Author Topic: Megyn vs. Maddow, Hannity vs. O’Donnell/Baldwin: A Breakdown of New Rivals  (Read 1068 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Rapunzel

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 71,719
http://www.mediaite.com/tv/megyn-vs-maddow-hannity-vs-o%E2%80%99donnellbaldwin-a-breakdown-of-new-rivals/


Megyn vs. Maddow, Hannity vs. O’Donnell/Baldwin: A Breakdown of New Rivals
by Joe Concha | 3:08 pm, September 20th, 2013


As noted here when the news first broke of Megyn Kelly’s move to Fox primetime, Roger Ailes making such a decision was never a matter of if…but when.

The only question seemed to be: OK, where to put her? There were rumors that she would co-host with Sean Hannity, which would have gone down as the worst pairing since Rather and Chung. Or maybe Kelly would replace Greta at 10:00 PM. Out with one lawyer, in with another.

In the end, Kelly gets the coveted 9:00 PM spot all to herself. And with it, we have a most compelling matchup between MSNBC and Fox between Kelly and Phil Griffin‘s top talent Rachel Maddow.

For those who didn’t read Part I (7:00 and 8:00 PM) of this breakdown, a quick review: This analysis is being relegated to MSNBC and Fox due to Phil Griffin’s declaration that MSNBC would overtake Fox by the end of 2013.

So with the new lineups now in place, will it mean a watershed moment in the world of cable news?

If the first nine months of the year are any indication, not bloody likely. MSNBC, which started 2013 in second place (well) behind Fox, has since been passed by CNN, who is making some big changes of its own (without making any unrealistic short-term declarations or setting any timetables on victory).

Still, this is Mediaite and we would therefore be remiss if we didn’t break down these matchups like John Madden used to for NFL games with a telestrator (minus the telestrator).

9:00 PM: Rachel Maddow’s Rachel Maddow Show vs. Megan Kelly’s The Kelly File

Amidst the programming turmoil at MSNBC over the past year, the one constant has been Maddow. Ed Schultz moves to weekends. Chris Hayes moves to 8:00 PM. Ed Schultz comes back to weekdays. The Cycle loses half of its original cast of four. MSNBC/Griffin publicly states the network doesn’t do breaking news (in the middle of the busiest breaking news years in recent memory, mind you).

Any executive in the business will say that Maddow’s struggles this year are primarily due to the weak lead-in provided by the aforementioned Hayes. But her show has wisely stayed the course: It still is viewed by conservatives the same way liberals view Hannity, still does its job in riling up both sides of the aisle. And before some of you decide to attack Ms. Maddow, know this: She has the utmost respect of one Roger Ailes, who had nothing but praise for her in a blurb he wrote for her book, “Drift”:

   
Quote
Ailes: “Rachel Maddow makes valid arguments that our country has been drifting towards questionable wars, draining our resources, without sufficient input and time. People who like Rachel will love the book. People who don’t will get angry, but aggressive debate is good for America. Drift is a book worth reading.”


It remains to be seen if the Kelly brand—despite all the accolades—is one that can carry an hour in dominating fashion in primetime. She will benefit by having the #1 show in cable news (O’Reilly) as a lead-in, sure, and that will likely be the difference-maker between Maddow and Kelly on the ratings front.

But note: Fox says The Kelly File will focus primarily on breaking stories as well as investigative reports mixed in with newsmaker interviews. Will there political topics? Of course…but not the wall-to-wall stuff seen on Hannity or Maddow. Instead, Kelly’s show will more resemble O’Reilly (which mixes and matches politics with media analysis and pop culture depending on news of the day).

Remember, in Fox’s world, the measure of success isn’t simply beating the competition, it’s by how much.

Regardless of outcome, it’s refreshing to see more women occupy what used to solely a man’s world in cable news. It’s even more refreshing (being one myself) seeing guests/contributors (Maddow, Kelly) perform so well in that capacity, that they’re actually being given their own shows on a national level.

10:00 PM: Lawrence O’Donnell/Alec Baldwin (Fridays only for Baldwin) vs. Sean Hannity

No ambiguity on the O’Donnell-Hannity front: It will be a war between hard-core media representatives from the hard left (O’Donnell, a self-described “European socialist”) and the hard right (Hannity, who feels many Republicans nowadays aren’t nearly conservative enough).

Hannity—who has been with FNC since its inception in 1996—is Fox’s most outspoken conservative. But he’s also become a one-trick pony in terms of night in-night out content.

In short, there’s almost nothing unpredictable about Hannity’s show:

Bash the President in the open…

Bash the President during the panel discussion (a balanced one between left and right, with the host tipping the scales back to the right)

Throw a football at the camera at the end of the panel segment…

Lather, rinse, repeat.

The result—particularly over the past few years—has been a significant drop in audience from his soon-to-be-former lead-in, O’Reilly (who’s clear dislike of Hannity means mentioning his name in public as often as Keith Olbermann’s). The number varies, but invariably 30-40 percent of O’Reilly’s audience changes the channel as soon as he signs off. Simply put, the Hannity brand has grown stale, hence the move to 10:00 PM.

On the MSNBC side, a similar demotion was served to O’Donnell—who like Kelly and Maddow—is also a former guest-turned-host. If you recall, O’Donnell originally replaced Olbermann at 8:00 PM before being moved to 10:00 PM by a host (Schultz) who is no longer there. Regardless of timeslot, O’Donnell–who despite playing the race card as often as Matthews (See: Way, way too often)–still brings passion and energy to every show. The hunger still appears to be there at age 61. Hannity will win the numbers battle, sure, but the margin won’t be much.

As for Baldwin, Friday is the least-watched night of the week. His show will be more Larry King and less Larry O’Donnell in terms of content (See: More entertainment/pop culture-based than political), and therefore should do relatively fine on a night where expectations around ratings are fairly low, anyway.

From a cable news analysis perspective, the kind of stuff we cover here at Mediaite, 2013 has been an unpredictable and therefore exciting year to be in the business.

Now the chess pieces are finally in place.

One thing is for certain:

From Fox to CNN to HLN to MSNBC…

There now appears to be a little something for everyone.
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Offline Rapunzel

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 71,719
http://www.mediaite.com/tv/lets-get-it-on-breaking-down-msnbc-vs-the-new-fox-primetime-lineup-part-i/

Let’s Get It On! Breaking Down MSNBC vs. the New Fox Primetime Lineup (Part I)
by Joe Concha | 8:13 pm, September 18th, 2013

It seems so long ago, but remember the time when MSNBC President Phil Griffin boldly predicted his network would overtake Fox News in this non-election year that is 2013?

At the time, I praised Griffin for trying the change the culture of the Lean Forward network…all while concluding that even the thought of overtaking Fox this year had as much of a chance of happening as the Jaguars winning the Super Bowl. After all, given the current political calendar (no major elections means stripping MSNBC of its greatest strength: Bashing Republicans and pumping up Democrats while speculating over winners and losers at the ballot box), it was hard to see back in March where exactly the audience surge was going to come from in overtaking a competitor that oftentimes beats them by a 3-1, 4-1, even a 5-1 margin. In a related story, MSNBC is no longer in second place (where it was at the time of Griffin’s prediction), but has fallen behind CNN. Instead of closing ground on Fox, quite the opposite has occurred.

So given the context of Griffin’s prediction and also given the big changes at Fox News (the network hasn’t modified its primetime lineup in over a decade), let’s break down the new lineups at the two networks to see who has the upper hand both in terms of content and audience size moving forward.

This will serve as Part I, as we examine the 7:00 PM and 8:00 PM hours. Part II (9:00 and 10:00 PM) will arrive on Friday.

7:00 PM:
Chris Matthews’s “Hardball” vs. Greta Van Susteren’s “On the Record”

Earlier this year, the smart money was on Greta losing her show after speaking with CNN about returning to the network. In retrospect, a Greta-to-CNN (or HLN) scenario only made perfect sense: Both networks performed exceptionally well during the Zimmerman and Arias trials, and legal sensationalism is the former lawyer’s bread-and-butter.

What made the speculation even more logical was the not-so-secret rumors of budding star Megyn Kelly (also a former lawyer) finally making the move to prime time. With Hannity and O’Reilly already under contract, passing the torch to the younger Kelly seemed to be the logical conclusion to the saga.

Except that it didn’t happen that way.

Instead, Shep Smith’s Fox Report was moved out of his 7:00 PM slot (to head up a brand-new breaking news team), making room for Greta’s move to an earlier time. The feeling here is the better strategy would have been to keep her at 10:00 PM and move Sean Hannity to 7:00 PM instead.

For the audience, the choice couldn’t be clearer in the hypothetical Hannity vs. Matthew scenario: If you’re a staunch conservative, tune to Fox at 7:00 PM. Same goes for die-hard Democrats and Matthews at the same time. It’s an hour of staunch politics, independents be damned.

But perhaps Roger Ailes is a big believer in seating his hosts at the table girl-boy-girl-boy (Greta, O’Reilly, Kelly, Hannity) style. Or maybe the Greta matchup against Matthews would instead give Fox viewers (somewhat) of a breather on the political front following the almost-all-political Special Report with Bret Baier. Yes, Greta does those kinds of stories and interviews, but she’s not ideologically-programmed the way Hannity or Matthews are.

That’s not to say, however, that Matthews will suddenly cruise to victory in this matchup. His offering is as worn-out as Hannity’s (which we’ll explore deeper on Friday). Here’s the Hardball nightly formula:

Slam Republicans, largely by calling them racist…


Make an obscure reference that eight people inside the Beltway can understand/even remember from the good ‘ol days (Nixon/Watergate)…

Look away from the camera (slightly down to the right) when teasing to commercial, (“You’re watching Hardball, only on MSNBC”)…

Lather, rinse, repeat.

For whatever reason, Griffin actually continued to air Hardball twice at 5:00 PM and 7:00 PM before bringing Ed Schultz back to weekdays, a move that hasn’t exactly gone swimmingly (not that the previous scenario was the picture of success).

Now Matthews gets to take on Greta. It’s an interesting matchup, particularly since 2016 frontrunner Hillary Clinton will likely give an interview to Van Susteren (which she’s done before) before Matthews after the way she felt she was treated by him in 2008. And in the end, Fox will obviously win the numbers game due to a stronger lead-in (“Special Report ” over Al Sharpton’s “Politics Nation“) and a more devoted audience to the Fox brand in general.

8:00 PM:
Chris Hayes’s “All in with Chris Hayes” vs. Bill O’Reilly’s “The O’Reilly Factor”

The only matchup of the four primetime hours between the two networks that remains the same this fall. This isn’t exactly breaking news, but there’s just no scenario that allows Hayes to even remotely compete here. And that’s not a knock on Chris: Many have tried and failed, with Keith Olbermann coming closest and still losing comfortably.

All In is a show built for another time slot, like, say…Saturday and Sunday morning, a spot he occupied quite comfortably. But in primetime, Hayes simply doesn’t connect. To sum it up in one example as to why, here’s the 34-year-old’s answer during a recent interview with The New Yorker when asked about his ratings woes:

   
Quote
“Looking at day-to-day ratings tickles the worst instincts human beings have on casual inference. It creates cargo cult. It creates rain dances. It’s like, “Oh my God, the number’s good today. What did we do yesterday? Well, we danced, and it rained. So let’s dance!”


Now, I’m a fairly social guy. I have friends who are liberal, conservative, libertarian, politically apathetic (the last probably being the largest of these four groups). Without hesitiation, I can tell you….that none, NONE of them would ever utter anything resembling casual inference, cargo cults or rain dances, regardless of question. Simply put, hardly anyone on this planet actually talks like that. Hence the whole-connecting-with-a-primetime-audience-problem-thing…

O’Reilly, unlike Hannity, knows how to keep his audience guessing. He sees his weekly guests (Bernie Goldberg, Bob Beckel, Charles Krauthammer, Dennis Miller, Juan Williams, the underrated Kirsten Powers, etc.) as a crucial part of the show’s success in providing just the right volatile mix to keep things interesting…

So if there’s a hole in the Fox lineup, it ain’t at 8:00 PM. Outside of MSNBC signing O’Reilly’s buddy Jon Stewart for this time slot (who is signed through mid-2015 with Comedy Central), it will stay in the Fox win column about as long as Wyoming continues to be a red state.

Coming up Friday: Maddow vs. Kelly (the best of the four matchups) at 9:00 PM, and O’Donnell/Baldwin vs. Hannity.
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Online Bigun

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 21,351
  • The income tax: Root of all evil!
    • The FairTax Plan
Really easy choices for me.

Offline Rapunzel

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 71,719
I'll never understand why BOR gets such high ratings.  He is no where as smart as he thinks he is.. just now he had on a political science PhD professor  who insisted to him the Tea Party was spawned because of George Bush, not Obama.  That is absolutely untrue... not even close and this woman is a teacher in a university! BOR did not challenge her facts as being wrong.
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Offline Lipstick on a Hillary

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 6,027
Because he's more interested in maintaining his ratings than getting at the truth... while he lectures others on integrity.

  BOR kissed Obama's ass for years before even he couldn't take the disingenuousness and incompetence anymore.

Offline Rapunzel

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 71,719
Because he's more interested in maintaining his ratings than getting at the truth... while he lectures others on integrity.

  BOR kissed Obama's ass for years before even he couldn't take the disingenuousness and incompetence anymore.

yep......
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Online Bigun

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 21,351
  • The income tax: Root of all evil!
    • The FairTax Plan
I'll never understand why BOR gets such high ratings.  He is no where as smart as he thinks he is.. just now he had on a political science PhD professor  who insisted to him the Tea Party was spawned because of George Bush, not Obama.  That is absolutely untrue... not even close and this woman is a teacher in a university! BOR did not challenge her facts as being wrong.

Me either! Cannot figure that out.

Online truth_seeker

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 17,982
  • Common Sense Results Oriented Conservative Veteran
    • The place where argument addicts can go
By All Means. Conservatives Need their Entertainment.


Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo
Smf