MSNBC’s Prime Change: Translating Dan

By Brian 

This is what Dan Abrams said in tonight’s press release about MSNBC’s schedule changes: “MSNBC has made tremendous strides in key primetime hours, and these adjustments to our primetime schedule will continue to propel our momentum, as we concentrate on our strengths and continue to serve our viewers with the right mix of programming.”

This is what Dan Abrams was trying to say: “We’ve made some gains at 7 and 8pm. We’re trying to hold onto those viewers in a slow news cycle. (I hope you noticed ‘Hardbrawl’ tonight.) Rita didn’t sync at 9pm, and 10pm isn’t working any better. We can’t copy Greta and Nancy’s crime-and-courts model. It’s not one of our ‘strengths.’

But the ratings for those Friday nights on tape are too good to resist. (Remember, ‘good’ is relative.) Did you see the numbers last week? We beat Greta and Anderson at 10pm. When was the last time Rita did that?

Anyway, I know we’ve been down this road before. But this is the ‘right mix’ until another huge news story comes along. We’re well positioned for the midterms, with Tucker, Chris, Keith, and Joe. And don’t forget to repeat the ‘momentum’ mantra if anyone asks you about the change.”