MSNBC To Launch Streaming Video Hub…

Variety’s Brian Steinberg writes about some MSNBC experimentation…

The cable-news outlet best known for progressive commentary from Rachel Maddow and Chris Hayes is launching a portal of streaming-video programming that its top executive, Phil Griffin, expects to have a great deal of influence on the cable network in months to come. Through the new digital initiative, known as “Shift by MSNBC,” the network will serve up new topics and introduce new contributors that could gradually make their way to the cable network, Griffin believes – depending on the traction they gain among audiences. “Shift” is expected to launch Monday morning.

“We’ve got to keep evolving,” he explained during a conversation in his office at NBCUniversal’s 30 Rockefeller Center headquarters. “We are going to broaden the aperture, but keep the sensibility. Times change and evolve. We had great success in 2006 to 2012, 2013, with our sensibility, but I think now, with the media exploding, we’ve got to adjust a little bit too, and figure out new ways to grab audiences.” Among the new offerings is “The Briefing,” a political program hosted Monday and Fridays by Luke Russert, and “Code Forward,” a discussion of issues raised by new technology, developed in partnership with the tech-news outlet Re/Code.

The launch comes as MSNBC pushes against the same headwinds rivals are facing: Cable-news ratings have over the long term sunk as viewers turn to mobile devices and digital techniques to get information about their world. Replenishing this crowd with younger viewers becomes tough when millennials and the generation behind them seem more comfortable with streaming video that does not require a subscription to a satellite or cable distributor. Last month, MSNBC saw its total viewership fall 13% and its audience in the demo most favored by advertisers in news programming — people between 25 and 54 — tumble 16%, according to Nielsen. In 2013, the network saw its primetime audience decline 24%, according to analysis from the Pew Research Journalism Project.

7 Responses to “MSNBC To Launch Streaming Video Hub…”

  1. savefarris Says:

    Developing a farm system for the network where you can identify and groom new talent sounds like a good idea in theory.

    But given this bunch (and the nature of the web), I’m willing to bet money that is a journalistic scandal waiting to happen. One of these hosts is going to break some tenant of reporting. But instead of being able to sluff it off as “oh, that just some random YouTuber”, they’ll now have the full imprint of the Peacock behind them.

  2. This is an idea that works well for me. I tuned in this morning and caught some of Luke Russert’s ‘The Briefing’. This is almost an exact copy of my current favorite MSNBC show ‘Up with Steve Kornacki’. The format, topics and even Luke in shirt sleeves are exactly the same as ‘UP’. This is sure to become my Mon. and Fri. replacement for TDR; now that that show has been dumped and replaced by JD-B.

    Other shows I’ll check out are ‘Reporters Notebook’ with Beth Foley and ‘Three Cents’ with Josh Barro. Shows with less appeal to me are ones geared to sports, gays and young women.

    The feature that makes it work for me is that I can just play the audio and still work on line. That copies what I do with MSNBC which is mostly use my TV as background radio.

    Interestingly as I type this ‘Shift’ is playing the live Australian feed of the hostage story (without commercials) while the main network has the a gab fest with the usual suspects you see in hostage situations speculating the usual talking points.

    “But given this bunch (and the nature of the web), I’m willing to bet money that is a journalistic scandal waiting to happen. One of these hosts is going to break some tenant of reporting. But instead of being able to sluff it off as “oh, that just some random YouTuber”, they’ll now have the full imprint of the Peacock behind them.”

    ^^I assume this is just random anti-MSNBC ranting from farris but just to make it clear; ‘Shift’ is not “a journalistic scandal waiting to happen”. The hosts and guests on ‘Shift’ are the same ones we see all the time on NBC and MSNBC and they are no more likely “to break some tenant of reporting” on ‘Shift’ than they would on NBC or MSNBC.

  3. This is an idea that works well for me. I tuned in this morning and caught some of Luke Russert’s ‘The Briefing’. This is almost an exact copy of my current favorite MSNBC show ‘Up with Steve Kornacki’. The format, topics and even Luke in shirt sleeves are exactly the same as ‘UP’. This is sure to become my Mon. and Fri. replacement for TDR; now that that show has been dumped and replaced by JD-B.

    Other shows I’ll check out are ‘Reporters Notebook’ with Beth Foley and ‘Three Cents’ with Josh Barro. Shows with less appeal to me are ones geared to sports, g*ys and young women.

    The feature that makes it work for me is that I can just play the audio and still work on line. That copies what I do with MSNBC which is mostly use my TV as background radio.

    Interestingly as I type this ‘Shift’ is playing the live Australian feed of the hostage story (without commercials) while the main network has the a gab fest with the usual suspects you see in hostage situations speculating the usual talking points.

    “But given this bunch (and the nature of the web), I’m willing to bet money that is a journalistic scandal waiting to happen. One of these hosts is going to break some tenant of reporting. But instead of being able to sluff it off as “oh, that just some random YouTuber”, they’ll now have the full imprint of the Peacock behind them.”

    ^^I assume this is just random anti-MSNBC ranting from farris but just to make it clear; ‘Shift’ is not “a journalistic scandal waiting to happen”. The hosts and guests on ‘Shift’ are the same ones we see all the time on NBC and MSNBC and they are no more likely “to break some tenant of reporting” on ‘Shift’ than they would on NBC or MSNBC.

  4. I was under the impression that Shift was going to work as a “test kitchen” with new and/or raw hosts to give them a chance to practice their chops and learn their craft. Like a Triple-A of broadcasting. (a place where … say … Ronan Farrow could have benefited from.)

    But if it’s just gonna be staffed by the existing MSNBC JV team, then that changes my opinion altogether: this idea, in the words of Charles Barkley, is turrible !!!

    Shift: Tune In to see the people who aren’t interesting enough to hold your attention, now with lower production values!!!

  5. “But if it’s just gonna be staffed by the existing MSNBC JV team, then that changes my opinion altogether: this idea, in the words of Charles Barkley, is turrible !!!

    Shift: Tune In to see the people who aren’t interesting enough to hold your attention, now with lower production values!!!”

    ^^This is just more random anti-MSNBC ranting from farris – part of which is broadcast in Bold font; which makes the commenter appear even more desperate for attention. Couldn’t find the ALL CAPS button farris?🙂

  6. savefarris Says:

    This would be a bad idea no matter which network was behind it.

    “Morning Solstice with Jeannie Moos” or “Beltway Beat with Steve Centanni” would be just as awful.

  7. “Morning Solstice with Jeannie Moos” or “Beltway Beat with Steve Centanni” would be just as awful.

    ^^Well any show dealing deeply into the workings of government and/or government laws and policies would certainly not succeed on FNC no matter who hosted it or what the show was called. Once you got past it’s all Obama’s fault there would only be stuttering.

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