Friday, January 05, 2007

On the rise: MSNBC

The past 12 months have been good to MSNBC, and so has Dan Abrams apparently. Many were left scratching their head when he went from legal show (think Greta or Nancy) to running the network. Rita Crosby's show disappeared, and Hardball and Countdown were capitalized upon. Tucker Carlson is a lightweight, but he is watchable while waiting for Hardball to come on. Similarly, viewers watching Countdown are led directly into Scarborough country, which has gone from forgettble to moderately respectable.

Of the three cable news outlets MSNBC is the only one that's gaining viewers. Fox News is becoming a conservative niche network and is not gaining new viewers as its old viewers, well, get older. CNN is still quite respectable but is also quite steril, for lack of a better word. I wish MSNBC would follow a Fox New's pattern of repeating it's three big 8pm to 11pm shows throughout the night so the nightowls and late-shifters wouldn't be shutout, but those "To Catch a Predator" episodes do bring in the numbers.

I have a sneaking suspicion that MSNBC will become a model for the next evolution of cable news networks.

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