Rachel Maddow Debut Delivers

Last night’s debut of MSNBC’s “Rachel Maddow Show” was a rousing success in terms of the strategic goals the network set for the program. The premiere broadcast drew 483,000 viewers in the advertiser-friendly 25-54 demographic. That was good enough for a second place finish versus the competition, beating the veteran Larry King. She also was the second highest rated program on the MSNBC prime time lineup, following Keith Olbermann’s Countdown.

Most importantly, however, was the impact Maddow had on the schedule. One of MSNBC’s weak points is that their programs provide little encouragement to viewers to stay tuned for very long. The mix of content offered by Olbermann, Chris Matthews, David Gregory, and the now canceled Dan Abrams and Tucker Carlson, was disjointed and incongruous.

Abrams’ Verdict, which Maddow replaced, failed to retain even 50% of Olbermann’s lead-in (averaged for July 2008). Maddow, on the other hand, managed to hold 80% of Countdown’s audience. That sort of retention can go a long way toward building a programming block that competitors will find challenging to confront.

This is, of course, the results of just one day. Time will tell if the strategy works over the long run. But it is a promising debut and a foundation on which to build. Plus, just having Maddow’s sharp insight and reasoned analysis injected into the whirlwind of cable talkathons for the next few weeks leading up to the presidential election in November, is a positive development for those interested in an engaged and informed electorate.


7 thoughts on “Rachel Maddow Debut Delivers

  1. Rachel makes me happy. Palin makes me sad .. and so the world is once more in balance.

  2. “a positive development for those interested in an engaged and informed electorate.”

    I don’t think the majority of the voters want to be informed, they want to be spoonfed lies. How else can McCain being tied in the polls?

    The USA is becoming a third world country. I am seriously considering getting the hell out of here.

  3. I think she is great to listen to if you are liberal and hate FOX.
    The networks have chosen their bias and are sticking with it.

    Where is John Cameron Swasey when you need him?

    There is no “news” it is all opinion anymore

    Pick your poison

  4. To Terry:

    Don’t let the door hit you in the a$$.

  5. Yea congratulations to msnbc and maddow. Ive never saw him before until the other night. Is he new to the station, and how long has he been doing the news? Seems like a great guy.

  6. Rachael sounds like a resl douche bag. I just listened to her interviews with three different people. She elected to ignore what they said and push her own agenda.

    • I’m sure you an expert as regards douche bags, but the viewing public seems to disagree with you about her.

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