Low Ratings Continue To Plague Chris Matthews
Why Is MSNBC's Chris Matthews Still Taken Seriously?
Though he's as bombastic as ever, one thing is increasingly absent from MSNBC's Chris Matthews' cable talk program: viewers. So why does his ego appear as pumped up as ever? Inside network offices, are the Nielsen ratings carefully hidden from view?
The Hardball host, who in 2008 said that a speech by Barack Obama caused "a thrill going up my leg", has been chasing his audience away for some time.
Now, he's simply running out of viewers to bore / alienate and has sunk to levels that ought to greatly concern network brass. It's especially true in the so-called "money demo", Adults 25-54.
Yesterday, for example, he averaged just 58,000 in this key group. By contrast, his competition at Fox is turning in figures as much as 600% greater.
Interestingly, it isn't just the right that's fed up: he's also on the outs with some on the left.
Chris Matthews has been a mainstay of the MSNBC line-up for years, but December is shaping up to be one his worst months compared to the rest of the cable news landscape.
Matthews had his worst week in 2009 last week in the A25-54 demographic for his 5pmET live airing, averaging 88,000 viewers, according to Nielsen data. The previous week, he had his 2nd worst week, averaging 99,000.
For the month of December, the program is averaging 96,000 in the demo through last Friday. That puts the MSNBC program in 4th place in the category – slightly behind HLN’s Prime News. If the program finishes in 4th place for the month, it would be the first time since September 2005 that Hardball finished in 4th place.
But hey, this couldn't possibly be Chris's fault, right? No, it's all due to his lousy lead-in, which network suits are quickly looking to fix:
It was announced earlier this month that Dylan Ratigan would move to the 4pmET timeslot with a new program (he currently hosts Morning Meeting at 9amET). The hour has been a news program anchored by David Shuster and Tamron Hall since June.
Matthews provides a textbook example of air talent clinging to employment as corporate suits attempt to impose sub-par programming onto the viewership. Unfortunately, because they can't be compelled to watch (at least not yet), the cable audience responds by simply changing the channel.
Meanwhile, he's as obnoxious as ever, this time calling Republicans "the party of the confederacy". Could the last viewer to exit his program please turn out the lights?
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