MSNBC president Phil Griffin may be All In with Chris Hayes, but apparently viewers aren’t, as the show’s poor performance led the way down as the network slipped to fourth place behind HLN in the May ratings, hitting a six-year primetime low.
Griffin thought Hayes would draw in more younger viewers than his predecessor Ed Schultz, and serve as the lynchpin of MSNBC’s primetime lineup, but instead the opposite is true. Total viewership was down 32 percent in May and the 25-54 demo was down 13 percent, as compared to the same period a year ago. Rachel Maddow, who follows Hayes, saw her viewership drop 21 percent overall and 22 percent in the demo.
MSNBC, which had displaced CNN a couple of years ago as the number two cable-news network and prompted Griffin to recently predict that the network would topple the top-rated Fox News, has regressed stunningly fast in the last few months. It fell to third and now fourth place.
The damage wasn’t limited to primetime either, with Now with Alex Wagner, Newsnation, The Cycle and Martin Bashir all suffering their lowest-rated month since their respective debuts, leading to a four-year ratings low for the network.
Part of the reason for the steep falloff can be blamed on the Jodi Arias trial, which helped propel HLN past MSNBC. But the fact that the network is hitting multi-year lows can’t be blamed solely on major news events, and it underscores a larger problem for Griffin and company.