very thorough interview with Rachel Maddow
Mon Mar 9 18:16:51 EDT 2009
Donna Halper wrote:
> Given the erroneous posting that "Rachel Maddow's show is tanking," I
> wanted to call list-members' attention to a long and very interesting
> piece about her in Variety.
I'm as big a Rachel Maddow booster as anyone - indeed, I find her show
more enjoyable than Olbermann's much of the time - but the raw viewer
numbers, at least, are not kind to the MSNBC lineup and haven't been for
a couple of months now.
TVNewser.com updates them daily, using the most optimistic set of
figures it can - viewers in the "prime" 25-54 demo, and including
same-day DVR viewing - and while all of the cable "news" networks have
lost some audience from the peaks they posted just before the election,
MSNBC has fallen off much more significantly than Fox.
For instance, last Friday night, O'Reilly pulled 676,000 viewers in "the
demo," against 278,000 for Olbermann. At 9 PM, it was 598,000 for
Hannity versus 187,000 for Rachel.
The total-viewership numbers are even uglier - 3.486 million vs. 1.081
million at 8 PM, and 2.677 million vs. 933,000 at 9 PM.
I think there are some pretty logical explanations for all of this - the
O'Reilly/Hannity partisans, being in the opposition at the moment, have
much more to be worked up about right now than do the Olbermann/Maddow
partisans, for much the same reason that Rush is getting so much attention.
No doubt the rapid rise in viewership for MSNBC leading up the election
was bound to fall off pretty quickly afterward, too. And if the
salespeople at MSNBC are any good, I'm sure they can spin interesting
narratives comparing their viewers' income levels and such to those of
Fox News viewers.
All of which is to say that "third place" doesn't automatically equal
"tanking" - if, as I suspect, Maddow is bringing eyeballs to cable news
that wouldn't be there otherwise, there may still be value there, even
if the raw numbers don't add up to what Fox or even CNN draw in the same
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