NBC(formerly stylized as MSNBC) is an American news cable and
satellite television network that provides news coverage and political
NBC Newson current events. The network also carries a
nightly "opinion" programming block during primetime hours. MS
owned by the
NBCUniversalNews Group , a unit of the NBCUniversal
Television Group division of
NBCUniversal, all of which are owned by
NBCand its website were both founded in 1996 as a
the network's naming. Although they shared the same name, msnbc.com
NBCmaintained separate corporate structures and news
operations, with msnbc.com headquartered on the West Coast on the
Redmond, Washington, and MS
NBCin the NBC
headquarters in New York.
Microsoftdivested its stake in the MSNBC
channel in 2005, and divested its stake in msnbc.com in July 2012. The
general news site was rebranded as
NBCNews.comand a new msnbc.com was
created as the online home of the cable news channel.
In the late summer of 2015, MS
NBCrevamped its programming; the moves
were in sharp contrast to previous programming decisions at the
network, with the entire lineup of progressive opinion-style afternoon
programming being cancelled. Along with this, moves were made to
sharpen the channel's news image through a dual editorial relationship
with its organizational parent
NBC News. MS
NBCLive , the network's
flagship daytime news platform was expanded to cover over eight hours
of the day.
Phil Griffincurrently serves as the president and
director of day-to-day operations at the cable network. Pat Burkey,
Janelle Rodriguez, and Jonathan Wald oversee programming and news
operations at the network, with
Brian Williamsserving as the
channel's chief anchor of breaking news coverage.
As of February 2015, approximately 94,531,000 households in the
United States (81.2% of those with television) have received MSNBC.
* 1 History
* 1.1 Development
* 1.2 Early history
* 1.3 2008–2015
* 1.4 Return to hard news and alignment with
* 2 Notable personalities
* 3 Carriage issues
* 4 International broadcasts
* 4.1 MS
* 4.2 MS
Middle Eastand North
* 4.5 NTV-MS
* 5 Online
* 5.1 Shift
* 6 Radio
* 7 Criticism and controversy
* 7.1 Liberal bias
* 7.2 Favoritism towards
* 7.4 _Rise of the New Right_ documentary
* 7.5 Romney coverage during 2012 election
* 7.6 Coverage of financial issues
* 7.7 Romney family grandchild
* 7.9 Suspensions of hosts
* 7.9.1 Michael Savage
* 7.9.4 Martin Bashir
* 8 References
* 9 Sources
* 10 External links
NBCwas established by
NBCexecutive Tom Rogers . Rogers was
instrumental in developing the strategic partnership with
which invested $221 million for a 50% share of the cable channel.
Microsoftwould share the cost of a $200 million newsroom in
Secaucus, New Jersey
Secaucus, New Jersey, for msnbc.com . The network took over the
channel space of NBC's 18-month-old America\'s Talking network, though
in most cases cable carriage had to be negotiated with providers who
never carried AT.
NBClogo used from 1996 until 2009. The "N" in the logo
was changed from red to black in 2002. This variant has occasionally
been used after 2006 as an alternative logo in a horizontal form.
Main article: History of MSNBC: 1996–2007
NBCwas launched on July 15, 1996. The first show, which was
Jodi Applegate, broadcast a lineup of news, interviews,
and opinions. During the day, rolling news coverage continued with
_The Contributors_, a show that featured
Ann Coulterand Laura
Ingraham , as well as interactive programming coordinated by
Applegate, John Gibson and John Seigenthaler . Stories were generally
longer and more detailed than the stories running on
CNNat the time.
NBCalso highlighted their broadcast connections by airing stories
direct from the
NBCnetwork affiliates, along with breaking news
coverage from the same sources.
NBCbegan to put more emphasis on politics. The Project
for Excellence in Journalism found in 2007 after a seven-year survey
of cable channels that "MS
NBCis moving to make politics a brand, with
a large dose of opinion and personality." In January 2001, Mike
Barnicle got a show on MSNBC, but it was canceled in June 2001 due to
high production costs. In June, in a sign of continuing trouble at
Steve Ballmersaid that he would not have
NBCif he knew then what he knows now (referencing the
longstanding troubles attracting viewers). After the September 11,
2001 attacks , MS
NBCserved as an outlet for
NBC Newsto provide
up-to-the-minute coverage, in contrast to broadcast NBC's longer
Europe, with little financial news to report,
NBCfor many hours of the day following the attacks. The year
also boosted the profile of
Ashleigh Banfield, who was present during
the collapse of Building 7 while covering the World Trade Center on
September 11. Her _Region In Conflict_ program capitalized on her
newfound celebrity and showcased exclusive interviews from Afghanistan
NBCturned "patriotic" in the aftermath of 9/11, calling itself
“America’s NewsChannel” and hiring opinionated hosts like Alan
Tucker Carlson; however,
ratings declined following this branding makeover. On December 23,
2005, it was announced that
NBCUniversal would acquire an additional
32% share of the television channel from Microsoft, solidifying its
control over television operations and allowing
consolidate MSNBC's backroom operations with
NBC Newsand its other
cable properties. (The news website msnbc.com remained a separate
joint venture between
NBCfor another seven years.) NBC
would have the option, which it exercised, to buy the remaining 18%
share of the television from
Microsoftafter two years. MSNBC, along
with other U.S. news networks, had been criticized for having a
distorted and biased media coverage of the
Then from late 2005 onwards the network began to attract liberal and
progressive viewers when host
Keith Olbermannbegan critiquing and
satirizing conservative media commentators on his program _Countdown
With Keith Olbermann_. Olbermann especially focused his attention on
Fox News Channel
Fox News Channeland its main primetime commentator, Bill O\'Reilly .
On June 7, 2006, Rick Kaplan resigned as president of MSNBC, after
holding the post for two years. Following the announcement, it was
announced on June 12, 2006, that
Dan Abrams, a nine-year veteran of
NBCNews, had been named general manager of MSNBC, effective
NBC Newssenior vice president
Phil Griffinwould oversee
MSNBC, while also continuing to oversee
NBCNews’ _Today _, and
Abrams would report to Griffin.
On June 29, 2006, Abrams announced a revamp to MSNBC's
early-primetime and primetime schedule. On July 10, _Tucker _
(formerly _The Situation with Tucker Carlson_) started airing at 4
p.m. and 6 p.m. ET (taking over Abrams' old timeslot), while Rita
Cosby's _Live "> MSNBC's studio in NYC The MS
NBC Newsbegan broadcasting from their new studios at NBC's
30 Rockefeller Center complex in
New York City
New York Cityon October 22, 2007.
After extensive renovations of the associated studios,
merged its entire news operation into one building, and all MSNBC
broadcasts, as well as _
NBCNightly News _, originate from the new
studios. More than 12.5 hours of live television across the
family originate from the New York studios daily. MS
announced new studios near the
Universal Studioslot. MSNBC's master
control did not make the move to 30 Rock. It remained in the old
Secaucus headquarters until it completed its move to the
Network Origination Center located inside the
Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, on December 21, 2007.
Major League Baseball
Major League Baseballfirmed up a long-term lease
of the former MS
NBCbuilding to become the home studios of MLB Network
, which launched from the facility on January 1, 2009.
NBClogo used from 2009 to 2015; the current logo is a variant
of this design. Main article: History of MSNBC: 2008–2015
From mid-2007 to mid-2008, MS
NBCreceived a large increase in its
Primetimeviewings increased by 61% over that time. In May
Steve Capussaid that "It used to be people
didn't have to worry about MS
NBCbecause it was an also-ran cable
channel.... That's not the case anymore."
Tim Russert's sudden death
in June 2008 removed what _
The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal_ called the
"rudder for the network" and led to a period of transition.
During the 2008 Presidential election , MSNBC's coverage was anchored
Chris Matthewsand David Gregory . The three were
widely viewed as the face of the channel's political coverage. During
the first three months of the presidential campaign, MSNBC's ratings
grew by 158 percent. However, during the election coverage, anchors
Chris Matthewswere criticized for expressing
left-leaning viewpoints on the channel, and both of them were later
removed from the position of anchor. Audience viewership during the
2008 Presidential election more than doubled from the 2004
Presidential election , and the channel topped
CNNin ratings for the
first time during the last three months of the campaign in the key
25–54 age demographic.
In September 2008, the channel hired political analyst and Air
America Radio personality
Rachel Maddowto host a new political
opinion program called _The
Rachel MaddowShow _. The move to create a
new program for the channel was widely seen as a smart ratings move,
where beforehand, MS
NBClagged behind in coveted primetime ratings.
The show regularly outperformed CNN's _
Larry King Live
Larry King Live_, and made the
channel competitive in the program's time slot for the first time in
over a decade.
In the first quarter of 2010, MS
CNNin primetime and overall
ratings, marking the first time doing so since 2001. The channel also
CNNin total adult viewers in March, marking the seventh out of
the past eight months that MS
NBCachieved that result. In addition,
the programs _
Morning Joe_, _The Ed Show_, _Hardball with Chris
Matthews_, _Countdown with Keith Olbermann_, and _The Rachel Maddow
Show_ all finished ahead of their time slot competitors on CNN.
In the third quarter of 2010, MS
NBCcontinued its solid lead over
CNN, beating the network in total day for the first time since 2Q 2001
in the key adult demographic. The network also beat
fourth consecutive quarter, among both primetime and total viewers, as
well as becoming the only cable news network to have its key adult
demographic viewership grow over the last quarter, increasing by 4%.
During this time, MS
NBCalso became the number-one cable news network
in primetime among both African American and Hispanic viewers.
On October 11, 2010, MS
NBCunveiled a new televised advertising
campaign and slogan called "Lean Forward". "We've taken on
beat them," MS
Phil Griffintold employees at a series of
celebratory "town hall" meetings. "Now it's time to take on Fox."
Concerning the campaign, Griffin said, "It is active, it is positive,
it is about making tomorrow better than today, a discussion about
politics and the actions and passions of our time." The new campaign
embraces the network's politically progressive identity. The two-year
advertising campaign would cost $2 million and consist of internet,
television, and print advertising. The new positioning has created
brand image issues for msnbc.com, the umbrella website for the
television network. A _New York Times _ article quotes Charlie
Tillinghast, president of msnbc.com , a separate company, as saying,
"Both strategies are fine, but naming them the same thing is brand
insanity." As a result, msnbc.com eventually changed its name to
prevent confusion with the television network, MSNBC; it rebranded
the more news-driven msnbc.com as
NBCNews.comin July 2012.
On January 21, 2011,
Keith Olbermannannounced his departure from
NBCand the episode would be the final episode of _Countdown_. His
departure received much media attention. MS
NBCissued a statement
that it had ended its contract with Olbermann, with no further
explanation. Olbermann later revealed that he had taken his show to
During 2014, MSNBC's total ratings in the 25 to 54 age group declined
20%, falling to third place behind CNN. The only demographic in which
NBCstill led was among Hispanics and even more so among
RETURN TO HARD NEWS AND ALIGNMENT WITH
In efforts to revive the struggling network, MS
transition from more left leaning opinionated programming to hard news
programming beginning in the summer of 2015. Nearly all daytime
opinionated news programs were replaced with generic news programs.
Ronan Farrow, Joy Reid, Krystal Ball, Touré, Ari Melber, Abby
Huntsman, Alex Wagner, Ed Schultz and
Al Sharptonall lost their
weekday opinion shows. News programs presented by well-established NBC
News personalities including
Jose Diaz-Balart, Meet
the Press anchor
Chuck Todd, Sunday
NBCNightly News anchor Kate Snow
, Thomas Roberts , and former
NBCNightly News anchor Brian Williams
replaced opinion shows. A new on air presentation debuted in late
summer 2015, which included a new logo, a news ticker, as well as a
new graphics package. _MS
NBCLive _ now takes up at least eight
hours of programming each day, barring any breaking news that could
extend its time. Daytime news coverage is led primarily by Brian
Williams, Stephanie Ruhle, Jose Diaz-Balart, Andrea Mitchell, Craig
Melvin, Thomas Roberts, and Kate Snow, in addition to 'beat leaders'
located throughout the newsroom. These include chief legal
Ari Melber, primary political reporter
business and finance correspondent Olivia Sterns , and senior editor
Morning and primetime programming has not changed during this
transition as it remains filled by mostly opinionated personalities.
In April 2016, MS
NBClaunched a campaign of promotional ads with the
theme, "in order to know beyond, you have to go beyond." The campaign
attempts to portray MSNBC's reporting and perspectives as in depth and
an alternative to "talking points" coverage on other cable news
In July 2016, the network debuted a new, abridged version of Dateline
NBC, known as "Dateline Extra", in yet another step to align MSNBC
NBCNews. The new program is hosted by MS
NBCLive anchor Tamron
In September 2016, MS
NBClaunched _The 11th Hour with Brian Williams
_ as a nightly wrap-up for the news of the day and a preview of the
following day's headlines. This is the first new primetime program on
the network in nearly four years.
In January 2017, MS
NBCdebuted a new program in the 6 pm EST hour
For the Record with Greta_. The program is hosted by former
Fox News Channel
Fox News Channelanchor
Greta Van Susteren. The program lasted just
over 6 months and was cancelled in late June 2017. Van Susteren was
replaced by Chief Legal Correspondent
In March 2017, MS
NBCslowly began the process of rebranding (at least
their daytime news hours) as "
NBCNews" programs. The network logos
started appearing on show opens, within the set design, and in
In May 2017, MS
NBClaunched a 4pm afternoon program titled _Deadline:
White House_ hosted by former
White HouseCommunications Director and
For the first time in its history, MS
NBCreached the first place
position in primetime among the major American cable news networks in
May 2017. Following several stories widely viewed as negatively
Donald Trumpand his supporters, the rise to first
place came amid a drop in ratings at competitor
Fox News. The week's
programming from May 15–19 beat out programming from
News in both total viewers, as well as the advertiser-friendly younger
* Peter Alexander
* Robert Costa
* Chris Hayes
Jack H. Jacobs
* Kelly O\'Donnell
* Lawrence O\'Donnell
* Thomas Roberts
* Eugene Robinson
Greta Van Susteren
New Jerseyheadquarters studio, now the home of
Before 2010 MS
NBCwas not available to
Verizon FiOSand AT"> The
monitors of the MS
NBCnewsroom are tuned into various global channels.
NBCis shown only in the United States,
Kenya, parts of
Latin America, parts of northern
Africa, and most
of the time in the
Middle East(see below).
Main article: MS
In 2001 a Canadian version with some local content, MS
was developed; the channel launched on September 7, 2001. However, it
was soon discontinued in 2004, and the Canadian Radio-television and
Telecommunications Commission authorized the American version to be
carried on Canadian cable and satellite providers. The channel was
Rogers Communicationsand co-owned by Rogers, Shaw and
MSNBC, with each party owning a 33.33% voting interest in the service.
Programming included MS
NBCprograms as well as repeats of shows from
the CBC and
Cable Public Affairs Channel
Cable Public Affairs Channel, as its way to fulfil its
Canadian contentrequirements. The channel also ran infomercials ,
which the American service never shows.
In Southern Africa, MS
NBCis distributed free-to-air on satellite on
Free2View TV as MS
NBCAfrica, a joint venture between Great Media
Limited and MSNBC. Free2View airs MSNBC's programming from 4 p.m. to
midnight ET in a block that repeats twice (live for the first airing),
with local Weather Channel forecasts. Botswana's national television
broadcaster, BTV, also provides an un-edited broadcast of MSNBC
(including advertisements) after their scheduled programming each
evening. BTV is available within Botswana, as well as to Southern
TopTV, a satellite TV service in South
Africa, also provides an unedited broadcast of MS
advertisements), which runs 24 hours a day. It is also available in
Kenyaand Uganda through the cable service Zuku.
MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA
NBCprogramming is shown for most of the day on the 24-hour news
EUROPE AND ASIA
NBCis not shown on a dedicated channel. When
NBCstarted in 1996, they announced plans to start broadcasting in
Europeduring 1997. This never happened. However MS
occasionally on affiliate channel
overnight at the weekend and during the afternoon on American public
holidays as well as during breaking news events. MS
Europein the late 2000s and coverage of non-business
related breaking news now comes from
CNBCU.S.'s own coverage or from
NBCis the news channel of the Turkish broadcaster
Turkey. The channel is a joint partnership between the two,
although very little Turkish content makes its way onto English MSNBC.
English content on MS
NBCis translated to Turkish.
NBCcelebrated its 10th anniversary in 2006.
NBCNews.com's main newsroom in Redmond, WA, 2007 NBCNews.com's
newsroom in NYC, 2007 Main article:
Launched concurrently with MS
NBCwas its website, MSNBC.COM; unlike
the network itself, msnbc.com was operated as the general online news
NBCNews, partnering with Microsoft's
network and website also remained editorially separate; it did not
adopt the network's increasingly liberal viewpoints (which itself was
a cause for concern from
NBC Newsstaff, due to concerns that readers
would think otherwise), and remained a joint venture with Microsoft
even after it sold its stake in the MS
In July 2012,
NBCacquired Microsoft's remaining stake in msnbc.com,
and re-branded it as NBCNews.com. After being redirected to the new
name for a period, msnbc.com was re-launched in 2013 as a website for
the network itself, focusing on content such as opinion columns from
hosts, correspondents and guests, and both live and on-demand videos
Main article: shift (MSNBC)
In July 2014, msnbc.com launched _msnbc2_, a brand for several
web-only series hosted by MS
NBCpersonalities, in December 2014,
msnbc2 was renamed _shift_, with a programming schedule which is less
focused on politics and is more tailored to a younger audience.
The channel launched on
XM Satellite Radiochannel 120 and Sirius
Satellite Radio channel 90 on April 12, 2010. This is the second time
NBChas been available on satellite radio; the channel has been
carried on XM before, but was subsequently dropped from the service on
September 4, 2006.
NBCprogramming is currently simulcast on
CRITICISM AND CONTROVERSY
Main article: MS
In November 2007, a _New York Times _ article stated that MSNBC's
prime-time lineup is tilting more to the left. Commentators have
since described MS
NBCas having a bias towards left-leaning politics
and the Democratic Party . _
Washington Post_ media analyst Howard
Kurtz has stated that the channel's evening lineup "has clearly
gravitated to the left in recent years and often seems to regard
itself as the antithesis of
Fox News" (in reference to a number of
journalists and political pundits considering
Fox Newsto have a
strong conservative bias). In 2011, _
Politico_ referred to MS
Steve Kornackiof _
Salon.com_ noted that
"MSNBC’s prime-time lineup is now awash in progressive politics."
In reference to changes in the channel's evening programming, senior
vice president of
Phil Griffinhas said that "it happened
naturally. There isn't a dogma we're putting through. There is a 'Go
In the February 2008 issue of _Men\'s Journal _ magazine, a MSNBC
interviewee quoted a senior executive who said that liberal
Keith Olbermann"runs MSNBC" and that "because of his
success, he's in charge" of the channel. In 2007, _The New York
Times_ called Olbermann MSNBC's "most recognizable face". In
September 2008, MS
NBCstated that they were removing both Keith
Chris Matthewsas live political event anchors, and
replacing them with David Gregory , due to growing criticism that they
were "too opinionated to be seen as neutral in the heat of the
presidential campaign." Olbermann continued to broadcast _Countdown_
both before and after the presidential and vice presidential debates,
and both Matthews and Olbermann joined Gregory on the channel's
election night coverage.
On November 13, 2009, in the days leading up to the release of 2008
Republican vice presidential candidate
Sarah Palin's book _Going
Rogue _, MSNBC's
Dylan Ratiganused photoshopped pictures of Palin on
the channel's _Morning Meeting _ program. Ratigan apologized a few
In October 2010, MS
NBCbegan using the tagline "Lean Forward", which
was described by some media outlets, including msnbc.com , as the
network embracing its politically progressive identity.
In January 2012, MS
NBCused Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, and other
network commentators during coverage of the 2012 Iowa Republican
caucuses , a move seen by Nando Di Fino of the
"giving up on the straight news coverage, and instead to be aiming to
create some controversy."
In November 2012, MS
NBCwas called "The Anti-Fox" by _The New York
Times _ in a feature article that quoted former President Bill Clinton
as saying, "Boy, it really has become our version of Fox." The
article, citing data by the Nielsen TV ratings service, noted that
Fox Newspulled in a larger overall viewership than MSNBC, the
two networks were separated by only around 300,000 viewers among the
25–54 age bracket most attractive to advertisers.
Pew Research Center
Pew Research Center's 2013 "State of the News Media" report,
NBCwas found to be the most opinionated news network, with 85% of
the content being commentary or opinions, and only 15% of the content
being factual reporting. The report also stated that MS
least amount of money producing its news, only $240 million in 2012,
compared to CNN, which spent $682 million, and Fox, which spent $820
FAVORITISM TOWARDS BARACK OBAMA
Some Democratic Party supporters, most notably former Democratic
Ed Rendelland Clinton advisor
NBCduring and after the 2008 Democratic primaries , as
Barack Obamamore favorably than
Hillary Clinton. Rendell
NBCwas the official network of the Obama campaign," and
called their coverage "absolutely embarrassing". Rendell later
became an on-air contributor to MSNBC.
A study done by the
Project for Excellence in Journalismshowed that
NBChad less negative coverage of Obama (14% of stories vs. 29% in
the press overall) and more negative stories about Republican
John McCain(73% of its coverage vs. 57% in the
press overall). MSNBC's on-air slogan during the week of the 2008
presidential election, "The Power of Change", was criticized as being
overtly similar to Obama's campaign slogan of "Hope and Change".
Following the 2008 presidential election , conservative talk show host
John Ziegler worked on a documentary titled _Media Malpractice.... How
Obama Got Elected_, which was very critical of the media, especially
MSNBC's role, in the 2008 presidential election . While promoting the
documentary, he engaged in an on-air dispute with MS
Contessa Brewer, on how the media, especially MSNBC, had portrayed
During MSNBC's coverage of the Potomac primary, MSNBC's Chris
Matthews said, "I have to tell you, you know, it's part of reporting
this case, this election, the feeling most people get when they hear
Barack Obama's speech. My, I felt this thrill going up my leg. I mean,
I don't have that too often." This led
Fox Newsto assert that both he
NBCwere biased toward Obama.
PHIL DONAHUE DISMISSAL
difficult public face for
NBCin a time of war...He seems to delight
in presenting guests who are anti-war , anti-Bush and skeptical of the
administration's motives. –
NBCinternal study See also: Media
coverage of the
Phil Donahue's 2002 program _Donahue _ was canceled in late February
2003 during the buildup to the
Iraq War. Despite earlier claims of
cancellation because of low ratings, _Donahue_ was MSNBC's highest
rated show that month.
NBCinternal study revealed that the studio was concerned
that Donahue would act as "a home for the liberal antiwar agenda at
the same time that our competitors are waving the flag at every
_RISE OF THE NEW RIGHT_ DOCUMENTARY
In June 2010, an MS
NBCdocumentary, _Rise of the New Right_, aired,
featuring interviews with right-wing figures, including
the former House Majority Leader,
Orly Taitz, a leading figure in the
"birther " movement, and conspiracy theorist radio host Alex Jones .
The documentary also showed the
Michigan Militia's survival training
camp and hit the campaign trail with Kentucky senatorial candidate
The documentary angered
Tea Party movement
Tea Party movementfigures and others on the
right. After the documentary aired,
FreedomWorks, chaired by Armey,
issued a letter calling for a boycott of Dawn and Procter Procter
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