The L.A. Times Calendar section has an article out today about Patricia Fili-Krushel, the new chairman of the NBCUniversal News Group, which includes NBC News, MSNBC and CNBC. The piece concentrated mostly on the "Today" show, but at the end, there was this:
Fox News dominates the cable news landscape, but MSNBC's move to veer to the left of the political spectrum has firmly entrenched it in second place ahead of CNN. The financial news channel CNBC remains very profitable despite increased competition from Bloomberg TV and Fox Business.
Still, there are other holes to be patched. "Rock Center," the prime-time news magazine that Williams anchors, is struggling. "Meet the Press," too, has fallen behind CBS' "Face the Nation" and has lost more than 25% of its audience since 2008. NBC insiders downplay the decline at "Meet the Press," arguing that the audiences for Sunday morning shows are so small that it has little bearing on the bottom line.
High on Fili-Krushel's to-do list is building NBC's digital presence, particularly mobile, as part of an effort to get younger viewers who typically steer clear of broadcast news. "I have 21- and 22-year-old kids," she said. "They do not watch linear TV."
Three noteworthy points:
1. MSNBC's "move to veer to the left" pushed it ahead of CNN. That's a big deal, especially in light of all that nonsense about this being a "center right" country, which has once again been thoroughly debunked. Are you listening, Comcast? How about giving Ari Melber, Joy Ann Reid, Lizz Winstead, Stephanie Miller-- among others-- a shot at their own shows? Call me crazy, but I'm willing to bet they'd up the ratings even more.
2. "Meet the Press" is losing its audience. Surprise! Gee, how could that be happening, especially with such a host who regularly avoids tough follow-up questions to Republicans, lets his guests get away with lying and/or refusing to answer questions directly, and hosts way more right-leaning guests than (moderate to conservative) Dems, and very few real liberals (scroll)?
3. Younger viewers "typically steer clear of broadcast news." That's a great point. How do we expect younger voters to make informed choices if they aren't aware of what's going on around them? I can vouch for this depressing phenomenon as I wrote back in 2009 in a post titled "Teen Idles" that I hope you'll read:
Tabloid infotainment has replaced serious news, as I’ve mentioned in post after TPC post. As a result, the osmotic nature of how teens learn about their own world has been reduced to sound bites from the most inane, splashy, celebrity-driven stories.
So many lessons to be learned here, so little time.