The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

23 December 2009

Low Ratings Continue To Plague Chris Matthews


Why Is MSNBC's Chris Matthews Still Taken Seriously?

Though he's as bombastic as ever, one thing is increasingly absent from MSNBC's Chris Matthews' cable talk program: viewers. So why does his ego appear as pumped up as ever? Inside network offices, are the Nielsen ratings carefully hidden from view?

The Hardball host, who in 2008 said that a speech by Barack Obama caused "a thrill going up my leg", has been chasing his audience away for some time.

Now, he's simply running out of viewers to bore / alienate and has sunk to levels that ought to greatly concern network brass. It's especially true in the so-called "money demo", Adults 25-54.

Yesterday, for example, he averaged just 58,000 in this key group. By contrast, his competition at Fox is turning in figures as much as 600% greater.

Interestingly, it isn't just the right that's fed up: he's also on the outs with some on the left.

From Mediaite:

Chris Matthews has been a mainstay of the MSNBC line-up for years, but December is shaping up to be one his worst months compared to the rest of the cable news landscape.

Matthews had his worst week in 2009 last week in the A25-54 demographic for his 5pmET live airing, averaging 88,000 viewers, according to Nielsen data. The previous week, he had his 2nd worst week, averaging 99,000.

For the month of December, the program is averaging 96,000 in the demo through last Friday. That puts the MSNBC program in 4th place in the category – slightly behind HLN’s Prime News. If the program finishes in 4th place for the month, it would be the first time since September 2005 that Hardball finished in 4th place.

But hey, this couldn't
possibly be Chris's fault, right? No, it's all due to his lousy lead-in, which network suits are quickly looking to fix:

It was announced earlier this month that Dylan Ratigan would move to the 4pmET timeslot with a new program (he currently hosts Morning Meeting at 9amET). The hour has been a news program anchored by David Shuster and Tamron Hall since June.

Matthews provides a textbook example of air talent clinging to employment as corporate suits attempt to impose sub-par programming onto the viewership. Unfortunately, because they can't be compelled to watch (at least not yet), the cable audience responds by simply changing the channel.

Meanwhile, he's as obnoxious as ever, this time calling Republicans "the party of the confederacy". Could the last viewer to exit his program please turn out the lights?

HAVE YOU SEEN our companion site for New England regional talk radio updates?

Amazon orders originating with clicks here benefit The Radio Equalizer's ongoing operations. Your PayPal contributions keep this site humming along. Thanks!


  • Ten years ago I started watching this guy. Every night. He was left of center, but not terribly so (at least ostensibly), and I liked some of his guests. And he was generally quite likeable. Then, in 2004, he started morphing into a lunatic lefty (Keith Obermann, but still on his meds) and I started tuning him out about half the time. I have not watched Matthews for at least three years. I just can no longer stomach him.

    I know several people who followed the same viewing arc.

    I can hang around and click off the lights, if you really need me too.

    Nite, Chris.


    By Blogger TPS, at 23 December, 2009 19:13  

  • Deck chairs on the Titanic

    By Blogger United Citizens Council, at 23 December, 2009 19:24  

  • This guy Cris Matthews is so out there. He is so beyond legitimate journalism that the nicest thing that can be said for him is that he is a state approved propagandist.

    Its the strangest thing. Can't the main stream media, which is going broke, figure out why? I'll tell you why. No one is going to watch a propagandist. Its just that simple.

    Have a nice day.

    By Anonymous Mark Needham, at 23 December, 2009 21:08  

  • "Deck chairs on the Titanic"

    Yeah but the view is fantastic, a little cold though. Hey, what is that white thing floating out there?

    I live for the day that Chris and his leg become a memory.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 23 December, 2009 21:40  

  • I agree with first comment. In early Clinton years I loved him. But he drifted left and left. Even as Bush's war made him crazy he kept a bit more sanity than the idiots he shared MSNBC's primetime with.


    Matthews really lost it. After I saw Chris Matthews LIE and said that Bill Ayers did not say he wished he bombed more(Ayers said precisely that in NYTimes interview published on 9-11-2001), then I knew I could no longer watch Matthews. He was gone. The tingle in leg ended it for him.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 23 December, 2009 22:10  

  • Didn't even know he still had a show. He lost me when he repeatedly cut off Zell Miller after asking him questions after Zell's speech at the Republican Convention in '04.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 23 December, 2009 22:53  

  • Have never watched msnbc and never will.There is plenty of info in blogs and web pages that you don't need to watch television to get the news.
    I'll have to add this site to bookmarks in Firefox and check in from time to time.

    By Blogger Necromancer, at 27 December, 2009 13:16  

  • What I can't figure out is how NBC could leave Matthews on the air as they have considering that he's been running 3rd in a 3 horse race for about 7 years now. This guy has no clue how to interview a guest, & he's a partisan hack to boot. The guy is too emotionaly invested in one side to be good at what he does. His almost masterbatory behavior toward Obama while on the air is disgraceful as well. I wonder if Matthews understands that he has become a total & complete joke? If you need proof, look at his ratings.

    By Anonymous danybhoy, at 27 December, 2009 14:57  

  • NBC and MSNBC are owned by GE, who are corporate sluts for big government contracts/favoritism and game-changing legislation that advantages their sales and revenues. The Democrats and the Obama administration grant them favors for favorable treatment. It is quite simple really. Crissy Matthews and the rest are paid corporate shills nothing more.

    By Blogger Franco, at 28 December, 2009 10:57  

  • General Electric is selling off NBC-Universal to Comcast. I don't know how long they will be willing to put up with MSNBC's piss poor ratings, but maybe when they start looking at their books & see what they get out of what they pay their talent, maybe then we'll see some real changes.

    As for GE, never will I buy another GE product if I can help it.

    By Anonymous danybhoy, at 01 January, 2010 10:21  

  • chris matthews gets a thrill up his leg watching his fantasy man Obama but the public thinks he's crazy and stupid and a drunk. You couldn't pay me to watch him.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 19 August, 2012 03:31  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Page Rank Checker

Powered by Blogger