Thursday, September 03, 2015

The Comcastrati II: MSNBC Drops The Veil

First a warning, musical;
Then the hour, irrevocable.
The leaden circles dissolved in the air.

― Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
From Mediate:
Exclusive: MSNBC to Expand Morning Joe One More Hour; Kate Snow Gets Afternoon Role

More sweeping changes are coming to MSNBC per a well placed source.

As reported in this space exclusively last week, Kate Snow of NBC News will be taking on a substantial role in MSNBC’s dayside programming. Ms. Snow formerly a weekend anchor for Good Morning America and a frequent face seen on the NBC Nightly News and Dateline will inherit the 3-5 p.m. ET time slot on weekdays on MSNBC.

Also of major note, Morning Joe will be expanded to a four-hour program (it’s currently three). Starting soon, the political roundtable show can be seen from 6 a.m. ET until 10. Note: With the 2016 race heating up, and the great political theater that has come with it and only promises to continue, it only makes sense to expand the network’s editorial page in the morning.

One notable causality to emerge from these moves is current 9-11 a.m. anchor José Díaz-Balart. With Morning Joe going to 10 a.m., Tamron Hall will then take over the 10-12 noon slot, thereby leaving Mr. Díaz-Balart as the odd man out.

Following the aforementioned Snow in the 3-5 p.m. block will be Chuck Todd at 5 p.m., a move that was also previously reported by Mediaite in late July.
I assume they'll keep Rachel Maddow around for awhile longer:  her ratings are still respectable and it lends a little class to the place to have a concert pianist working the ivories at what has become just another Beltway whorehouse. 

But make no mistake: Liberal teevee has been on the DNR list for a long time, and by bulking up his line-up with Moar!Joe!Scarbourgh and Shuck Todd, MSNBC prexy Phil Griffin has pronounced Liberal teevee dead.

I shall miss it.


Unknown said...

Just fucking amazing that MSNBC's suits could take stock of their struggles and conclude: "hey, I've GOT IT! Let's give Morning Joke another hour!"

Good grief. The Washington Generals put up a more competitive fight against the Globetrotters than MSNBC is putting up against its competition.

wagonjak said...

This is really disgusting! I just adore Jose Diza-Balart...he's honest, well spoken and knowledgable. This is an insult to all Latinos and every progressive who has ever watched MSNBC They sink further and further into the Faux Noise quagmire. And I loath the pious, pretentious, self-important and bullying excuse of a humanoid that is Joe Scar.

Kathleen O'Neill said...

DG, you could have written Network. You should think about writing your own satire about the media, though Network is not one bit dated. How prescient that movie was. One of my all time favorites.

Don P said...

And they are contemplating throwing Obvious Merit Hire Willie Geist on in the 8 pm Eastern slot. Against Bill O'Reilly.

Now that you're done laughing/crying; tell me the fix isn't in.

Btw, Scarborough often repeats the 6 am content in the 8 am block; meaning the hacks are really working just 2.5 hours? What the hell are they gonna put on for the 4th hour? Barnicle reading Royko? reading Whitey Bulger trial transcripts?

dinthebeast said...

Scarborough, n. : The visible damage left on society by the abdication of the news media of its function as specified in the founding documents of the republic.

-Doug in Oakland

MariedeGournay said...

Long time listener, first time caller. I sincerely hope Chris Hayes has a soft landing and gets to work in musical theater.

John MacCuish said...

The Fourth Estate is bought and sold and bought again. What will the media do when it wakes up one morning to find that everybody knows that all that is left of the GOP is a smoking crater? They'll call it "Mourning with Joe." Who watches that stuff anyway? Old white men, living in tiny cabins in the woods, census bureau demographic, "Hard Scrabble and Pipe Bombs?"

Patti Montgomery said...

Although I love Chris Hayes and Rachel, I quit MSNBC a long time ago. FFS, how could they ditch Alex Wagner??? Phil Fucking Griffin is an idiot of the first water, and I've taken every opportunity to tell him that ever since he fired Keith.

Free Speech TV is the only liberal news source left standing, it seems. Love them. Stephanie Miller is so much fun in the morning, and the rest of the line-up is awesome. And, you can view the whole shebang online at

Squint makes me barf.

Kathleen O'Neill said...


"Scarborough, n."

It could also be a verb. "We've been Scarboroughed".

Or a floor wax.

Jerry B said...

What cracks me up about all this is giving Scarborough another hour. He doesn't fill up the three he has now.

John Hall said...

MSCAR: Lean Forward...And Vomit Directly Into Your Toilet.

DeistPaladin said...

I'm and MBA with an emphasis in marketing and business strategy and nearly 25 years of running a small business under my belt. Future business school students will be reviewing this part of MSNBC's history as a case study and assigned to write a report on what Phil Griffin did wrong and why it all fell apart.

They'll discuss the media audience in terms of market niches, noting that Fox Noise has a long established lock on the wackjob right wing segment. This competitor has approximately 20 years of cultivating brand loyalty and polishing their brand recognition, giving them a substantial competitive advantage in defending this share of the market.

CNN will be labeled the next largest competitor to be analyzed with an older brand and a similarly cultivated brand loyalty with centrists, airport attendees and has branched into Fox's Crazy Uncle Liberty turf with attempts to be Fox-lite.

Market analysis shows that the right wing and centrist segments are, to use the formal business term, "heavily saturated" with entrenched and larger competitors already serving it. Furthermore, there is no evidence that this market segment is growing. In fact, shifting population demographics would predict a contraction of this market segment in the future.

MSNBC has no identifiable differentiaters with it's competitors (a business strategy term for "we're better because..."). Fox demonstrates better marketing savvy while CNN has better eye candy technology. Furthermore, it's current brand recognition (as defined by market perceptions) is as a "liberal channel". As always, brand recognition is not always an accurate reflection of the product. This brand will need significant repackaging to shift market perceptions in a way that will allow it to enter the right wing or centrist segments, a daunting task for any marketing department to say the least. Such re-branding is possible (a classic example being how "made in Japan" when from being a sign of poor quality in the 1950s to being a sign of good quality in the 1980s) but always takes time and marketing resources to re-educate the consumer.

MSNBC has the competitive disadvantage in the right wing and centrist markets of being a Johnny-Come-Lately. Late entry into a market where competitors are already established is usually a losing strategy unless the upstart has either a significant positive differentiater or a production cost advantage allowing it to become the low-cost leader. MSNBC has neither advantage.

Meanwhile, MSNBC in pursuing this new direction will be abandoning its current market segment, which include the more informed market segment, members of which can be expected to be savvy enough to recognize the decrease in quality and service to its needs. Already, management had eroded its hold on this segment with previous choices and the new strategy will only make that erosion of its customer base even worse.

This abandoned market segment is not currently being served by any other significant competitor, although the market has found substitutes for the basic product in the form of "blogging". Further, this abandoned market segment, given shifting demographics, is only expected to grow in the future.

MSNBC's decision to abandon its current segment to try to force entry into saturated segments left it, to quote Porter's allusion to a business that is neither a differentiater nor a low cost leader, "stuck in the middle" with no competitive advantages and a brand liability to overcome.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: WTF were they thinking?

Fritz Strand said...

I guess when you run out of ideas you create more cylons.

Unsalted Sinner said...

OT, but I think Peter Wehner wrote this specially for Driftglass:

Both Sides!

Kathleen O'Neill said...


When they fired Phil Donahue, who hosted their highest rated show, they were thinking they didn't want to take a stand against the Bush Administration and the rest of the Rethugs. Griffin must have albums full of Execs With Under Aged Goats photos.

Ivory Bill Woodpecker said...

"...Execs With Under Aged Goats photos."

Actually, in this age of widely available software capable of altering both still and mobile images (Photoshop and such), such images mean nothing--except to the gullible people who would believe such slanders even without any sort of evidence. (Witness the ACORN and Planned Parenthood foofaraws, for example.)

"Pictures don't lie"? Oh hell to the yes they do!

Cirze said...

Wasn't this just to get rid of Díaz-Balart?

Everyone knows that Joe blows.

My guess is Rachel's next.

The 2016 election will not have any "liberal/progressive" voice on any of these channels. Bet on it. It can't be permitted when the reporting starts on the voting totals (see prior articles on easily changed voting machines).

Watch Link and Free Speech TV.

And make a donation to the good guys!