It has lower viewer ratings than Fox News and now CNN. Mass changes in hosts and programs seem to offer up a lot of confusion for viewers. Recently the network has canceled a number of shows and let go some on-air talent.
Back to its name: The “MS” part of “MSNBC” doesn’t make sense. After a long, unusual partnership between Microsoft and NBC -- which started way back in 1996 -- NBC finally bought out its partner in 2012. Microsoft has nothing to do with the news channel now.
A New York Daily Newsreport suggests new NBC News chief Andy Lack is considering the change. Why now? Most likely it has to do with MSNBC current lagging the competition.
It is tricky to rename a cable network -- especially a longtime network with a big name. A likely new moniker: Simply NBC News or NBC News Channel. Right now NBC News is the business name for all NBC’s news activities, including all its broadcast news programs, including “NBC Nightly News,” MSNBC, CNBC, and all their digital extensions.
Consider that when NBC took over OLN after Comcast bought NBCUniversal, it went with NBC Sports Network, now just called NBCSN.
Many media companies want to make things easier for consumers to access their content/programs -- especially across platforms — in reference to brand names they might know -- like NBC Sports or NBC News.
Consider that MSNBC is also taking on Brian Williams, who just came off a long suspension from “NBC Nightly News.” So both Williams and MSNBC need a facelift. Big fans of the network might welcome it.
The network has been “a place for politics” -- its most recent tagline. If NBC gives a clearer identity of what the network is now, perhaps as a more newsy channel -- especially with a presidential race soon to come -- viewers might come back.