Founding Date: July 15, 1996
Founder: Tom Rogers (Established by NBC in partnership with Microsoft)
History and Growth:
- Strategic Partnership: MSNBC was established by NBC executive Tom Rogers in collaboration with Microsoft, which invested $221 million for a 50% share of the cable channel.
- Launch: MSNBC first aired on July 15, 1996, with its initial lineup featuring news, interviews, and opinions. Notably, it included a show called “The Contributors” featuring Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham.
- Emphasis on Politics: While initially featuring longer and more detailed stories than CNN, MSNBC gradually shifted its focus towards politics.
- Prime-Time Lineup Shifts: Over the years, MSNBC’s prime-time lineup has been described as tilting more towards the left, with a focus on progressive politics.
- Growth and Nielsen Ratings: Although MSNBC currently holds the third-highest Nielsen ratings among news channels (behind Fox News and CNN), it has experienced consistent growth and has occasionally claimed the top spot in the ratings.
Programming and Schedule:
- Weekday Schedule: Features rolling news programming during daytime hours and in-depth news and information programs in the evening and prime time.
- Morning Programming:
- Early Start: Hosted by Christine Romans and Laura Jarrett at 5–6 a.m. ET.
- New Day: Morning show hosted by John Berman and Brianna Keilar from 6–9 a.m. ET.
- Late Morning and Early Afternoon:
- CNN Newsroom: Rolling news program hosted by Jim Sciutto, Poppy Harlow, Ana Cabera, Victor Blackwell, and Alisyn Camerota.
- Afternoon and Early Evening:
- At This Hour with Kate Bolduan: Airing from 11 a.m. to noon Eastern.
- Inside Politics with John King: Hosted by John King at noon Eastern.
- The Lead with Jake Tapper: Hosted by Jake Tapper from 4-6 p.m. Eastern.
- The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer: Hosted by Wolf Blitzer at 6 p.m. ET.
- Evening and Prime Time:
- Erin Burnett OutFront: Airing at 7 p.m. ET.
- Anderson Cooper 360°: Airing at 8 p.m. ET.
- Cuomo Prime Time with Chris Cuomo: Airing at 9 p.m. ET.
- Don Lemon Tonight: Airing at 10 p.m. Eastern.
- Overnight Programming: Consists of reruns of the primetime lineup and an overnight simulcast of CNN International’s version of CNN Newsroom from Atlanta.
Rebranding and Notable Moments:
- Rebranding as “NBC News”: In March 2017, MSNBC began the process of rebranding its daytime news hours as “NBC News” programs, reflecting its affiliation with NBC.
- For the Record with Greta: Debuted in January 2017, hosted by Greta Van Susteren and replaced by Ari Melber in late June 2017.
- Deadline: White House: Launched in May 2017, hosted by Nicolle Wallace.
- First Place Position in Primetime: In May 2017, MSNBC reached the first-place position in primetime among major American cable news networks, beating out programming from CNN and Fox News.
MSNBC’s journey has been marked by its growth, periodic dominance in the ratings, and a focus on progressive politics. The network has evolved its programming lineup and experienced notable moments, contributing to its position as a significant player in the cable news landscape.