The spring and summer hasn't been kind to MSNBC. CNN, which usually finishes in ratings behind MSNBC, has bested the liberal network for both April and May and MSNBC ratings in early July were down nearly 20 percent from this point in 2012.
A new piece in Variety entertains the idea that MSNBC's problems might be a direct result of all the advocacy that goes on there coupled with very little news reporting. Phil Griffin, president of MSNBC, rebutted that theory:
“There has been an inordinate amount of big, breaking news, and that is, honestly, when CNN does well. It’s pure muscle memory,” he said. MSNBC’s performance is bound to suffer in comparison with that of 2012, he added, when a presidential election drew political junkies and casual viewers alike.
David Shuster, once an anchor for MSNBC, said in early July that it likely is MSNBC's liberal leanings that are hurting the ratings. "When you’re too predictably a mouthpiece for the administration and you cast your lot with the president’s performance, there’s a risk,” he said.