MSNBC’s Brand Implosion


MSNBC’s brand is in the toilet. The left-leaning network is imploding, now trailing the flailing CNN.

Yet, Phil Griffin, the president of MSNBC, said: “We have a good brand, a strong brand. But we’ve got to get outside Washington and open up our aperture a little.”

Seriously? MSNBC is a loser, Mr. Griffin. You have neither a good nor strong brand. You do need to open your aperture, but to expose the truth: Aside from The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart, who invariably features MSNBC as his standard news source, nobody watches MSNBC.

PR Firm for Barack Obama

Denial is a terrible branding strategy. Falling in love with your product while ignoring your audience will sink you and your brand.

Contrast MSNBC with Fox News Channel, whose stellar performance has put the network way above MSNBC and CNN, and even above ESPN and USA. How can this be?

Fox News Channel knows its audience and delivers a solid product. Its audience, in turn, responds by watching it — in increasingly greater numbers. The ratings prove it.

MSNBC is not a news organization; it is a PR firm for Barack Obama and progressive causes. If MSNBC would state this explcitly, it may have a better chance at success. But, there is one problem: Barack Obama is failing, and so are his progressive causes. A PR firm, like MSNBC, cannot succeed in the long term with an inherently flawed client.

In his 2012 campaign, Barack Obama used the “forward” theme. Why? Interestingly, forward has communist origins.

MSNBC’s tagline is “Lean Forward.” Coincidence? Doubtful. MSNBC is totally devoted to Obama — and to progressivism.

Let’s travel back in time to Obama’s first presidential campaign.

Do you remember when MSNBC’s Chris Matthews mawkishly swooned about America’s first black president, in 2008, with his “thrill going up my leg” shocker? He even stated that Obama speaks about America in a way that has nothing to do with politics.

Astounding for two reasons: First, the facts have proven otherwise; second, professional journalists are supposed to suspect and challenge power, not become orgasmic about it.

Parting Advice to CEOs

As I mentioned above, falling in love with your product while ignoring your audience will sink you and your brand. This weird practice has sunk MSNBC and its brand.

You run your business with numbers, right?

America is now rated at #12 in economic freedom, behind Estonia. Estonia! MSNBC’s Griffin ignores that reality and continues to promote the leftist ideology that destroys wealth. Who wants to be #12? Why would anyone trying to build a better life watch MSNBC?

In Be Unique or Be Ignored: The CEO’s Guide to Branding, I make it clear that a brand (value proposition) must be true and cannot succeed if customers don’t validate it.

MSNBC’s former customers have invalidated its brand, which has rightfully imploded. Don’t copy this colossal branding blunder.

POSTSCRIPT #1: CNN’s Layoffs Begin (10.14.14)

POSTSCRIPT #2: MSNBC Has Lowest Primetime Ratings in Seven Years (10.28.14)

POSTSCRIPT #3: Fox News Beats CBS News on Election Night (11.05.14)

POSTSCRIPT #4: Weather Channel’s Morning Show Beats CNN and MSNBC (11.06.14)

POSTSCRIPT #5: MSNBC’s Ratings Match Democrats’ Sinking Fortunes (11.10.14)

POSTSCRIPT #6: MSNBC, CNN Coverage Of Jonathan Gruber Non-Existent (11.18.14)

POSTSCRIPT #7: Liberal Baltimore Sun Media Critic Praises Fox News (11.18.14)

POSTSCRIPT #8: MSNBC Gets New VP from Obama’s White House (11.21.14)

POSTSCRIPT #9: Fox News Clobbers CNN & MSNBC in 2014 Ratings (12.30.14)

POSTSCRIPT #10: MSNBC’s Ratings Lowest in a Decade (02.04.15)

POSTSCRIPT #11: MSNBC’s Ratings Crater to All-Time Lows (03.31.15)

POSTSCRIPT #12: CNN Ratings Lowest of 2015, Loses to MSNBC (05.12.15)

POSTSCRIPT #13: MSNBC Changes Daytime Lineup to Stop Ratings Plunge (08.02.15)


About the Author

Marc Rudov is a branding advisor to CEOs,
producer of MarcRudovTV, and author of the book,
Be Unique or Be Ignored: The CEO’s Guide to Branding.


© 2014 Marc H. Rudov. All Rights Reserved.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.