A New Winning Team at MSNBC

Atrios points to this story:

Suddenly, everyone wants Olbermann. Last week, he and political veteran Chris Matthews teamed up to anchor MSNBC's midterm election coverage.

The result? Abrams called it "a major turning point for this network.'' Ratings were up across the board and the coveted 25-to-54 age demographic increased 111 percent from the 2002 midterm election.

What's next? Expect to see Olbermann in even more mainstream settings. The one thing he is resisting, however, is pressure to produce more "Special Comments.'' He has to feel them, he says. "Otherwise I will turn into a cartoon of myself.''

On Election night, I watched MSNBC exclusively because I really enjoyed the team of Matthews and Olberman together. I thought they brought out the best in each other.

Matthews benefitted from being away from the DC Gasbags and being able to air his own original thoughts without concern for the silly points of reference of his DC cocktail party cohorts. Olberman toned down his sometime over the top rhetoric.

Of course, Olberman is the new MSNBC star, but a Chris Matthews, unbound from his smallminded DC cohorts is an interesting watch. I hope to see that team again in the future.

< Core Values for Democrats | Giuliani's In for 2008 >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    Yep. Olbermann's as good as it gets these days. (none / 0) (#1)
    by scribe on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 05:34:52 PM EST
    I stuck with MSNBC, save for an hour or so when my cable provider lost sound on all channels. (Stuff happens)

    Then, I turned to Fox News for some of the most hilarious silent movies I've ever seen....  Cavuto's face and expressions, and the mortified looks on the commentators diving in to spew made my week.  Some of their looks were even more scared than the characters in the old silent witchcraft/vampire movie on IFC, "Hexan", from Sweden in the 20s.

    F'g hilarious.

    MSNBC (none / 0) (#2)
    by Pyronite on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 05:39:53 PM EST
    I too stuck with MSNBC for election coverage. I have to agree that Chris Matthews did a very nice job, with him and Olbermann making a great team. There was a reason their ratings were up.

    If we are taking a poll (none / 0) (#3)
    by Molly Bloom on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 06:49:35 PM EST
    Our house had Olbermann and Matthews on as well from 6 to 1 AM. The worst parts were when Matthews had his DC gasbags lined up.

    Yep (none / 0) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 06:59:04 PM EST
    Matthews with the gasbags vs. Matthews with Olberman was night and day.

    matthews is (none / 0) (#5)
    by cpinva on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 08:34:52 PM EST
    a gasbag, and olberman has started believing his own PR. once in a blue moon, matthews will come out of the kook-aid induced trance, and actually make a valid point. however, it's as a rare an event as a solar eclipse, certainly not worth wasting a lot of time waiting around for.

    olberman's become a self-righteous nag; he needs to deflate, and go back to what made him interesting in the first place: fact based analysis, not hyperbole masquerading as journalism.

    truly, the last thing we need are liberal/progressive versions of rush & bile.

    Agreed (none / 0) (#6)
    by Ernesto Del Mundo on Tue Nov 14, 2006 at 12:48:28 AM EST
    Pontificating, even when you agree with it, still sounds like pontificating after a while. It was just sooooo refreshing to hear someone on the boob tube actually stating the obvious. Against the usual torrent of insanity that passes itself off as commentary by the gang of gasbags.

    virtual media (none / 0) (#7)
    by chemoelectric on Tue Nov 14, 2006 at 12:50:57 AM EST
    I followed the virtually unbiased, virtually non-partisan reporting on Air America Radio. But Olbermann is good, too.

    I got a mite tired... (none / 0) (#8)
    by TomStewart on Tue Nov 14, 2006 at 02:01:18 AM EST
    ...of Matthews crying over all the Republicans going down. They couldn't all be 'good people'.

    Ratings (none / 0) (#9)
    by Slado on Tue Nov 14, 2006 at 08:29:23 AM EST
    Here are the latest ratings.  Olberman is third behind O'Reily and Paula Zahn.   He's also neck and neck with Headline News.


    Slado reports.  You decide.

    Election night (none / 0) (#10)
    by Slado on Tue Nov 14, 2006 at 08:33:57 AM EST
    In addition the MSNBC broadcast on election night was beaten pretty badly by both FNC and CNN.

    CNN actually took the top spot for that one night.  


    25-54 (none / 0) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Nov 14, 2006 at 11:07:06 AM EST
    is the number that matters Slado.

    Moreover, Olberman LEADS CNN in the demo.

    You are not too well informed on the subject I see.


    What? (none / 0) (#12)
    by Slado on Tue Nov 14, 2006 at 05:46:19 PM EST
    Come on BTD.

    Theirratins were so low before that if they add 5 people it'd be a plus...

    Here are the numbers from Tuesday night in both total rating and 24-54 demo you say matters.

    My math shows MSNBC in third place.  Yes they're up but come on they're still third.  No?

    I personally hate Olberman because he's a pompous ass and I've thought so since he went after Ken Burns for his awesome Baseball documentary and he's only gotten worse since he left ESPN.   But it's a free country.   Just don't make it sound like he's taking over the cable world when he's still a distant third.

    Next you'll be telling us Katie Couric is setting the world on fire?

    "MSNBC is touting its midterm gains compared to the last midterm election in Nov. 2002. "MSNBC had a big election night, drawing 25% of the cable news audience in primetime (compared with 15% of the audience in 2002 and 16% in 2004)," the network says. Here's a chart the network is distributing:


    Total viewers vs. 2002   25-54 demo vs. 2002
    FNC 3,060,000 +12%   1,253,000 +22%
    CNN 2,971,000 +21%   1,330,000 +34%
    MSNBC 1,949,000 +107%   893,000 +111%