Pondering MSNBC’s Future…
The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple writes about today’s MSNBC news.
Will some tinkering with the daytime lineup solve MSNBC’s problems? Impossible. No one in media critic circles will fault a news network for moving toward more news, but there is the small issue of CNN. Have a look at the chart below, laying out the newsgathering investment of the three major cable news networks, as measured by the research outfit SNL Kagan and reported in the Pew Research Center’s “State of the News Media 2014.”
As of 2013, the chart indicates, CNN was outspending MSNBC by $500 million on news expenditures. Switching around the orientation of some programs won’t make a dent in that disparity. Some press releases, some new faces and a brand-new mission won’t enable MSNBC to puncture CNN’s go-to-ness when it comes to breaking news. In fairness to the plan, however, Lack envisions an ever-closer partnership between NBC News and MSNBC as the latter shifts away from lefty fare and toward news reporting. That alone will beef up MSNBC’s straight-news plan.
I am not convinced. NBCU 2.0 did a lot of damage to MSNBC and its ability to mount a credible straight newscast that didn’t consist of mostly a few choice headlines and a few reports from news bureaus. The days of live hits from NBC’s affiliate service are long gone. I think it will take more than just integrating MSNBC and NBC tighter together. It will take investment. I’m not sure NBC is prepared to make that investment.