MSNBC’s POV Metamorphosis: How a Cable News Network is Becoming a Cable POV Network

(Editor’s Note: This was originally going to be a two part chronological article but was reworked to move most of the older history to two Appendices which are referenced in this article)

By the end of 2010, MSNBC had established a solid POV block from 5pm to 11pm and had the equally successful POV Morning Joe airing from 6-9. Dayside had reverted to straight news after sustaining a radical wholesale quasi-POV overhaul in mid 2009 which didn’t work out as planned (see Appendix B).

But while MSNBC President Phil Griffin told the AP in December of 2009 that MSNBC was going back to “more aggressive headline and information programming”, by early 2010 the re-implemented straight news dayside had ratings issues. By May Mediaite’s Steve Krakauer wrote that MSNBC was on a path to its worst dayside demo year since 1999.

Whether there was a direct correlation between dayside’s lagging numbers and what happened next is not known. What is known now is that 2010 would be a year when Griffin and MSNBC would revisit the concept of expanding POV across MSNBC. This is the story of that second attempt; a process that is still ongoing.

There were small indications here and there that Griffin was experimenting with dayside in early 2010 but nothing you could define a trend out of. The most telling sign that Griffin was again seriously considering extending POV across all of MSNBC came in the form of an NBC News viewer survey that leaked and was forwarded to ICN in June 2010. Quoting from that story I wrote about the survey…

Note the “I enjoy programs with an opinionated host rather than a program which presents me with just the facts of a story with an objective anchor” and the “I prefer news sources that share my point of view” and the “I enjoy news programs that have a host that has a point of view or opinion on the issues being discussed” choices. Add that to the “Anchor with a strong point of view” choice mentioned earlier and you start to wonder what NBC is thinking about in regards to MSNBC. It suggests to me that they’re still mulling going down that opinion dayside news path even after last year’s resounding ratings-reflective rebuke of a previous attempt at putting in POV anchors and shows on the dayside air. They wouldn’t be asking about these subjects if they weren’t still mulling doing yet another 180.

That survey now serves as MSNBC’s “Rosetta Stone” for everything POV that has transpired on the network since.

One of the things I believe Griffin learned from the failure in 2009 was that he didn’t follow the blueprint of his successful approach to primetime. With primetime Griffin had been deliberate and incremental, bordering on sloth-like. It took him nearly two years to go from just Olbermann at 8 to a fully leftward POV 3 hour primetime; the complete opposite of what he tried to do in 2009 when he made most of his changes at the same time.

Griffin himself seemed to acknowledge this in an October 2010 New York Magazine article by Gabriel Sherman…

To throw things up, which we did for many years and see if it sticks, is not a strategy. And I’ll never do it again,” he tells me. “It’s too painful.

So, for POV attempt #2 Griffin would return to the methodical approach of changing only parts of MSNBC dayside at a time and the changes would be more gradual. And there would be an accompanying branding for it which itself would methodically and gradually change over time.

In October of 2010 MSNBC announced that branding campaign. It was called Lean Forward. At its debut there was considerable head scratching over the meaning of Lean Forward and how it related to MSNBC but, in truth, Lean Forward as a brand was relatively innocuous at the time. The first TV ads were generic “big sky” productions. More specific ads involving select members of MSNBC’s talent were similarly vague with nobody sticking their necks out regarding anything in particular. Even MSNBC’s POV stars came across tame. It was merely the starting point for something bigger.

2011 would be the year Griffin’s second attempt at extending POV to as much of MSNBC as possible would begin in earnest.

In February of 2011 Martin Bashir’s show debuted. The consensus expectation based on the information at hand (read: nothing to go on whatsoever) was that it would probably be some kind of news or newsmaker program. Bashir had spent many years at ABC’s Nightline where he had demonstrated little disposition towards POV programming. However, when The Martin Bashir show did debut that consensus expectation proved to be wildly off the mark. It was a POV analysis news program with Bashir revealing a progressive bent while making little editorials at the end of the show. It would be another year before MSNBC would publicly confirm that Bashir’s show was indeed a POV show.

To fill the slot vacated by Cenk Uygur’s acrimonious departure, MSNBC hired Al Sharpton in late summer 2011. It was already well established that 3-11pm was POV time on MSNBC but Sharpton’s hiring was seen by most as a POV escalation beyond what would have been contemplated previously. Suddenly the media writers, many of whom had been demonstrating a dogged display of resigned indifference to what Griffin had been attempting to do on MSNBC with POV the previous years, snapped to attention with the announcement of Sharpton’s hire. A bunch of articles came out questioning MSNBC’s selection of a lightning rod with as much controversial history as Sharpton.

Griffin, for his part, remained defiant about Sharpton’s rightful place in MSNBC’s stable telling NPR’s David Folkenflik…

“I’m a big fan of Rev. Sharpton; I’ve known him quite a bit,” Griffin says. “He’s smart. He’s entertaining. He’s experienced. He’s thoughtful. He’s provocative — [he’s] all the things that I think MSNBC is.”

This new incremental approach Griffin took with expanding POV analysis in both scope and tone; first with Bashir’s show and then with the high profile Sharpton signing, continued to be applied throughout 2011 and into 2012.

For the first time Griffin expanded POV analysis into the weekend; first with Up with Chris Hayes in September 2011 and then later on adding to the new weekend POV branding with Melissa Harris-Perry in early 2012. Alex Witt’s news block was branded for the first time but its duration was nearly halved. In November 2011 Griffin added another POV analysis show to M-Fr dayside with the debut of Now with Alex Wagner.

From the beginning of 2011 to the date of this writing, MSNBC has added four different POV analysis shows (excluding Sharpton’s which was a like for like program swap) translating into a total net loss of 15 hours of straight news. But that didn’t mean that the remaining news hours were off limits from Griffin’s POV extension strategy.

It’s not clear when it started but the word was spreading throughout the newsroom and the message was clear; edgier, more provocative, POV style oriented newscasts were now a goal again. The days of not voicing any opinion on anything which, according to Felix Gillette in the New York Oberver, was ordered from on high after the Olbermann/Matthews mess of 2008 (see Appendix A), were apparently over.

The form which this new format would take was far subtler than what normally passes for POV in primetime but the difference was noticeable. More controversial guests were booked setting up the possibility of more back and forth confrontation with the anchors. Segment topic selection moved away from pure news and towards more incendiary red meat political subject matter. Anchors were encouraged to inject themselves into the discussion; to get with the POV brand Griffin viewed as the key to MSNBC’s future success.

The follow through to this new policy was and is uneven; some news hours have displayed it more flagrantly than others and some news anchors have appeared more predisposed to doing it than others. ICN has heard that there has been consternation in the newsroom regarding this POV/opinion push but that it was what Griffin wanted. And, after all, Griffin runs MSNBC.

Now, given these conditions, take a moment and put yourself in the position of an MSNBC news anchor.

You were trained to be a journalist and use those skills as a news anchor, not trained to be someone who takes and voices positions on the air. But what are you going to do? You’re seeing POV analysis shows popping up all over the place on MSNBC now. If you resist Griffin’s new edgier POV style ideas are you risking your career at the network? Say you get dropped by the network because of that…who is going to take you? The sad fact is if you’re not a big name you have little chance of jumping over to CNN, FNC, ABC, or CBS. If you stood any chance at NBC you would already know because NBC News President Steve Capus wouldn’t have let you get dropped in the first place. There is little demand now for interchangeable cog anchors. Those days are over and they’re not coming back. But you already knew that. Your only viable anchor option now appears to be local. Of course you can try becoming a network reporter, if that’s what you want. But it isn’t, is it? If you want to remain viable on the national anchor stage, maybe going along with what Griffin wants isn’t such a bad idea under the circumstances.

But, on the other hand, if you do go along doing what Griffin wants are you risking committing career suicide on the national level and will you only be employable on MSNBC…for as long as they choose to keep you? You are almost guaranteed to wind up in on air situations that make you look bad and/or notorious because of the edgier POV style Griffin wants you to take on. You should have a thick skin because you will become a regular name calling fixture of NewsBusters and all the Red blogs. If you had any future possibilities of moving over to NBC you have now put them at risk because, for the moment, NBC News isn’t going the POV route Griffin is and your new reputation will follow you over there and dog them. You’d become Kryptonite for CNN because it still hasn’t shown much inclination to want edgy POV on their newscasts. You’d become Kryptonite for FNC on the theory that someone who stakes out Progressive POV positions on MSNBC’s air would be an unacceptable news anchor choice for that network…one Shepard Smith is enough. You would be poison for CBS and ABC. Forget about being a network reporter…your rep is mud. Your only viable anchor option now appears to be local.

Basically, for lack of better words, no matter which direction you choose to go you’re screwed.

So I’m not surprised when I see someone like Thomas Roberts, who joined MSNBC as a straight news anchor with a straight news reputation, humiliate a guest who didn’t show up even though it turned out it was MSNBC’s fault she didn’t show up, and then when she did show up the next day he opened the interview with this…

“Maggie, do you defend your own race-baiting to further bigotry and homophobia on a national level?”

I was angry with what Roberts did at the time because I found it journalistically appalling but after thinking about it, given that Catch-22 scenario that now confronts him as an MSNBC anchor, I now better comprehend his predicament and I empathize with him.

With POV now seeping its way into MSNBC’s “newscasts” and POV analysis shows popping up all over the schedule, the network’s Lean Forward branding campaign evolved to better reflect what was coming over its airwaves.

As noted earlier, the first round of Lean Forward TV adds were tame and didn’t do much more than introduce the network’s talent to the masses. But beginning in 2011 MSNBC started unveiling Lean Forward: Revision Two.

Unlike the previous round of ads, these new ads were all POV themed ads, save for Morning Joe’s two minute long Lean Forward ad. While POV Lean Forward ads for MSNBC’s POV stars like Maddow and the others would seem to be a more reflective and necessary portrait than the first round of comparatively innocuous ads, POV stars would not be the only ones making POV Lean Forward ads.

Some of MSNBC’s journalists have made such POV ads. Tamron Hall made two; one complaining about the use of US troops as political pawns and another talking about income inequality.

More shocking was Andrea Mitchell’s new Lean Forward ad. Remember, it was Mitchell who, according to Felix Gillette’s Observer piece, was the one who stood up to voice concerns to GE and NBC brass about the wild POV style of the Olbermann/Matthews 2008 campaign coverage and how it was a problem for MSNBC and NBC News. But now, here’s Mitchell doing a POV Lean Forward ad regarding the contentious and debated topic of voter suppression and the groups allegedly pushing it. Et tu, Andrea?

Then there was this recent albeit now infamous quote from Griffin to the Tampa Bay Times’ Eric Deggans…

“I’m sorry, I don’t care about journalists. … I want fair-minded, smart people who understand the world and can interpret it,” he said. “If they’re journalists, great. This notion that you somehow you have to have done something to earn so-called journalists’ credentials? Stop.”

This quote was wildly interpreted out of context. Griffin was specifically rebutting the idea that Sharpton wasn’t qualified to host a show because he wasn’t a journalist and I agree with that. You don’t need to be a journalist to do POV. But everyone seized on the “I don’t care about journalists” part without understanding the rest.

What Griffin wants from MSNBC is edgy POV style analysis in his shows. He has determined that this is MSNBC’s future. This is MSNBC’s brand. Whether it is a journalist that adheres to this brand or a non-journalist that adheres to it is irrelevant (thus the “I don’t care about journalists” quip). Just adhere to it. There is no firewall at MSNBC between POV and news anchoring. It’s now a mish-mash of POV and news analysis that has spread across all dayparts. Actual hour long newscasts no longer exist except during heavy news cycles or select breaking news situations. And I have seen more than once when the network gave short shrift to breaking news situations and would spend more time on the POV and POV analysis type stuff than the breaking event itself. The most recent example occurred just last month.

But, because Phil Griffin’s POV makeover of MSNBC is still ongoing, there are several question that need to be raised:

1) At what point does the makeover reach completion status? When all of MSNBC news hours have been replaced with POV analysis shows? Or some point short of that? Have we seen the last of the new POV analysis shows M-Fr or are more in the pipeline?

2) Where are the POV boundaries? What does MSNBC consider acceptable and what does it consider unacceptable? We have no idea but there is considerable public discussion going on right now about that in terms of Al Sharpton and his dual role as advocate for Trayvon Martin and his family and his other role as MSNBC host. There is almost no discussion going on about that in terms of the network’s few remaining dayside news hours.

3) How does NBC News and its staff fit in with Griffin’s POV designs for MSNBC? There may be no remaining firewall between MSNBC dayside and POV primetime because of all the crossover appearances taking place between the two, the increase of POV analysis shows, and the POV style seepage in most of its “newscasts”. But there is considerably more firewall remaining between NBC News and MSNBC in terms of POV creep.

But this could turn out to be very dicey going forward. Say a POV host or a POV inclined news anchor asks a loaded POV type question of an NBC News journalist; how does the NBC News person deal with that? Will they be expected to respond in kind? Will they push back against the question? Do they duck the question? What happens? This, I believe, is probably the single thorniest issue that will confront the two networks and the news division, especially where political and controversial news is involved.

4) Just how much does the NBC News staff recoil in horror at what’s going with MSNBC and how it potentially impacts them and their news division’s brand?

5) How much longer does MSNBC attempt to publicly delineate between what happens from 3-11 and what happens from 9-3? Just a couple of weeks ago Politico’s Dylan Byers wrote about this very subject.

Meanwhile, the shows that run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. are not “point of view” shows

Really? Now with Alex Wagner? Thomas Roberts’ show? Andrea Mitchell and Tamron Hall doing POV Lean Forward ads? There is so much POV creep happening in relation to those 9-3 hours now that to continue to insist that a fundamental difference exists between 9-3 and 3-11 will almost certainly invite ridicule. There may be a difference in the style and execution but not necessarily the format and news rundown substance.

5) Does Comcast get dragged into this and what does it do? GE got dragged into it and GE interfered at least once when it muzzled Olbermann to temporarily end the “The Feud”; twice if you believe the reports that it was GE that forced Olbermann and Matthews off the air (a story that MSNBC publicly denied but many media writers believe to be true though none has ever written about it. We do talk to each other you know)

How these questions are answered will shape NBC News, MSNBC, and the POV brand Phil Griffin wants for his network.


38 Responses to “MSNBC’s POV Metamorphosis: How a Cable News Network is Becoming a Cable POV Network”

  1. Is all this for the money or for the cause?

  2. POV network just a step away from ACTIVIST network.

  3. Only think straight about Roberts is his snap to attention in the MSNBC locker room.

  4. paminwi Says:

    ? – Is the point of view issue why you hardly ever see Richard Liu on the air? I always thought of him as a news guy, not a POV guy.

    As far as Andrea Mitchell – she used to be a reporter that you felt you could get a true foreign policy perspective from on whatever issue was ongoing. Now, IMO I think she is willing to do more POV because she knows if she doesn’t there will be some younger, prettier person that can be on air. And like most media folks she knows being on the air is important to your relevancy.

  5. All the MSNBC washouts should be able to find a new home at CURRENT. I Hear they are running a ten million dollar annual surplus.

  6. if nbc news was smart , they would fire Griffin and take control of their channel again, or rename Msnbc ,and make a new news channel with the nbc name

  7. they could call it PRAVDA

  8. Spud, how do you explain Contessa Brewer’s departure from dayside anchoring? IMO she was becoming more and more of a POV anchor.

    And then where does this leave Chris Jansing and Chuck Todd? She and Chuck Todd are the only “untarnished” anchors. I can’t imagine either are comfortable with the situation.

    Great piece by the way.

  9. I won’t explain it. Not publicly anyways. Some stuff just isn’t meant to be posted. You are correct to note that she too was doing the POV thing on occasion. But that had no bearing on why she got dropped and I’ll leave it at that.

  10. You failed to mention that Chris Jansings hour has more pov than any other hour before 3pm(except for Wagner). Tamron Hall “Lean Forward” ads are harmless. As far as I know she is still a contributor for “Today” always gets hosting, and Dateline. Andrea Mitchell ad’s are also harmless, can you prove where this has impacts their reports. Do they not give both sides a fair shot? When it comes to Thomas Roberts, you have a point, I agree with you about him. You’re trying to make it look like Chris Jansing is the only credible news anchor at msnbc which is total bull. Her show has as much talking heads as Alex Wagners show. I will not sit hear and allow you to drag Tamron Hall and Andrea Mitchell’s names in the mud. Unless you can provide facts to prove there’s any bias in there reporting, I suggest you stop questioning their journalistic integrity.You’re just wrong!

    I do like reading your blog, don’t take it the wrong way. I agrre on the other stuff.

  11. I feel like you’re attacking these other dayside anchors because your bias towards Jansing, it’s pretty obvious. Explain why Chuck Todd has a “Lean Forward” ad? I think you have it out f or msnbc because you don’t feel Jansing is getting enough attention. The run promenade for “The Daily Rundown w/ Chuck Todd” “Now with Alex Wagner” “Andrea Mitchell Reports” “News Nation w/ Tamron Hall” “Martin Bashir” ” The Dylan Radigan Show” where’s the promos for “Jansing co”? She has the only branded show on msnbc that gets no promo. I feel like all of this is a big excuse for when your beloved “Jansing” is once again shown the door. I can see it now “msnbc cancels Jansing for more pov”

  12. You failed to mention that Chris Jansings hour has more pov than any other hour before 3pm

    You’re going to have to quantify that.

    You’re trying to make it look like Chris Jansing is the only credible news anchor at msnbc which is total bull. Her show has as much talking heads as Alex Wagners show.

    1. No I’m not nor do I intend to.
    2. No it doesn’t. Jansing’s show has too much talking head blather. Almost the entire first half hour these days is filled with it. But it doesn’t run the entire hour which Wagner’s show does. There’s still some news in Jansing’s hour. Not a lot. Not nearly enough. But some. There’s NONE in Wagner’s. You cannot deny that fact.

    p.s. If you have been following this blog you know that I shredded Jansing & Co when it debuted precisely because its two hours was all talking head blather. I don’t play favorites on the blog.

    I will not sit hear and allow you to drag Tamron Hall and Andrea Mitchell’s names in the mud.

    I didn’t make them do POV Lean Forward ads.

    Unless you can provide facts to prove there’s any bias in there reporting,

    Uh…this tangent of yours has nothing to do with what I wrote. I merely said they did POV Lean Forward ads. They did. That’s a fact.

    I suggest you stop questioning their journalistic integrity.

    Please point me to the sentence where I say, “I question their journalistic integrity”.

    I question MSNBC’s decision to muddy their journalist reputations by putting them in scenarios where they have to inject their point of view in a TV ad. Are you going to tell me that the next time Mitchell has to seriously take on that subject of voter supression on her show that there aren’t going to be people out there who think she can’t be trusted now to be impartial precisely because of that ad? Of course there are.

    Same thing applies in regards to Hall and the ads MSNBC made her do.

    Those ads were a bad idea and they are all MSNBC’s fault. Not the talent’s. You see me criticizing the ads but you don’t understand that I’m criticizing the ads because it puts the talent in an untenably awkward position they should never have to be put in. These are not PSAs you know, where one can speak out about various issues to some extent. These are MSNBC commercials.

  13. And no. I don’t consider the ads harmless the way you do. I consider dangerous because they are precedent setting.

  14. Explain why Chuck Todd has a “Lean Forward” ad?

    Todd has a NEW Lean Forward ad? The only one I know of is the one of him driving to work which came out in 2010 in the first round of ads which were generic for everyone including the primetime POV stars. The ads I’m concerned about are the new ones and only regarding the journalists, not the POV people.

  15. The run promenade for “The Daily Rundown w/ Chuck Todd” “Now with Alex Wagner” “Andrea Mitchell Reports” “News Nation w/ Tamron Hall” “Martin Bashir” ” The Dylan Radigan Show” where’s the promos for “Jansing co”?

    When did they run ads for Bashir? I can’t recall seeing them.

  16. The promo advertising his show. They all do. Except…

  17. Ok fine. I get where you’re comming from. Still when you post about msnbc, you should expect me to give my honest opinion on what you wrote. Just like I expect you to be honest, continue to provide me with good reading material.

  18. Honest opinions should be backed up with something or they are not worth reading.

  19. The promo advertising his show. They all do.

    You’re going to have to point me to Bashir’s commercial because I’ve never seen it nor have I ever heard of it. Unless you are talking the “Martin Bashir show is coming up next on MSNBC” spot that plays in the break before Hall’s hour ends. That isn’t the kind of advertising I’m talking about.

    There isn’t much consistency about what MSNBC does to promote its talent. Period. I don’t think there is one uniform pattern for anything that has 100% follow through across all hours. I expect ads for Hall because she’s got cross-network potential with NBC and I expect ads for Todd and Mitchell because they have key roles at NBC.

    I long ago gave up trying to find hidden meanings in who gets advertising on MSNBC and who doesn’t precisely because it doesn’t always make logical sense or follow any pattern and trying to read the tea leaves renders one wrong often as much as right. The same thing goes for FNC. CNN is a lot more uniform about covering all their bases.

    I also haven’t seen Todd’s ad in a long long time. So far he hasn’t had a new one.

    Still when you post about msnbc, you should expect me to give my honest opinion on what you wrote.

    Of course. I know people get very touchy about their favorite anchors. You say anything remotely negative about them and they take as a personal affront almost. I get that and I don’t hold it against them. But I do want them to argue with me in ways that aren’t just hyperbolic rhetoric. I’m not saying you didn’t but too many do.

  20. I would think it better if NBC news to cut ties with MSNBC and separate the two. CNBC is not under NBC NEWS for example. And for NBC to start new news channel and let msnbc be a NBC U POV channel. Or for NBC News to clean up MSNBC. unless they don’t care

  21. I don’t see “bias” in either Tamron spot. The “troops” one is well-meaning but silly. The “income inequality” piece is accurate: The rich are getting richer, poverty is increasing, and the middle-class is dying. These are not ideological opinions. They are facts that this country is grappling with.

  22. ^^^ I’m sure you don’t. The “bias” if you want to use that word, and I don’t, is in what purpose is being served by MSNBC choosing those topics: giving out facts purely for giving out fact sake or appealing to Progressive viewers? I can’t say. But I can say you can’t dismiss the Progressive viewer appeal narrative as long as MSNBC doesn’t do one that appeals to a Conservative narrative.

    I would think it better if NBC news to cut ties with MSNBC and separate the two.

    Impossible to do as long as they are in the same building. The physical cohabitation will always be a talking point, regardless of the validity of such a talking point.

  23. I don’t think conservatives are owed the lie that income inequality isn’t a problem because, ya know, “free trade” and all that crap. They already have a network for that “don’t punish success” BS.

  24. Great article – love the behind the scenes reporting on cable news struggling to balance news content, POV, and bias.

    It is easy to lament the decline of hard news in cable TV but I have accepted that this is just the state of media today. There is no longer an old guard of broadcast journalism that is focused solely on objectivity and unbiased facts. CNN tries to be the most neutral and they often do a good job but even they are starting to blur the lines. To some extent, how can you produce news content for 24 hours and not venture into POV or expose a bias. NPR does a decent job, but I am well aware of the reputation they have for being perceived as liberal.

    Yes, we can all argue which anchors have the strongest or most obvious POV and many of us will disagree but I think it misses the point. MSNBC is progressive TV and Fox is conservative TV. As long as there is a market for that kind of POV content, they will exist and flourish. I guess MSNBC has just decided to embrace it and run with it because it is successful. Personally, I am okay with POV content as long as they are honest about it. Everyone has some bias and a worldview – even if you don’t express a specific opinion on an issue, your biases can be revealed in what stories you cover, how you cover them, and what facts you present to support your case.

    Spud, you are right that this causes trouble for NBC news. That is the biggest problem. How you separate the two is a mystery to me because it is blending together. As for the anchors, I don’t know why we can’t let each anchor be responsible for their own content. If Chris Jansing and Andrea Mitchell wanna play it straight – let them. I think the audience is sophisticated enough to make up their own minds.

    This whole topic is fascinating to me and I could ramble on forever, but I think I’ve done enough. Great job, Spud!

  25. I’m new to the site…well done! I wonder, where do you stand in regard to CNN’s apparent shift toward host-moderated POV? It seems to me that even the daytime has become filled with “Tea Party (fill in noun here)” leaders, RedState writers, the David Frums and Ari Fleishers of the world, and a couple of Democratic strategists i.e. Carville or Brazille. It has placed a whole lot more emphasis on “framing” and spin rather than simple, objective reporting. My impression of a stock CNN piece: “People from all over the country today are enjoying sun and a cloudless sky. Many people have looked at the sky and tell CNN that it’s the color blue, while others say it’s red. Let’s go to the panel to discuss whether the sky is blue or red. Joining us is Frank Franks, who is a believer in blue, and Rich Richard, who tells us it’s red.” CNN seems to have eliminated the space for objective truth in reporting, instead turning to the “he said, she said” school of journalism. Thoughts?

  26. CNN is confused and hasn’t made up its mind what it wants to be yet, despite its claims to the contrary. I see straight news, a little POV theatrics (happened today with Costello and Priebus), POV analysis (Starting Point and to a lesser extent OutFront), and real intelligent POV analysis that I can buy into (GPS).

    Because CNN is so schizoid, it’s impossible to tell where it’s going to wind up. We have a much clearer picture with MSNBC and the direction its going and of course FNC, which has stayed the same since launch.

    It would be really interesting if BBC World News or Al Jazeera US got significant US cable and satellite penetration. I’d like to see how they would influence the US nets who are all going off in the wrong direction (read: way too much politics and not enough news)

  27. Let’s not kid ourselves.

    Fox News also has a blend of POV and non-POV programming during dayside.

    Who cares what percentage of a one-hour program it is? It still taints shows like America Live as being partisan just like Andrea Mitchell’s show over at MSNBC.

    IMO this is all about a distinction without a difference. Most programming on MSNBC and FNC has an element of POV to it.

  28. IMO this is all about a distinction without a difference. Most programming on MSNBC and FNC has an element of POV to it.

    More or less…yeah.

  29. It’s a POS network.

  30. קייטרינג…

    […]MSNBC’s POV Metamorphosis: How a Cable News Network is Becoming a Cable POV Network « Inside Cable News[…]…

  31. […] which digs into the on-the-air and behind-the-scenes inner workings of the cable news channels had a long — very long — piece about how MSNBC has metamorphosed from unbiased channel of news, to mostly one-sided […]

  32. […] few months ago when I wrote my epic story on MSNBC’s POV Metamorphosis I posited some questions that should be watched going forward. One of them was […]

  33. […] MSNBC has received some criticism for veering away from breaking-news, CNN-style coverage and doubling down on political chat, […]

  34. […] that MSNBC has dropped news and moved to POV analysis is not a recent development. Back in April I wrote about how this has been an ongoing change at the network since 2011. Rothman is correct that […]

  35. CNN calls everything “Breaking News”. Go back the next day, it’s still breaking news! I prefer MSNBC’s style. Very balanced and shows reflect our current respect for all age groups.

  36. […] is what Griffin has put all over MSNBC (I documented how it went down in excruciating detail here). News has been gutted. So now not only do you have a network where POV analysis talks about the […]

  37. […] going to be talking in shorthand here because three years ago I wrote extensively about MSNBC’s POV metamorphosis. If you aren’t familiar with that deep dive, I suggest you read it and the two appendices […]

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