Weekend Growing Pains For MSNBC’s ‘Disrupt’

By Jordan Chariton 

Longtime MSNBC contributor Karen Finney took the helm of “Disrupt With Karen Finney” in June as the lead-in for then-weekend host Ed Schultz, but six months later, the show struggles in the ratings.

Airing on Saturday and Sunday at 4pmET, “Disrupt” is delivering 192,000 total viewers and 39,000 viewers in the A25-54 demo for the month of November, the latter demo number serving as an all-time low for the show. Sunday, November 17 was a low point, with just 14,000 viewers in the demo tuning in. That show featured Finney speaking with former Congresswomen Gabby Giffords’ husband Mark Kelly about gun control as well as a panel on the JFK assassination anniversary.


The November numbers are stark compared to the first full month of the show in July: down -35% in total viewers and down -65% in the demo.

After Schultz’s return to weekdays at the end of August, “Disrupt” held firm in September—its first month with no other news programming following it — up +2% in total viewers from the month before. But the show has declined rapidly since, serving as the lead in to higher-rated non-news oriented programming “Caught On Tape,” “Predator,” and “Lockup.”

A source at the network tells TVNewser there are no changes planned for “Disrupt.”

It will be interesting to see how Finney—a former communications director for the Democratic National Committee—does in 2014 as midterm election coverage elevates ratings across-the-board on cable news.