Is MSNBC Giving Up on the Hard Left?

Chronically low ratings have led to a major shakeup at MSNBC. The network announced a week ago that it is canceling the shows hosted by Ronan Farrow and Joy Reid. Variety now reports that those programs will be replaced by a two-hour show called “MSNBC Live With Thomas Roberts.” Variety says:

Beset by significant ratings declines, MSNBC has been emphasizing reports on breaking news, rather than the issues-based discussion for which Farrow and Reid have been known.

Meanwhile, Al Sharpton may also be on the way out:

The Rev. Al Sharpton may soon be booted from his weeknight television host role on Politics Nation and relegated to the pile of less-watched weekend fare, one source within MSNBC’s ranks said, citing the need for the cable provider to bolster sagging audience numbers.

Company President Phil Griffin said that the outlet’s Republican-bashing days are pretty much over — and that as part of the image overhaul, it’s now being surmised that Mr. Sharpton’s show may move from its prime 6 p.m. Monday-through-Friday slot….

MSNBC’s Republican-bashing days are over? I’ll believe it when I see it.

“Going left was a brilliant strategy while it lasted and made hundreds of millions of dollars for Comcast,” one MSNBC source told the Daily Beast. “But it doesn’t work anymore. The goal is to move away from left-wing TV.”

So, why doesn’t the far-left strategy work anymore? Are liberals disillusioned with the Obama administration? Are the old lefties dying off? Are younger liberals realizing that the Republicans were right after all? Or did viewers just get tired of the endless stream of bile and vituperation emanating from MSNBC?

I don’t know, but, as another observer put it, “Everybody in the [company] food chain, from top to bottom, understands that the [Keith] Olbermann era is over.” That can only be a good thing.

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