Dear Commons Community,
For those of you who follow cable news, the three main channels are Fox News (on the right), MSNBC (on the left) and CNN (somewhere in the middle but leans left). On election night, when President Obama was elected to a second term, many at MSNBC also felt they had won. As reported in the New York Times today:
“If Fox sees itself as the voice of the opposition to the president, MSNBC sees itself as the voice of Mr. Obama’s America. Its story resembles that of so many other cable channels. It hit on a winning strategy (antiwar liberalism led by Keith Olbermann at 8 p.m.), added similar shows (like Rachel Maddow’s at 9 p.m., which became the channel’s tent pole when Mr. Olbermann left in 2011) and then sold its audience as something more: a community of passionate, like-minded people…
Many progressives (and conservatives) now view the channel as a megaphone for liberal politicians, ideas and attacks against those who disagree. Such a megaphone — clearly marked, always on — has never existed before on television.”
MSNBC has a long way to go to overtake the Fox News Channel. On most nights this year, Fox had two million more viewers than MSNBC.
But the two channels, which skew toward an audience that is 55 or older, are on average separated by fewer than 300,000 viewers in the 25- to 54-year-old demographic that advertisers desire. On three nights in a row after the election last week, MSNBC — whose hosts reveled in Mr. Obama’s victory — had more viewers than Fox in that demographic.
“We’re closer to Fox than we’ve ever been,” said Phil Griffin, the president of MSNBC, who has been trying to overtake Fox for years. “All of this is great for 2013, 2014 to keep building.”
Congratulations to MSNBC!