New York Times reports "cable news" ratings!

SATURDAY, JUNE 10, 2017

A bit strangely, one might suggest:
We interrupt our career as a critic of standard group novels to bring you this business report:

The report appeared in the Business section of Tuesday's New York Times. Beneath a four-column-wide photo of an unnamed cable news host, the headline said this:

"MSNBC Surges to an Unfamiliar Spot: No. 1"

Say what? MSNBC has surged to the top of the cable news game? Michael Grynbaum's news report started off like this:
GRYNBAUM (6/10/17): The last time that MSNBC was No. 1 in prime-time cable news, Bill Clinton was president, Madonna led the Billboard charts and ''Friends'' still ran new episodes on TV.

Seventeen years and a few rebrandings later, the network is back on top—buoyed by a surge of interest in news and the channel's stable of reliably liberal anchors, like Rachel Maddow, who have found their groove amid a time of intense anxiety for the political left.
From that text, a reader might get the impression that MSNBC is "No. 1 in prime-time cable news."

Would such an impression be correct? On balance, we'd have to say no.

Don't get us wrong! MSNBC has shown amazing gains in viewership during the era of Donald J. Trump.

Led by that same Rachel Maddow, its fiery anchors rolled over and died during the gentleman's rise to the top.

Now that that gentleman sits in the White House, the network's numbers are way, way up, due to that "time of intense anxiety for the political left"—and, of course, due to an ongoing, highly dramatic chase.

MSNBC's numbers are way, way up. Does that mean the channel is now number one, as the New York Times headline proclaimed?

On balance, we'd say the answer is no. This was Grynbaum's next paragraph:
GRYNBAUM (continuing directly): The MSNBC resurgence—in May, it beat its rivals for the highest prime-time viewership on weeknights in the critical 25-to-54 age demographic, up an astounding 118 percent from a year earlier—is part of a newly shifting landscape in television news, and within the channel itself.
Say what? MSNBC beat its rivals last month "for the highest prime-time viewership on weeknights in the critical 25-to-54 age demographic?"

We count three qualifiers in that description. (Prime time; weeknights; the critical 25-54 age group.) Does that mean that MSNBC isn't number one overall? Is it only number one at those times among that "critical demographic?"

And by the way, what makes that one demographic so "critical?" Why was it singled out?

If these questions came to mind while you were reading this news report, you were in for a world of hurt. Grynbaum's report included 1060 words spread over thirty-one paragraphs. But, for reasons which went unexplained, Grynbaum made little attempt to answer such obvious questions.

MSNBC's ratings are indeed way up. For ourselves, we think its journalism is rather poor. But we're looking here at Grynbaum's report, not at MSNBC's journalistic performance.

In what sense is MSNBC number one? Let's try to figure that out!

In what sense is MSNBC number one? In paragraph 17, Grynbaum drops a possible hint in the passages we highlight:
GRYNBAUM: Unsurprisingly, MSNBC's rivals are less than impressed.

A CNN spokeswoman, Barbara Levin, referred to CNN as ''the one nonpartisan cable news network'' and noted the anchors Jake Tapper and Anderson Cooper had beaten MSNBC in their time slots last month in the crucial demographic.

''These highly partisan times have clearly been good news for MSNBC's opinion programming,'' Ms. Levin wrote.

Fox News executives pointed out that their network won in weekday prime-time viewers over all—a less crucial statistic for advertisers, but a testament to the network's continued influence. Fox was also No. 1 in May when weekends and all parts of the 24-hour broadcast day were measured.
By now, readers had a right to be completely confused. According to Grynbaum, it sounds like Fox is number one if you count all the hours in the day, along with all the days in the week.

It sounds like Fox might even be number one in weekday prime-time if you count all the viewers! Why the heck would you want to do things like that, this news report seems to ask.

We get a clue to Grynbaum's method in the last paragraph we have posted, his paragraph 17. In it, Grynbaum says, somewhat comically, that all viewers, as opposed to that one age group, constitute "a less critical statistic for advertisers."

We're sorry, but we'd call that "found humor."

Readers, let's talk. People like Grynbaum focus on that "critical 25-to-54 age demographic" because, for reasons which typically go unexplained, that's the slice of the population advertisers care about.

If we understand correctly, that demographic is "critical" because it's the demographic which is used to set a channel's ad rates. In other words, that's the demographic which largely determines how much $$$$ a channel will make.

For that reason, that age group is "critical" to the various corporate suits. But should it be "critical" to New York Times readers?

We're going to say it shouldn't be. Here's why:

The simplest glance at cable news ratings will demonstrate a key fact—that "critical" age group constitutes well less than half the overall cable news audience.

On Tuesday, June 6, for example—that's the day Grynbaum's report appeared—the Maddow Show attracted 783,000 viewers in that "critical" 25-54 age group.

Overall, the show attracted 3.166 million viewers that night! That "critical" age group was roughly one-quarter of the program's overall audience! The large majority of Maddow's viewers were not in that "critical" group.

Briefly, let's be fair. Grynbaum's report appeared in the New York Times' Business section. In the narrowest sense, his focus on that "critical demographic" reflected the perspective of the "suits" who run these "cable news" channels.

They dole out seven- and eight-figure salaries to the kinds of hosts who can attract us rubes, especially if we're in that age group. That demographic is "critical" to them, on a $$$$ basis.

Let's end our fairness right there. Grynbaum's report ventured well beyond the narrow boundaries of profit and loss. Late in his piece, he even discussed "the surprising resurrection of Brian Williams," who is staging a comeback on cable after being "tarnished by a fabulism scandal," a scandal engineered by fake news typed up by Lester Holt.

OK, maybe not that. But Grynbaum's report ventured well beyond the narrow realm of profit and loss. It seems to us he should have reported overall viewership numbers—even overall numbers in weekday prime time—before restricting himself to the numbers which make the corporate suits glad.

MSNBC's numbers have been "movin' on up" very fast. That said, it isn't yet number one overall, not even in weekday prime time. Fox has been imploding of late, but the famously "fair and balanced" channel isn't dead just yet.

MSNBC isn't yet number one, not even in weekday prime time. We think Grynbaum should have reported that basic fact in an accessible manner.

As for MSNBC itself, you may have noticed its full-page ads in the June 1 New York Times and the Washington Post. The ads pimped MSNBC's new "#1" status. (We can't link you.)

The murky language in the ads struck us as perhaps a bit deceptive. Several analysts said to us, perhaps with a catch in their throats:

"Perhaps a bit deceptive, you say? Isn't that what cable is for?"

Revenge of the old viewers' lawns: Say what? People aged 25-54 were only a quarter of Maddow's audience? Who the heck is watching so-called cable news?

Uh-oh! For all three "cable news" channels, the audience skews toward old. For years, we liberals have been encouraged to laugh at the advanced age of the Fox News audience, without being told about the age of the crowd at our own flawless channel.

As the analysts noted, the silly spinning of such facts is largely what cable is for.

"Cable news" viewers tilt toward old. The suits don't care about these viewers, but you perhaps possibly should.

No, they don't establish ad rates, underwriting those very large salaries. But in fairness, they aren't completely useless.

You see, the geezers tend to vote. For that reason, they deserve to get spun and misled just like everyone else!

10 comments:

  1. If the article is about a change in viewing patterns, there is less need for a comprehensive description of who watches when.

    If there is an increase of interest in liberal viewpoints among 25-54 year olds, that may have an impact on voting in 2018 that would be newsworthy beyond advertising $. All news media except Daily Show, NY Times, skew old. The NYTimes has more readers in the 25-54 age group who might conceivably be interested in what their peers are watching. NY Times may just be pandering to its readers, not solely advertisers.

    ReplyDelete
  2. One part of media bias is what they don’t report. The NY Times and other media failed to report a Trump success. Romania agreed to pay a larger share for support of NATO

    Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis received a warm welcome from US President Donald Trump before their meeting at the White House on Friday, June 9.

    After the meeting, the two presidents held a common press conference in which Donald Trump praised Klaus Iohannis for leading the fight against corruption in Romania and for the country’s efforts to increase its defense spending.

    “I want to recognize President Iohannis for his leadership in committing Romania this year to increase its defense spending from 1.4% of GDP to over 2%. We hope our other NATO allies will follow Romania’s lead in meeting their financial obligations and paying their fair share for the cost of defense,” President Trump said.


    https://www.romania-insider.com/us-president-trump-praises-romanian-president-fight-corruption/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're really scraping the bottom of the barrel, aren't you Comrade DinC? I feel so much safer now that Romania promises to increase their defense spending by 0.6% of their GDP. I expect Agent Orange will be cutting the pentagon budget now by that amount and moving the money towards public education and infrastructure now, right dickhead?

      Delete
    2. maybe part of the problem, Comrade DinC, is that the "media" has finally realized that Agent Orange is a lying sack of shit, and nothing he says, nothing, can ever be taken at face value.

      Delete
    3. The Times justified firing their Public Editor, claiming that reader comments on problematic articles would serve the same purpose. This was baloney IMHO. One reason is that when the Times simply ignores Trump achievements, there's no article to attach it to.

      mm - Trump has made a big deal of getting other countries to pay more for NATO. So, the first country to publicly announce that they're doing so ought to worth a mention somewhere in the paper. But, Trump successes don't fit the Times' narrative.

      Delete
  3. Shouldn't somebody on the left think about countering Fox News propaganda-wise rather than absolute objectivity, which is what Bob claims to want? Historically news (the Press) has rarely been objective - objectivity may be something that was enforced rather temporarily on TV by the now-defunct Fairness Doctrine.

    Evidently Fox is highly profitable even though its demographic, older people, is not the one that advertisers think they can make the most money from. If leftist "news" is shown to be profitable that would probably be a good thing overall. Objectivity is not really working well when one side only adheres to it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. "... and the mere engagement alone in such acts of bumbugary, such as a fanny-burp, sufficed for a reprise in policy. It was to be from this point on that the Bumbugs rose to prominence within the Torwalstian culture.

    No longer would such frowned - upon activities as an audible fanny-burp in public be punishable by a public shaming."

    ReplyDelete
  5. my name is Mark Godwin am here to share testimony of how i got back my relationship that was scattered for months. we got married for more than 7 years and have gotten three kids. things were going well with us and we are always happy. until one day my wife started behaving in a way i could not understand, i was very confused by the way she treat me and the kids. for months she did not come home again and she called me for a divorce, i asked her what have i done wrong to deserve this from her, all she was saying is that she want a divorce that she hate me and do not want to see me again in her life, i was mad and also frustrated and do not know what to do,i was sick for more than 3 weeks i want to be reunited back with my husband in 2016 blog of her intention towards me. i love my wife so much and can do anything for her. i told my brother and he told me to contact a spell caster, i never believe in all this spell casting of a thing. i just want to try if something will come out of it. i contacted DR Alexzander through his website, for the return of my wife to me, he told me that my wife have been taken by another man, that he cast a spell on her that was why she hate me and also want us to divorce. then they told me that they have to cast a spell on her that will make her return to me and the kids, Dr alexzander cast the spell and after 1 week my wife called me and she told me that i should forgive her, she apologizes on phone and said that she did not know what happened to her. it was the spell that DR Alexzander cast on her that made her return back to me today,me and my family are now happy again. thank you Dr Alexzander for what you have done for me i would have been nothing today if not for HIS great spell. i want all my friends who are passing through all this kind of love problem of getting back their husband, wife , or ex boyfriend and girlfriend to contact {alexzanderhightemple@gmail.com or through his website http://alexzanderhightemple-com.webs.com} if you need a supernatural great wizard to cast a spell for you. email Dr alexzander and you will see that your problem will be solved without any delay.These are the few things he also do for people. *do you need rapid and undeserved promotions in your offices or work? Dr alexzander can bring back lost lovers on 96hrs and can cast all kind of spell. Dr alexzander is a healer that is here on earth to solve your problems just as he did to mine.this is your chance to be helped quickly by Dr alexzander.his an expert in distance healing, court cases even if one is convicted. he can do all manner of spell that you may need in life.he can also make you conceive a child and win money through gambling and other things you may desire to have in life. contact him and be the next to share his good work to the world. alexzanderhightemple@gmail.com or http://alexzanderhightemple-com.webs.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. yes great! If there is an increase of interest in liberal viewpoints among 25-54 year olds, that may have an impact on voting in 2018 that would be newsworthy beyond advertising $.

    gclub casino
    gclub casino

    ReplyDelete
  7. THIS IS GENUINE. NO SCAM. Hi! My name is Myriam Boyer. I want to tell my testimony to the whole world how this great and powerful man called Great Baba helped me to bring back my partner. My man left me for another lady for five years. I almost gave up until my friend advised me and introduced me to this great man whom she met on the internet and how he also helped her. I never believed at first but she encouraged me and i tried to believe and contacted him on his email. I told and explained everything to him and he assured me that he will help me and that i should not worry too much. I believed him and i did all that he asked me to do which i did and it work perfectly and my husband came back to me begging for forgiveness. I am so happy and excited now. I discovered that when my husband came back he even loved me more than the way he used to love me before he left me. Great Baba opened up his eyes to see how much i love him and how much love we ought to share together as one. This is not brain washing contact Great Baba now on his email: Highersolutiontemple@yahoo.com

    AND YOU CAN ALSO CHECK HIM ON:

    Greatbabaofsolution.blogspot.com

    Highersolutiontemple.blogspot.com

    THIS IS GENUINE. NO SCAM. Hi! My name is Myriam Boyer. I want to tell my testimony to the whole world how this great and powerful man called Great Baba helped me to bring back my partner. My man left me for another lady for five years. I almost gave up until my friend advised me and introduced me to this great man whom she met on the internet and how he also helped her. I never believed at first but she encouraged me and i tried to believe and contacted him on his email. I told and explained everything to him and he assured me that he will help me and that i should not worry too much. I believed him and i did all that he asked me to do which i did and it work perfectly and my husband came back to me begging for forgiveness. I am so happy and excited now. I discovered that when my husband came back he even loved me more than the way he used to love me before he left me. Great Baba opened up his eyes to see how much i love him and how much love we ought to share together as one. This is not brain washing contact Great Baba now on his email: Highersolutiontemple@yahoo.com

    AND YOU CAN ALSO CHECK HIM ON:

    Greatbabaofsolution.blogspot.com

    Highersolutiontemple.blogspot.com

    THIS IS GENUINE. NO SCAM. Hi! My name is Myriam Boyer. I want to tell my testimony to the whole world how this great and powerful man called Great Baba helped me to bring back my partner. My man left me for another lady for five years. I almost gave up until my friend advised me and introduced me to this great man whom she met on the internet and how he also helped her. I never believed at first but she encouraged me and i tried to believe and contacted him on his email. I told and explained everything to him and he assured me that he will help me and that i should not worry too much. I believed him and i did all that he asked me to do which i did and it work perfectly and my husband came back to me begging for forgiveness. I am so happy and excited now. I discovered that when my husband came back he even loved me more than the way he used to love me before he left me. Great Baba opened up his eyes to see how much i love him and how much love we ought to share together as one. This is not brain washing contact Great Baba now on his email: Highersolutiontemple@yahoo.com

    AND YOU CAN ALSO CHECK HIM ON:

    Greatbabaofsolution.blogspot.com

    Highersolutiontemple.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete