Amid all the talk of Brian Williams replacing Tom Brokaw on NBC
Nightly News in 2004, some news got lost: MSNBC is shifting away from
news to talk.
Come July 15, the network that calls itself "America's News Channel"
will yank its signature evening newscast, Williams' long-struggling
The News, and move it to CNBC.
The switch will pave the way for an MSNBC prime-time talk lineup
featuring Phil Donahue, Ashleigh Banfield and Alan Keyes.
The move has raised more than a few eyebrows at NBC, where executives
once promised that MSNBC would be the place you see all of NBC News'
But after six years of fiddling with various combinations of talk and
news, this joint venture between NBC and Microsoft is running a
distant also-ran to Fox News and CNN. You don't see NBC stars such as
Katie Couric rushing to appear on MSNBC.
"They had to make a choice between talk or news. They were doing both
and it was confusing," says TV news analyst Andrew Tyndall. He says
the change will make MSNBC "more like Fox and less like CNN."
Both Fox and CNN are gloating. CNN views moving The News as a white
flag of surrender when it comes to covering news, an admission that
CNN does it better. Fox views it as MSNBC admitting it still hasn't
figured out how to program a cable news channel.
"I guess Brian Williams wanted to get away from a train wreck," says
Fox News chief Roger Ailes. Says CNN chief Teya Ryan: "It certainly
was a surprise - for a news network."
Not so, says MSNBC chief Erik Sorenson, who notes that viewers will
get hourly news briefs and breaking news will always pre-empt talk
shows. But in the post-9/11 world - where news junkies constantly
monitor news throughout the day, to offer a traditional evening
newscast such as The News doesn't work.
"They know it already," says Sorenson. "They got the pithy, now they
want the punditry." So, just as Fox has done with talkers Bill
O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Alan Colmes and Greta Van Susteren, MSNBC will
now do with its lineup of hosts.
"Gee, what a great new idea," says Ailes, who founded MSNBC's all-talk
precursor, America's Talking. He says this is another example of how
MSNBC, which averages 232,000 viewers a day to Fox's 594,000 and CNN's
380,000, has yet to find its voice.
CNN's Ryan is happy. "Now that it's sort of clear that the other two
cable news networks are going to emphasize talk over news, CNN is
going to remain true to news programs and talking to newsmakers.
That's what we're all about."
>After Williams, MSNBC Will Go All-Talk
>By Peter Johnson
>Amid all the talk of Brian Williams replacing Tom Brokaw on NBC
>Nightly News in 2004, some news got lost: MSNBC is shifting away from
>news to talk.
>Come July 15, the network that calls itself "America's News Channel"
>will yank its signature evening newscast, Williams' long-struggling
>The News, and move it to CNBC.
>The switch will pave the way for an MSNBC prime-time
> talk lineup featuring Phil Donahue, Ashleigh Banfield and Alan Keyes.
The line-up gives "prime" an entirely new connotation for
Sounds like "All Opinion All The Time...... with no boring, hard facts
to muddy the waters!"
To fill out the 24 hours, get a few more
impotent-no-personality-humorless blobs --- Sally Jessy Raphael, Ananda
Lewis, Maury Povich --- and for the gay vote --- put Rosie in there too.
But the thing that makes me wonder is that I cannot stand to listen to PD for
even one second, let alone long enough to watch a commercial, so there must be
others who feel/think the same way, no?
Hmm...then again, mebbe not...the soppy -couch-dweller shows are on in the
morning, while the thinking-person shows are in PM....so, soppy PD might just
UGH, we'll see. Or hear, because I won't be watching MessNBC at all.
p.s. Not to worry, I doubt if PD will have an American flag anywhere on his
set, or lapel.
Swear With Flair
Anybody seen my edge?
I still like Brian Williams. He's very funny, and he gets whats going on
and doesn't take himself too seriously (yet).
MSNBC Puts Muscle Behind New Lineup
MSNBC is planning a multimillion-dollar ad campaign to promote its new
primetime lineup -- a schedule that will kick off July 15 with a new 7 p.m.
show hosted by former New York Post editor Jerry Nachman, officials said
The new lineup -- which includes shows anchored by Phil Donahue, Chris Matthews
and Ashleigh Banfield -- will debut on MSNBC's sixth anniversary. The new
lineup that doesn't include conservative Alan Keyes, whose show--launched in
January--has become a ratings disappointment. The network said it is talking to
Keyes about a daytime slot.
The programming changes are part of MSNBC's effort to rebrand itself as
'America's NewsChannel,' focusing on offering news analysis.
Officials have previously disclosed that Donahue would air weeknights at 8
p.m., followed by Hardball with Chris Matthews at 9 p.m. and Ashleigh Banfield:
On Location at 10 p.m.
But Monday, for the first time, MSNBC set a time period for Nachman's new show,
Nachman, which will offer news analysis by the former print journalist and
veteran of WNBC-TV and WCBS-TV, both in New York.
MSNBC will promote the new Donahue show and the primetime schedule with its
biggest marketing campaign ever, starting July 1. It will include national
print, ads in vehicles such as USA Today and TV Guide, network radio and
MSNBC will also target four major markets -- New York, Boston, Chicago and
Washington, D.C. -- where there are a high concentration of cable news viewers
with an overlay of radio, local cable and print.
All of MSNBC's primetime programming will have 90-second news updates at the
top of the hour and at the half-hour. (Linda Moss - Multichannel News)
>well you aren't going to see much Williams...or news:
>MSNBC Puts Muscle Behind New Lineup
Ashley Banfield is muscle? Please.
Fortunately, since I turn off MSNBC the minute they leave Imus, all
this heavy hitting won't bother me any. Except . . . . just the fact
that Donahue is allowed back on the air makes me gag. Accckkkk.
Dances with cats.
You go Phil! ...and pay no attention to all the barfy throw-up sounds around
Hold my hair!