time journalist these days like Scott has been but not exactly Ed Schultz either.

  33. They can’t remove the Hardball repeat because they want Hardball on at 7pm. But I think Matthews prefers doing the show live at 5 and probably doesn’t relish the prospect of doing it live at 7.

  34. too bad they don’t cut back on the repeats of docs on weekends sot they have more live news

  35. We both watch Happening Now, and clearly see two different things. The fact that you’re a righty and don’t see the rightwing snark Jon Scott carries with him is not a mystery to me. It’s a conservative standard that right-leaning broadcasts are perceived as The Truth. Everybody knows the game here. Some of us are honest about it.

  36. Mr Spud, she was a ‘white house correspondent’ for a lefty opinion outfit. More like Tommy Christopher than, say, Jake Tapper. Her many appearances speak to her obvious biases. She may not be an Ed Schultz, but she’s at least an Ellen Ratner.

  37. Has John Scott said anything righwing in the past week?

  38. Just as it’s the leftwing ‘standard’ that the rest of the press is straight down the middle. Spare me the crap about “The Truth”.

  39. I am not surprised really though because MSNBC had called themselves the place for politics for years so it
    ‘s no ta surprise it’s sad

  40. “We both watch Happening Now, and clearly see two different things. The fact that you’re a righty and don’t see the rightwing snark Jon Scott carries with him is not a mystery to me. ”

    So apparently think ‘right wing snark’ means nothing that airs for two hours is news, and is no different from one of MSNBC’s opinion fests. OK, I’ll play along. Give me a couple of examples of Jon Scott’s ‘right wing snark’ from today’s program. I have it on the DVR and can easily check it out.

  41. I’m not gonna play a lawyer game with you, Johnny. You’re free to be convinced of the abject neutrality of Jon Scott to your heart’s content. This is a blog with opinions. My opinion is that FNC peppers their so-called newscasts with a healthy dose of “righty stuff”, just as David Shuster used to play the lefty game on MSNBC. Now go on about your “Joe didn’t watch Happening Now today so I win” business. Care, I do not.

  42. And you completely missed the “news/opinion hybrid” thing, so this conversation is useless. You’re pretending I said FNC’s news-peppered-with-opinion shows are exactly the same as MSNBC’s blatantly opininated ones, losing the CNN/FNC comparison this conversation started with in the process. If you guys can’t keep up with the base parameters of a topic, go talk to someone else.

  43. Now go on about your “Joe didn’t watch Happening Now today so I win” business.

    Ah, we agree. As I thought. Thank you so much.

  44. Yes, Johnny, the fact that I didn’t watch TODAY means I never watch. Nice detective work, son.

  45. Dollar, you’re saying Politics Daily was a lefty opinion outfit? I don’t think so…

  46. The rules are: if it’s not blatantly right – or ‘neutral’, in their eyes – it’s ‘lefty’. It’s goal-post-moving madness.

  47. MSNBC covers the news on almost all it’s dayside programs; it just doesn’t spend as much time on covering the latest missing blond or baby, the latest celebrity court appearance or the latest cute animal story.

    They do cover big stories as well as anyone.The coverage of Gaddafi’s death yesterday was wall to wall. Instead they use that time to debate and discuss politics in the US with a left wing POV. I’m OK with that decision as you can get the coverage of those stories elsewhere; and you can.

    The only thing that bugs me about the political coverage is going live to every stump speech the POTUS gives. That may cross the line.I pretty well know it by heart now.

  48. “Dollar, you’re saying Politics Daily was a lefty opinion outfit? I don’t think so…”

    You could be right. I think I was confusing it with another site. However it did become part of HuffPo so there’s that. Anyhow, there’s no doubt from Wagner’s appearances (many of them with Olbermann, and we know how carefully he screens people who appear on his show) what her biases are, so I don’t think anyone can credibly claim that she’s snything close to a journalist. Unless you spell that last word with two Os.

  49. I don’t think it can be claimed that she’s an Impartial journalist is what I was getting at.

  50. @ Joe

    So a right-wing person won’t notice right-wing snark… does that mean a left-wing person will be overly sensative and perhaps see right-wing snark where none exists?

    Or is your opinion “different,” because you’re better than the rest (at least according to you)?

  51. Well Blue it seems that Joe attributes certain qualities to “rightys” that he does not find in “lefties”, ie that we righties are oblivious to blatant ingrained right wing snark while lefties never do the left wing equivalent and if any of them slip Joe et al lefties will notice and discount it out of hand.

    At least I think that is his position. He strikes me as being emotionally invested in his argument and that might be clouding the picture for me.

  52. Yes, Grammie, I can pick up “leftwing snark”, too. David Shuster was crazy with it on dayside at MSNBC. I criticized him at the time, but the True Believers here conveniently forget all the times I’ve criticized liberals or MSNBC. See: Ridiculous anchor choices for election coverage.

  53. Joe, I don’t doubt that you recognized the complete inappropriateness of the MSNBC election coverage “anchors” or their totally blatant left wing propaganda. I’m sure that you commented upon it. However, exactly how is that recognizing left wing snark in a hard news program?

    MSNBC had, all admitted by the network, liberal COMMENTATORS hosting what should have been a hard news program. There was no sneaky snark there.

    FNC, in contrast, had their hard news people hosting and their right/right leaning and also left/left leaning commentators commenting upon it:

    “Bret Baier and Megyn Kelly are set to co-anchor the 2010 midterm election coverage on Fox News Channel. Coverage begins at 6pmET Tuesday with “Special Report with Bret Baier.” Then, at 7pm, “The FOX Report with Shepard Smith,” followed by Baier and Kelly’s “America’s Election HQ.” Baier and Kelly will be joined by senior political analyst Brit Hume and a panel of FNC contributors including Juan Williams, Democratic consultant Joe Trippi and former senior adviser to President George W. Bush, Karl Rove.

    Fox News anchors Martha MacCallum and Bill Hemmer, who brings back the “Bill Board,” will be covering exit polls and tracking live data on the giant touchscreen. Chief political correspondent Carl Cameron provides minute-by-minute reporting on election results.

    Bair and Kelly will be moderating panels with FNC contributors: former vice presidential candidate and Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro, former Alaska Governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, and former Arkansas Governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee.

    What about Bill, Sean and Greta?

    Analysis will be provided by primetime hosts Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity and Greta Van Susteren.

    Meantime, over on FOX broadcasting, the same panelists and commentators will join Shepard Smith who anchors FOX coverage with Chris Wallace contributing. In addition to network cut-ins throughout the night, Smith will anchor two live hours of election programming from 9-10pmET and Midnight-1amET.”

    I watched MSNBC off and on but I don’t remember any counter balance to their crack reporting team doing the election coverage. Is that a senior moment on my part or an accurate portrayal?

  54. It’s accurate. I was addessing that some conservatives around here develop amnesia about my willingness to criticize MSNBC and the left, and turn me into a Fox-hating caricature. It’s what I like to call LAZY.

    I mentioned Shuster as an example of liberal bias in a dayside news show. MSNBC has eliminated much of the problem by pulling back on opinion shows disguised as news, which is what Shuster & Hall were doing. FNC insists on prevailing with the news/opinion hybrid, then pretending there’s no opinion in it. They’re lying.

  55. imnotblue Says:

    Joe is right, Grammie.

    That’s why MSNBC’s slogan is “The Place For Left-Wing Opinion,” and not something more generic like “The Place For Politics.”

    They’re very clear about it.

    *rolls eyes*

  56. Yeah, and “Fair and Balanced” totally signals that FNC is a rightwing network. Believe it or not, most people have a pretty good idea what’s going on at both channels.

  57. @imnotblue: Actually, MSNBC’s entire brand is “LEAN FORWARD” which is a blatant statement that they’re a left leaning network. “The Place For Politics” only shows up during two hours of live news and during MSNBC special reports.

  58. And to some of the above posters, if Megyn Kelly is a hard hitting journalist who only reports facts and isn’t partisan, then I am Ronald Reagan.

  59. Who does MSNBC’s research? The channel still clings to the notion that America is famished for political news. They even go so far are to brag that they are “Thee Place for Politics.” I would think calling to anyone’s attention that they will get the largest dose of politics at MSNBC would be a “tune-out.”
    But then again, someone thinks “Lean Forward” is a grabber and yet another genius thinks a weekend full of “Lockup” and “Predator” reaches a large if not intelilgent audience.

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