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MSNBC chief wants Fox News ‘investigated’ for ‘impossible’ ratings

Phil Griffin
Photo Credit WashingtonPost.com

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The head of MSNBC is calling for an investigation into Fox News’ “impossible” ratings earlier in the week.

Fox News rolled out its new lineup on Monday, with Greta Van Susteran moving up to the 7 p.m. time slot, Sean Hannity taking over the 10 p.m. time slot and the debut of the “Kelly File” at 9 p.m., featuring host Megyn Kelly.

The Nielsen ratings showed MSNBC beating Fox News on Monday in the 25-54 age range at 7 p.m., according to The Hollywood Reporter, and tying Fox News at 10 p.m. — an anomaly if ever there was one.

The planets realigned Tuesday, with Fox News reclaiming its customary role as the king of cable news.

“Monday, we had a really good day in the key demographic,” Phil Griffin, president of MSNBC, said at a press briefing, according to TVNewser. “On the night that Fox News debuted their three shows, we either tied or beat them in those hours.”

At 9 p.m. on Monday, MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” beat “The Kelly File” by 10,000 viewers in the adult demographic, as documented by The Hollywood Reporter. But on Tuesday, those numbers flip-flopped, with Kelly drawing an audience of 623,000 in the key demographic while Maddow had 291,000 viewers aged 25-54.

“Tuesday — you guys should be doing some investigations; I have never seen it in all my years of cable — same overnight, same everything. And they doubled their ratings in a day? It’s impossible,” Griffin said, according to TVNewser. “I have never seen it. They did election-night numbers in the demo Tuesday.”

If you ever wondered why MSNBC pundits blow things out of proportion to make a point, look no farther than their boss.

Griffin’s assertion that Fox News did “election-night” numbers on Tuesday was hyperbole, pure and simple.

The Hollywood Reporter pointed out that Fox News had 2.65 million prime-time viewers and 573,000 in the 25-54 demographic on Tuesday night, while on the night of the 2012 presidential election, the network had 7.5 million viewers, with 3 million in the 25-54 age range.

If Griffin really wants to compete with Fox News, perhaps he should consider “fair and balanced” programming.

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Tom Tillison


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