Thursday, August 21, 2008

Maddow finally gets own MSNBC show

After months and months of speculation, Air America host Rachel Maddow has finally landed her own show on MSNBC, which will debut on September 8.

"The Rachel Maddow Show." will replace Dan Abrams’s "Verdict" in the 9P ET time slot.

An openly gay woman, unapologetic liberal and Rhodes scholar with a doctorate from Oxford University, Maddow has drawn a passionate following during her stint this year as an analyst for MSNBC.

Network executives are now trying to capitalize on her rising popularity, hoping that she will further their efforts to remake MSNBC as the destination for lively political news and analysis.

"Rachel is unbelievably talented and brilliant; her breadth and depth of knowledge of politics and news is astonishing and I'm so excited to give her a place to really showcase what she can do," said MSNBC President Phil Griffin said in a statement.

Abrams, who served as general manager of the channel for a period, will continue in his role as chief legal correspondent for NBC News, making additional contributions to “Dateline” and “Today,” and anchor on MSNBC during the day.


FSL said...

The big question: Does she quit or keep her "day job" at AAR?

If she quits, this leaves AAR with one viable show, a show they don't own or produce. WYD Media owns Thom Hartmann and also has his show on Dial Global's satellite (same channel and immediately follow Stephanie Miller, which they also own and produce).

AAR hangs on by two threads.

NYLefty said...

Rachel has said she'll continue her AAR show, in the tradition of all those other talk show hosts who do both radio and cable (Hannity, Colmes, O'Reilly, Beck, etc.). The only difference, she said, is that she'll do it better.

Another disappointment for fsl. So sad.

FSL said...

Ah, you took the bait. So predictable.

The end of AAR is inevitable. Each day it comes closer. Badly-run businesses deserve to fail. That's capitalism.

I wonder if the AAR groupies who condone whatever AAR does (or doesn't do) actually listen.

She will do it better? What is "better"? Say things you agree with. Again, AAR Kool-Aid drinkers, like AAR itself, often confuse running a radio business with running a political crusade. "Better" in radio means more revenue and/or more listeners. Besides, Maddow does radio in the evening - dead time in terms of both income and audience size. Sure she says she will continue the show - until she sees how secure and permanent the TV gig is. If the TV show takes off she will either want more free time or more money (which AAR can't afford). At night radio use drops dramatically and those pissant Class D AM liberal talk stations cut power. No way AAR is making a profit with Rachel.

The TV deal is good news for Rachel, bad news for AAR. Another nail in the coffin.

NYLefty said...

Maddow is on at the same time as Michael Savage, who seems to do pretty well in the "evening."

And the "evening" in the east translates to drive time in most places, such as Los Angeles, where Maddow is on from 3pm to 6 pm; Seattle, where she's also on from 3pm to 6pm; and Chicago, where she's on from 5pm to 8pm.

FSL and the Radio Equalizer (assuming they're not the same person) have been predicting the imminent demise of Air America for four years now and continue to vent their frustrations week after week with the same tired old arguments.

FSL said...

Talk about the same old tired arguments....

You sound like a stealth AAR employee.

I'd guess Maloney likes have AAR around. As long as they stay in business, the credibility of progressive talk radio continues to be undermined for broadcasters and advertisers. And AAR gives him plenty to talk about.

For the record, I have also been predicting the demise of all ideological-driven political talk radio (left and right). For that matter, the demise of radio itself is on the horizon.

I hope you're keeping your package up to date.

NYLefty said...


The same old tired arguments? No, I had never before referred to Michael Savage's huge success in his "evening" (on the east coast) time slot or the fact that the 6 PM to 9 PM slot in the Eastern Time Zone is drive time in most of the country -- an obvious fact that somehow eluded you.

And no, I don't work for Air America and, in fact, voluntarily got out of the radio business before AAR started. However, I'm still a radio junkie and a liberal --and therefore would like AAR and progressive talk radio in general to succeed.

FSL said...


I can go with you part way. I, too, got out of radio. I'd like progressive talk radio to succeed. But the success of the format matters more to me than the success of anyone one program provider. I think AAR is (and has been) and impediment to the success of the format. I like Thom Hartmann and Rachel Maddow, of all the people without significant radio experience AAR has hired, she has shown considerable growth, appeal and talent. But AAR management still hasn't given me a reason to back that particular horse.

I am surprised to see you give credit to Dr. Savage. The time slot with dueling PhDs may be PM drive in a large part of the US geographically but not so much in terms of audience. I know Talkers puts him tied at number three (with Dr Laura) in audience but, come on, do you really believe that? Do you know anybody who believes that? Even when he gets gets an hour (Chicago) in PM Drive or three (San Francisco), he ends up on Salem or another third-string wing-nut talker (with ratings comparable to those of progressive talk outlets). In several markets (i.e. Phoenix or Denver) he is on delay and bumped from any portion of PM drive). He's off Salem in LA (zero time in PM drive). From what I can see, Mark Levin really seems to be eating in to Savage's clearances, in general.

You know the business. A station sees red or black ink from morning drive. Midday has become as or more important to station revenue than PM drive (thank you, Rush). Maddow and Savage's time slot is not a major profit center. If Maddow's TV show takes off (and I hope it does), her price goes up. Could AAR afford to keep her? I don't see how, unless they can get her good clearances during the day (and given the established liberal talk shows during the day - Miller, Schultz, Hartmann, Rhodes - that does not seem likely).

NYLefty said...

fsl said: "At night radio use drops dramatically and those pissant Class D AM liberal talk stations cut power. No way AAR is making a profit with Rachel."

One of the several maximum-power 50,000 watt liberal talk stations, KPTK in Seattle, is now tied in the ratings with heritage talker KVI.

KVI features Sean Hannity, Dr. Laura, Mark Levin, and local talkers in AM and PM drive.

KPTK, with an all-syndicated lineup, features Rachel Maddow from 3 PM to 6 PM, along with Stephanie Miller, Thom Hartmann, Ed Schultz, Randi Rhodes, Mike Malloy, Jon Elliott, and Bill Press.

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