I was going to comment on this Joe Concha article in The Hill on Tucker Carlson’s ratings rise and the (predictable) comparative ratings decline Greta Van Susteren has had to contend with on MSNBC since she started but Concha referenced this ridiculous Daily Kos column which was basically tossing a giant hunk of red meat on my empty plate.
Sorry Joe…but thanks for the meal.
Anyway, the Kos article makes an all too predictable appeal for Joy Reid instead of Van Susteren. Nothing noteworthy about that…in fact it’s expected a left wing site would clamor for a left wing host over a host whose actual ideology and affiliations are far less predictable to pin down (sometimes maddeningly so). No, it’s the justification for why Reid should have gotten the slot that deserves strict scrutiny…
She’s also given MSNBC some of their highest numbers in over a decade:
Airing on the weekends from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m., AM Joy delivered the time period’s biggest total viewer audience since the 1st quarter of 2003 and biggest A25-54 audience since Q4 2012.
Despite a crushing election, this nation leans left. Trump was beaten in the popular vote by 3 million votes, and Democrats won the majority of votes in the Senate and House as well. If ratings were based on arcane rules or gerrymandering like our national elections, then yes, MSNBC’s strategy would make sense. But they aren’t. Ratings are actually based on popular opinion. There is a huge market for the American progressive audience—one, I might add, that is not currently being filled.
Reality check #1: That’s weekend mornings. Weekend morning ratings on MSNBC are miniscule compared to what early prime and primetime deliver. If Reid’s show had knocked CNN out of second, the article’s argument would turn from a plaintive plea to real substance. But that has not happened.
Reality check #2: MSNBC already tried Reid on weekdays and the jury came back with a death sentence. It got cancelled and one of the reasons was poor ratings. Reid’s show was part of that idealogical block experiment MSNBC tried which dragged down all of dayside. MSNBC would be insane to try that again barring some new development and as I already pointed out statistical improvement in the 10-12 hour on weekends that does not dislodge CNN isn’t enough of a persuader.
It’s way too early to render a judgement on Van Susteren’s show. It is silly to argue MSNBC made the wrong call at this point but it’s preposterous to argue that what Reid has done on weekends justifies MSNBC bringing her back to weekdays at this point.