You can see the “MSNBC” bug on screen in a white background next to the NBC peacock rainbow logo -- and on top of this graphic, the word “live.” And for most of its daytime hours, there are no program names -- just the words “MSNBC Live," which is how programming is listed in all program guides.
New MSNBC leadership from Andrew Lack wants to turn the cable TV channel’s long-time focus from primarily commentary/opinion to news, plain and simple.
This is a work in progress. “MSNBC Live” may just be a place holder for stuff yet to appear. Reports suggest this doesn’t just mean new programs but perhaps a total channel name change as well.
CNN has tried to play this middle ground for years, not leaning to the political left or right, just focusing on news. That said, it, too, realizes that it needs to change. Recently it has gone for a more sensationalistic/entertainment approach to specific news events.
In MSNBC’s favor: the coming of the big political season when all cable TV news networks typically see benefits. And then there is Donald Trump, who seems to be lifting a lot of boats -- cable news boats, that is, including Fox News, CNN and MSNBC.
But do viewers really want just news? Or do they still want to hear opinions that sound like their opinions?
Maybe TV consumers want to feel like they are getting news, while getting the opinions they really want. This is the trap cable networks have been in for some time: a TV news drug of opinion that's tough to avoid.