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{{short description|American liberal television news channel}}{{pp-semi|small=yes}}{{for|MSNBC's editorial management and division parent|NBC News}}{{Use mdy dates|date=January 2017}}

1080i HDTV{{small>(downscaled to letterboxed 480i for the SDTV feed)}}| owner = NBCUniversal (Comcast)| country = United States| language = EnglishGE Building>30 Rockefeller PlazaNew York City, New York| broadcast area = United States| key employees = *Pat Burkey (executive producer of news and events)
  • Janelle Rodríguez (senior vice president, daytime and editorial)
  • Brian Williams (chief anchor)
CNBCCNBC WorldNBCNBCSNE!Golf ChannelUSA NetworkSyfyBravo (U.S. TV network)>BravoEuronewsSky News| replaced names = America's Talking (1994–1996) MSNBC Canada (in Canada)| replaced by names}}| terr serv 1 = Digital terrestrial televisionK50DB-D>Alexandria, Minnesota)| sat serv 1 = DirecTV| sat chan 1 = Channel 356 (SD)Channel 1356 (HD)Bell TV {{small>(Canada)}}| sat chan 2 = Channel 1588 (HD)Shaw Direct {{small>(Canada)}}| sat chan 3 = Channel 511| cable serv 1 = Available on most cable providers| cable chan 1 = Channel slots vary on each operator| adsl serv 1 = AT&T U-verse / CenturyLink| adsl chan 1 = Channel 215 (SD)Channel 1215 (HD)Bell Aliant>Bell Aliant TV {{small|(Canada)}}| adsl chan 2 = Channel 243Bell Canada>Bell Fibe TV {{small|(Canada)}}| adsl chan 3 = Channel 1506| adsl serv 4 = Google Fiber| adsl chan 4 = Channel 103Telus>TELUS TV {{small|(Canada)}}| adsl chan 5 = Channel 97| adsl serv 6 = Verizon FiOS| adsl chan 6 = Channel 103 (SD)Channel 603 (HD)Sirius Satellite Radio>Sirius/XM| sat radio chan 1 = Channel 118| online serv 1 = fuboTV| online chan 1 = Live Stream| online serv 2 = DirecTV NowIPTV>Internet Protocol television| online serv 3 = Sling TVIPTV>Internet Protocol televisionPlayStation Vue>online chan 4=IPTV>adsl serv 7=VMedia {{smalladsl chan 7=185 (SD)}}MSNBC is an American pay television network that provides news coverage and political commentary from NBC News on current events. MSNBC is owned by the NBCUniversal News Group, a unit of the NBCUniversal Television Group division of NBCUniversal (all of which are ultimately owned by Comcast). MSNBC and its website were founded in 1996 under a partnership between Microsoft and General Electric's NBC unit, hence the network's naming.NEWS, Brian, Stelter, October 6, 2010, MSNBC on the Web May Change Its Name,weblink The New York Times, Although they had the same name, and MSNBC maintained separate corporate structures and news operations. was headquartered on the Microsoft campus in Redmond, Washington, while MSNBC operated out of NBC's headquarters in New York City. Microsoft divested itself of its stakes in the MSNBC channel in 2005 and in in July 2012. The general news site was rebranded as, and a new was created as the online home of the cable channel.NEWS, Brian, Stelter, July 15, 2012, Microsoft and NBC Complete Web Divorce,weblink The New York Times, October 9, 2012, In the late summer of 2015, MSNBC revamped its programming; the moves were in sharp contrast to previous programming decisions at the network. MSNBC sought to sharpen its news image by entering into a dual editorial relationship with its organizational parent NBC News. MSNBC Live, the network's flagship daytime news platform, was expanded to cover over eight hours of the day.Steele, Emily. "MSNBC Retools to Sharpen Its Focus on Hard News", The New York Times, September 17, 2015Phil Griffin is the president and director of day-to-day operations at MSNBC.WEB,weblink MSNBC’s year of standing up straight, Politico, January 20, 2017, Pat Burkey, Janelle Rodriguez, and Jonathan Wald oversee programming and news operations, with Brian Williams serving as the channel's chief anchor of breaking news coverage.WEB,weblink Bauder, David. "Brian Williams settles into new job at MSNBC", AP, November 25, 2015, As of February 2015, approximately 94,531,000 households in the United States (81.2 percent of those with television) were receiving MSNBC.WEB,weblink List of how many homes each cable network is in as of February 2015, Seidman, Robert, TV by the Numbers, Zap2it, February 22, 2015, March 14, 2015, Commentators have described MSNBC as having a bias towards left-leaning politics and the Democratic Party. In November 2007, a New York Times article stated that MSNBC's prime time lineup is tilting more to the left. Fox News media analyst Howard Kurtz, while previously in the same role at The Washington Post, stated that the channel's evening lineup "has clearly gravitated to the left in recent years and often seems to regard itself as the antithesis of Fox News".



MSNBC was established under a strategic partnership between NBC and Microsoft. NBC executive Tom Rogers was instrumental in developing this partnership. James Kinsella, a Microsoft executive, served as president of the online component,, and represented the tech company in the joint venture.WEB,weblink MSNBC.COM NETS CYBER PIONEER AS HEAD, Huhn, Mary, 1999-01-13, New York Post, en, 2019-03-12, Microsoft invested $221 million for a 50 percent share of the cable channel.JOURNAL,weblink NETWORK MEETS NET How big an audience is there for Microsoft and NBC's cable-Web news venture?, Businessweek, July 15, 1996, MSNBC and Microsoft shared the cost of a $200 million newsroom in Secaucus, New Jersey, for The network took over the channel space of NBC's 2-year-old America's Talking (AT) network, although in most cases cable carriage had to be negotiated with providers who had never carried AT.

Early history

(File:OldMSNBCLogo.svg|thumb|right|175px|MSNBC's most well known logo used from 1996 until 2009. The "N" in the logo was changed from red to black in 2002. This variant has occasionally been used after 2006 as an alternative logo in a horizontal form.)MSNBC was launched on July 15, 1996. The first show was anchored by Jodi Applegate and included news, interviews, and commentary.WEB,weblink Jodi Jodi Applegate WNYW biography,, 11 May 2011, dead,weblink" title="">weblink November 14, 2012, During the day, rolling news coverage continued with The Contributors, a show that featured Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham, as well as interactive programming coordinated by Applegate, John Gibson, and John Seigenthaler. Stories were generally longer and more detailed than the stories CNN was running. NBC also highlighted their broadcast connections by airing stories directly from NBC's network affiliates, along with breaking news coverage from the same sources.BOOK, Collins, Scott, Crazy Like A Fox: The Inside Story of How Fox News Beat CNN, 1-59184-029-5, registration,weblink MSNBC gradually increased its emphasis on politics.NEWS, Moss, Linda, MSNBC Shifts Shows, Cable World, July 2, 2001, After completing its seven-year survey of cable channels, the Project for Excellence in Journalism said in 2007 that, "MSNBC is moving to make politics a brand, with a large dose of opinion and personality."The State of the News Media 2007: Public Attitudes {{Webarchive|url= |date=June 30, 2017 }}. Project for Excellence in Journalism.In January 2001, Mike Barnicle's MSNBC show started, but it was canceled in June 2001 because of high production costs.E! Online, Bits and Pieces, June 26, 2001. {{webarchive | url= | date=January 22, 2011}} In June, Microsoft chief executive officer Steve Ballmer said that he would not have started MSNBC had he foreseen the difficulty of attracting viewers.Ballmer: Would not launch MSNBC again. CNET News.Com, June 7, 2001.After the September 11, 2001 attacks, NBC used MSNBC as an outlet for the up-to-the-minute coverage being provided by NBC News as a supplement to the longer stories on broadcast NBC. With little financial news to cover, CNBC and CNBC Europe ran MSNBC for many hours each day following the attacks. The year also boosted the profile of Ashleigh Banfield, who was present during the collapse of Building 7 while covering the World Trade Center on September 11.NEWS,weblink Five years later, memories of a trying task,, April 26, 2017, Her Region In Conflict program capitalized on her newfound celebrity and showcased exclusive interviews from Afghanistan.WEB,weblink CNN Profiles - Ashleigh Banfield - Host, HLN's Primetime Justice with Ashleigh Banfield, CNN, April 26, 2017, In the aftermath of September 11, MSNBC began calling itself "America’s NewsChannel" and hired opinionated hosts like Alan Keyes, Phil Donahue, Pat Buchanan, and Tucker Carlson;"Slyer Than Fox: how the wild inside story of how MSNBC became the voice of the left" --The New Republic This branding makeover, however, was followed by declining ratings.BOOK,weblink The 21st-Century Voter: Who Votes, How They Vote, and Why They Vote [2 volumes], Guido H. Stempel III, Thomas K. Hargrove, December 14, 2015, ABC-CLIO, 9781610692281, On December 23, 2005, NBC Universal announced its acquisition of an additional 32 percent share of MSNBC from Microsoft,NEWS,weblink Peacock plucks MSNBC, Learmonth, Michael, December 23, 2005, Variety (magazine), Variety, April 26, 2017, which solidified its control over television operations and allowed NBC to further consolidate MSNBC's backroom operations with NBC News and its other cable properties. (The news website remained a separate joint venture between Microsoft and NBC for another seven years.) NBC later exercised its option to purchase Microsoft's remaining 18 percent interest in MSNBC.In late 2005, MSNBC began attracting liberal and progressive viewers as Keith Olbermann began critiquing and satirizing conservative media commentators during his Countdown With Keith Olbermann program. He especially focused his attention on the Fox News Channel and Bill O'Reilly, its principal primetime commentator.On June 7, 2006, Rick Kaplan resigned as president of MSNBC after holding the post for two years.WEB,weblink Rick Kaplan Exits: Effective Immediately, President Of MSNBC Steps Down, 2006, January 23, 2008, Five days later, Dan Abrams, a nine-year veteran of MSNBC and NBC News, was named general manager of MSNBC with immediate effect. NBC News senior vice president Phil Griffin would oversee MSNBC, while continuing to oversee NBC News’ Today program, with Abrams reporting to Griffin.On June 29, 2006, Abrams announced the revamp of MSNBC's early-primetime and primetime schedule. On July 10, Tucker (formerly The Situation with Tucker Carlson) started airing at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. ET (taking over Abrams' old timeslot), while Rita Cosby's (Rita Cosby: Live & Direct|Live & Direct) was canceled. Cosby was made the primary anchor for MSNBC Investigates at 10 and 11 p.m. ET, a new program that took over Cosby and Carlson's timeslots. According to the press release, MSNBC Investigates promised to "complement MSNBC's existing programming by building on [the channel's] library of award winning documentaries."WEB,weblink MSNBC Announcement, June 29, 2006, January 23, 2008, {{Dead link | date=September 2010 | bot=H3llBot}} The move to taped programming during 10 and 11 p.m. probably resulted from MSNBC's successful Friday "experiment" of replacing all primetime programming with taped specials.On September 24, 2007, Abrams announced that he was leaving his general manager position so he could focus on his 9:00 p.m. ET talk show, Live With Dan Abrams. Oversight of MSNBC was shifted to Phil Griffin, a senior vice president at NBC.NEWS, Kurtz, Howard, MSNBC's Abrams Quits His Day Job, The Washington Post, September 25, 2007, C03, Howard Kurtz, (File:111907l.jpg|thumb|right|MSNBC's studio in NYC)(File:111907g.jpg|thumb|right|The MSNBC studio)MSNBC and NBC News began broadcasting from their new studios at NBC's 30 Rockefeller Center complex in New York City on October 22, 2007.WEB,weblink NBC News to Begin Broadcasting from New World Headquarters, October 22, 2007, January 23, 2008, {{citation needed span|The extensive renovations of the associated studios allowed NBC to merge its entire news operation into one building. All MSNBC broadcasts and NBC Nightly News originate from the new studios. More than 12.5 hours of live television across the NBC News family originate from the New York studios daily. MSNBC is also announced new studios near the Universal Studios lot. MSNBC's master control did not make the move to 30 Rock. It remained in the old Secaucus headquarters until it completed its move to the NBC Universal Network Origination Center located inside the CNBC Global Headquarters building in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, on December 21, 2007. Shortly thereafter, Major League Baseball firmed up a long-term lease of the former MSNBC building to become the home studios of MLB Network, which launched from the facility on January 1, 2009.|date=November 2017}}


(File:MSNBC 2008 logo.svg|thumb|280px|MSNBC logo used from 2009 to 2015; the current logo is a variant of this design.)From mid-2007 to mid-2008, MSNBC enjoyed a large increase in its Nielsen ratings.NEWS, Kurtz, Howard,weblink MSNBC, Leaning Left And Getting Flak From Both Sides, The Washington Post, May 28, 2008, August 28, 2008, Primetime viewings increased by 61 percent. In May 2008, NBC News president Steve Capus said, "It used to be people didn't have to worry about MSNBC because it was an also-ran cable channel.... That's not the case anymore." Tim Russert's sudden death in June 2008 removed what The Wall Street Journal called the "rudder for the network" and led to a period of transition.MSNBC Anchors' Fights Go Live. The Wall Street Journal. Published August 28, 2008. Retrieved August 28, 2008.During the 2008 presidential election, MSNBC's coverage was anchored by Olbermann, Chris Matthews, and David Gregory. They were widely viewed as the face of the channel's political coverage. During the first three months of the presidential campaign, MSNBC's ratings grew by 158 percent.NEWS,weblink At MSNBC, The 'M' Is For (Rachel) Maddow, CBS News, November 24, 2008, July 30, 2010, Olbermann and Matthews, however, were criticized for expressing left-leaning opinions on the channel. Both were later removed from their anchor positions.NEWS,weblink MSNBC Takes Incendiary Hosts From Anchor Seat, Stelter, Brian, September 7, 2008, The New York Times, March 26, 2010, Audience viewership during the 2008 presidential campaign more than doubled from the 2004 presidential election, and the channel topped CNN in ratings for the first time during the last three months of the campaign in the key 25–54 age demographic.NEWS,weblink The New York Times, Election's Over, So What's Next for the Cable News Channels?, Bill, Carter, November 15, 2008, May 13, 2010, NEWS,weblink The New York Times, MSNBC Takes Incendiary Hosts From Anchor Seat, Brian, Stelter, September 8, 2008, May 13, 2010, In September 2008, the channel hired political analyst and Air America Radio personality Rachel Maddow to host a new political opinion program called The Rachel Maddow Show. The move to create a new program for the channel was widely seen as a smart ratings move, where beforehand, MSNBC lagged behind in coveted primetime ratings.At MSNBC, The 'M' Is For (Rachel) Maddow MarketWatch Columnist Jon Friedman Says Network's New Star Is Opinionated, But Restrained CBS News'.' Retrieved March 26, 2010. The show regularly outperformed CNN's Larry King Live, and made the channel competitive in the program's time slot for the first time in over a decade.When Left is Right Rachel Maddow always thought she was an outsider. How did she become a star? Newsweek'.' Retrieved March 26, 2010.For first time, MSNBC tops CNN in primetime ''Politico'.' Retrieved March 26, 2010.In the first quarter of 2010, MSNBC beat CNN in primetime and overall ratings, marking the first time doing so since 2001.MSNBC Beats CNN in 1Q 2010 In Primetime; And In Total Day Among Adults In March, First Time Since 2001 TV by the Numbers'.' Retrieved March 31, 2010. The channel also beat CNN in total adult viewers in March, marking the seventh out of the past eight months that MSNBC achieved that result. In addition, the programs Morning Joe, The Ed Show, Hardball with Chris Matthews, Countdown with Keith Olbermann, and The Rachel Maddow Show'' finished ahead of their time slot competitors at CNN.NEWS,weblink Led by Rachel Maddow, MSNBC Surges to Unfamiliar Spot: No. 1 in Prime Time, Grynbaum, Michael M., June 5, 2017, The New York Times, June 14, 2017, 0362-4331, In the third quarter of 2010, MSNBC continued its solid lead over CNN, beating the network in total day for the first time since the second quarter of 2001 in the key adult demographic.MSNBC Beats CNN In Total Day In 3Q Among A25-54, First Time Since 2Q 2001 TV by the Numbers Retrieved September 10, 2010 The network also beat CNN for the fourth consecutive quarter, among both primetime and total viewers, as well as becoming the only cable news network to have its key adult demographic viewership grow over the last quarter, increasing by 4 percent. During this time, MSNBC also became the number-one cable news network in primetime among both African American and Hispanic viewers.On October 11, 2010, MSNBC unveiled a new televised advertising campaign and slogan called "Lean Forward". "We've taken on CNN and we beat them," MSNBC president Phil Griffin told employees at a series of celebratory "town hall" meetings. "Now it's time to take on Fox." Concerning the campaign, Griffin said, "It is active, it is positive, it is about making tomorrow better than today, a discussion about politics and the actions and passions of our time."Phil Griffin: 'Lean Forward' Campaign 'Is Going to Define Us As MSNBC' Media Bistro Retrieved 2010-10-13 The new campaign embraces the network's politically progressive identity.Msnbc to 'lean forward' in two-year brand campaign MSNBC Retrieved October 13, 2010 The two-year advertising campaign would cost $2 million and consist of internet, television, and print advertising. The new positioning has created brand image issues for, the umbrella website for the television network. A New York Times article quotes Charlie Tillinghast, president of, a separate company, as saying, "Both strategies are fine, but naming them the same thing is brand insanity." May Change Its Name The New York Times Retrieved October 14, 2010 As a result, eventually changed its name to prevent confusion with the television network, MSNBC; it rebranded the more news-driven as in July 2012.MAGAZINE, NBC News Takes Back From Microsoft,weblink Broadcasting & Cable, July 17, 2012, On January 21, 2011, Olbermann announced his departure from MSNBC and the episode would be the final episode of Countdown.NEWS,weblink Keith Olbermann And MSNBC Announce They Are Parting Ways, Huffington Post, January 21, 2011, January 21, 2011, Carly, Schwartz, WEB,weblink Keith Olbermann leaving MSNBC, ends 'Countdown', dead,weblink" title="">weblink January 25, 2011, His departure received much media attention.NEWS,weblink The New York Times, The New York Times Saturday, January 22, 2011, NEWS,weblink CNN, Keith Olbermann, MSNBC part ways, January 21, 2011, NEWS,weblink Fox News Channel, Olbermann Announces Departure from MSNBC, January 21, 2011, MSNBC issued a statement that it had ended its contract with Olbermann, with no further explanation. Olbermann later revealed that he had taken his show to Current TV.NEWS,weblink The New York Times, Bill, Carter, Brian, Stelter, Olbermann Said to Be Going to Current TV, February 7, 2011, During 2014, MSNBC's total ratings in the 25 to 54 age group declined 20 percent, falling to third place behind CNN. The only demographic in which MSNBC still led was among Hispanics and even more so among African-Americans.NEWS, Fox News Dominates Cable News Ratings In 2014; MSNBC Tumbles, Huffington Post, December 31, 2014,weblink January 8, 2015, {{clarify|date=June 2017}}

Return to hard news and alignment with NBC News: since 2015

To help revive the struggling network, MSNBC in the summer of 2015 started transitioning from left-leaning, opinionated programming to hard news programming. Nearly all daytime opinionated news programs were replaced with more generic news programs. Ronan Farrow, Joy-Ann Reid, Krystal Ball, Touré, Abby Huntsman, Alex Wagner, Ed Schultz, and Al Sharpton lost their shows. News programs presented by established NBC News personalities such as Telemundo anchor Jose Diaz-Balart, Meet the Press anchor Chuck Todd, Sunday NBC Nightly News anchor Kate Snow, Thomas Roberts, and former NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams replaced the opinion shows.NEWS, Brian Williams dropped from NBC's 'Nightly News,' will join MSNBC, Reuters, June 18, 2015,weblink The revamped on-air presentation debuted in late summer 2015 and included a new logo, news ticker, and graphics package.WEB,weblink MSNBC Rolls Out New On-Air Look, WEB,weblink Entertainment News, Celebrity and Pop Culture – ABC News, ABC News, MSNBC Live had at least eight hours of programming each day, barring any breaking news that could extend its time. Daytime news coverage was led primarily by Brian Williams, Stephanie Ruhle, Jose Diaz-Balart, Andrea Mitchell, Craig Melvin, Thomas Roberts, and Kate Snow, in addition to "beat leaders" stationed throughout the newsroom. These included chief legal correspondent Ari Melber, primary political reporter Steve Kornacki, business and finance correspondent Olivia Sterns, and senior editor Cal Perry. Morning and primetime programming did not change and remained filled mostly by opinionated personalities.WEB,weblink TV Schedule {{!, MSNBC|date=2015-10-15|access-date=2018-03-30|url-status=bot: unknown|archiveurl=|archivedate=October 15, 2015|df=mdy-all}}WEB,weblink Craig Melvin, IMDb, 2018-03-30, In April 2016, MSNBC launched a promotional ad campaign with the theme, "in order to know beyond, you have to go beyond." The campaign portrayed MSNBC's reporting and perspectives as "in depth" and an alternative to "talking points" coverage on other cable news outlets.WEB,weblink Greg Ganzerla,, en, 2018-03-30, In July 2016, the network debuted Dateline Extra, which was an abridged version of Dateline NBC and another step towards aligning MSNBC and NBC News. The new program was hosted by MSNBC Live anchor Tamron Hall.NEWS,weblink Dateline Extra with Tamron Hall on MSNBC weekends, MSNBC, 2018-03-30, In September 2016, MSNBC launched The 11th Hour with Brian Williams as a nightly wrap-up of the day's news and a preview of the following day's headlines. This was MSNBC's first new primetime program in nearly four years.WEB,weblink MSNBC LIVE STREAM – Spinroomer,, en, 2018-03-30, In January 2017, MSNBC debuted a program in the 6 pm EST hour entitled For the Record with Greta, hosted by former Fox News Channel anchor Greta Van Susteren.WEB,weblink GRETA VAN SUSTEREN JOINS MSNBC, Msnbc, Info, January 20, 2017,weblink" title="">weblink January 21, 2017, dead, mdy-all, The program aired for six months before being cancelled in late June 2017. The network promoted Chief legal Correspondent Ari Melber to host The Beat with Ari Melber at 6pm.In March 2017, MSNBC started rebranding their daytime shows as "NBC News" programs. The network logos started appearing on show opens, within the set design, and in commercials.WEB,weblink MSNBC Programs Start Giving More Space to NBC News Logos, Brian, Steinberg, March 23, 2017, In May 2017, MSNBC launched a 4pm afternoon program entitled (Deadline: White House) and hosted by former White House communications director and NBC political analyst Nicolle Wallace. For the first time, MSNBC in May 2017 became the highest rated American cable news network in primetime. MSNBC's increasing viewership was accompanied by declining numbers at Fox News Channel. MSNBC's May 15–19 programming topped the programming of both CNN and Fox News in total viewers and the advertiser-coveted younger demographic.NEWS,weblink MSNBC Reaches No. 1 for First Time in Weekly Primetime Ratings, Fox News Drops to Third, Otterson, Joe, May 22, 2017, Variety (magazine), Variety, May 23, 2017, NEWS,weblink Led by Rachel Maddow, MSNBC Surges to Unfamiliar Spot: No. 1 in Prime Time, Grynbaum, Michael M., 2017-06-05, The New York Times, 2018-10-31, en, Another significant change was made on April 16, 2018, when MSNBC completely removed the news ticker at the bottom of the screen on every program, citing the reason "for a cleaner view that puts our reporting more front and center ... and we want viewers to get the best possible experience". At the time of the change, CNN is still running the news ticker during live programming (although its sister network HLN does not), meanwhile Fox News only scraps the news ticker during daytime news programs.NEWS,weblink MSNBC Says On-Screen News Ticker Will No Longer Scroll, Steinberg, Brian, April 16, 2018, Variety (magazine), Variety, April 18, 2018,

Notable personalities

{{div col|colwidth=22em}}

Carriage issues

File:MSNBC NJ HQ Studio 1.jpg|thumb|right|MSNBC's former New Jersey headquarters studio, now the home of MLB NetworkMLB NetworkBefore 2010, MSNBC was not available to Verizon FiOS and AT&T U-verse television subscribers in the portions of New York State, northern New Jersey, and Connecticut that overlapped Cablevision's service area. One of several reasons for this was an exclusive carriage agreement between MSNBC and Cablevision that prohibited competing wired providers from carrying MSNBC.WEB,weblink, Inside Cable News :: Cablevision has exclusive carriage deal with MSNBC... :: February :: 2007,, May 11, 2011, dead, April 13, 2011, mdy-all, The terms of the agreement were not publicly known.{{fact|date=November 2017}}In 2009, Verizon filed a formal "program-access complaint" with the Federal Communications Commission and petitioned for termination of the deal. In support of Verizon, Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal argued that the arrangement could be illegal.WEB,weblink Cablevision Hit On 'Exclusives’ – 2009-07-11 06:00:00 | Multichannel News,, July 30, 2010, After entering into a new contract, FiOS added the channel in New York City and New Jersey on February 2, 2010.FiOS TV Finally Gets MSNBC In NY DMA – Cablevision Loses Exclusive Terrestrial Distribution Rights To News Channel Multichannel News January 28, 2010

International broadcasts

(File:111907f.jpg|thumb|left|The monitors of the MSNBC newsroom are tuned into various global channels.){{Refimprove section|date=November 2018}}MSNBC is shown only in the United States, Canada, South Africa, Kenya, parts of northern Africa, and most of the time in the Middle East.

MSNBC Canada

{{citation needed span|A Canadian version with some local content, MSNBC Canada, was launched on September 7, 2001. It was discontinued, however, in 2004. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission then authorized the American version to be carried on Canadian cable and satellite providers. The channel was operated by Rogers Communications and co-owned by Rogers, Shaw Communications, and MSNBC, with each party owning a 33.33 percent voting interest in the service.|date=November 2017}}{{citation needed span|Programming included MSNBC programs and, to fulfill its Canadian content responsibilities, repeats of shows from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and the Cable Public Affairs Channel. The channel also ran infomercials.|date=November 2017}}

MSNBC Africa

In southern Africa, MSNBC is distributed free-to-air on satellite on Free2View TV as MSNBC Africa, a joint venture between Great Media Limited and MSNBC. Free2View airs MSNBC's programming from 4 p.m. to midnight ET in a block that repeats twice (live for the first airing), with local Weather Channel forecasts.WEB,weblink Southern Africa to Get MSNBC, November 17, 2007, January 23, 2008, dead,weblink" title="">weblink February 3, 2008, mdy-all, {{citation needed span|Botswana's national television broadcaster, BTV, also provides an un-edited broadcast of MSNBC (including advertisements) after their scheduled programming each evening. BTV is available within Botswana, as well as to Southern Africa viewers on DStv. TopTV, a satellite TV service in South Africa, also provides an unedited broadcast of MSNBC (including advertisements), which runs 24 hours a day. It is also available in Kenya and Uganda through the Zuku cable service.|date=November 2017}}

Middle East and North Africa

MSNBC programming is shown for most of the day on the 24-hour news network OSN News.{{citation needed|date=November 2017}}

Europe and Asia

In Asia and Europe, MSNBC is not shown on a dedicated channel. When MSNBC started in 1996, they announced plans to start broadcasting in Europe during 1997. This never happened. However MSNBC has been seen occasionally on affiliate channel CNBC Europe.WEB,weblink About CNBC Europe, 2008, January 23, 2008, MSNBC was shown overnight at the weekend and during the afternoon on American public holidays as well as during breaking news events. MSNBC stopped being shown on CNBC Europe in the late 2000s and coverage of non-business related breaking news now comes from CNBC U.S.'s own coverage or from NBC News.{{Cn|date=November 2018}}


In Turkey, NTV-MSNBC is the news channel of the Turkish broadcaster NTV Turkey. The channel is a joint partnership between the two, although very little Turkish content is shown on English MSNBC. English content on MSNBC is translated into Turkish.WEB,weblink, 2008, January 23, 2008,


( Turns 10.jpg|thumb|left|MSNBC celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2006.)( Newsroom.jpg|thumb|right|'s main newsroom in Redmond, WA, 2007)(File:111907cc1.jpg|thumb|right|'s newsroom in NYC, 2007)MSNBC and its website were launched concurrently. Unlike the network, was operated as the general online news outlet of NBC News in partnership with Microsoft's portal. The network and website also remained editorially separate. The website did not adopt the network's increasingly liberal viewpoints and remained a joint venture with Microsoft even after it had sold its stake in MSNBC.NEWS,weblink The New York Times, Brian, Stelter, MSNBC on the Web May Change Its Name, October 6, 2010, In July 2012, NBC acquired Microsoft's remaining stake in and re-branded it as After being redirected to the new name for a period, was re-launched in 2013 as the website for MSNBC. The website included opinion columns from hosts, correspondents, and guests, along with live and on-demand videos from MSNBC programs.NEWS,weblink MSNBC Website Debuts New Look (PHOTO), Huffington Post, October 15, 2012, Rebecca Shapiro,


In July 2014, launched msnbc2, a brand for several web-only series hosted by MSNBC personalities.WEB,weblink Krystal Clear on Iraq & Clinton, MSNBC, In December 2014, msnbc2 was renamed shift, with a programming schedule that was less focused on politics and more tailored to a younger audience.NEWS,weblink MSNBC targets young viewers with streaming video service Shift, December 16, 2014, Stephen Battaglio, Los Angeles Times,


MSNBC launched on XM Satellite Radio channel 120 and Sirius Satellite Radio channel 90 on April 12, 2010.MSNBC Signs On With Sirius XM Radio – News Channel To Debut On Satellite Service April 12 Multichannel News April 7, 2010 This is the second time MSNBC has been available on satellite radio. The channel was dropped from XM Radio on September 4, 2006.XM and MSNBC part ways {{webarchive | url= | date=February 3, 2011}} Orbitcast April 14, 2010The simulcast of MSNBC's programming is on SiriusXM channel 118.WEB,weblink MSNBC - News And Analysis Focused On Politics - SiriusXM Radio, January 20, 2017,

Criticism and controversy

Liberal bias

In November 2007, a New York Times article stated that MSNBC's primetime lineup was tilting more to the left.Cable Channel Nods to Ratings and Leans Left. The New York Times. Published November 6, 2007. Retrieved August 24, 2008. Since then, commentators have argued that MSNBC has a bias towards left-leaning politics and the Democratic Party. Fox News media analyst Howard Kurtz, while previously in the same role at The Washington Post, stated that the channel's evening lineup "has clearly gravitated to the left in recent years and often seems to regard itself as the antithesis of Fox News" In 2011, Politico referred to MSNBC as "left-leaning",Barr, Andy (April 5, 2011) MSNBC host coaxes Ron Paul to run, Politico and Steve Kornacki of noted that, "MSNBC’s prime-time lineup is now awash in progressive politics."Kornacki, Steve (January 21, 2011) Is Olbermann the victim of his own success?, Regarding changes in the channel's evening programming, senior vice president of NBC News Phil Griffin claimed that "it happened naturally. There isn't a dogma we're putting through. There is a 'Go for it.'"In the February 2008 issue of Men's Journal magazine, an MSNBC interviewee quoted a senior executive as saying that liberal commentator Keith Olbermann "runs MSNBC" and that "because of his success, he's in charge" of the channel.WEB,weblink, Olbermann Talks Office Politics, Other Politics, January 10, 2008, September 16, 2009, In 2007, The New York Times called Olbermann MSNBC's "most recognizable face". In September 2008, MSNBC stated that Olbermann and Chris Matthews would no longer anchor live political events, with David Gregory assuming that role. MSNBC cited the growing criticism that they were "too opinionated to be seen as neutral in the heat of the presidential campaign."NEWS, Kurtz, Howard,weblink MSNBC Drops Olbermann, Matthews as News Anchors, The Washington Post, September 8, 2008, September 30, 2008, NEWS, Stelter, Brian,weblink MSNBC Takes Incendiary Hosts From Anchor Seat, The New York Times, September 7, 2008, September 30, 2008, Olbermann's show Countdown continued to run before and after the presidential and vice presidential debates, and both Matthews and Olbermann joined Gregory on the channel's election night coverage.{{fact|date=November 2017}}On November 13, 2009, in the days leading up to the release of 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin's book (Going Rogue: An American Life|Going Rogue), MSNBC's Dylan Ratigan used photoshopped pictures of Palin on the channel's Morning Meeting program. Ratigan apologized a few days later.WEB, Jay,weblink MSNBC apologizes for showing fake Palin photos | Jay Bookman,, November 16, 2009, July 30, 2010, dead,weblink" title="">weblink February 25, 2010, mdy-all, In October 2010, MSNBC began using the tagline "Lean Forward". Some media outlets, including, claimed that the network was now embracing its politically progressive identity.MAGAZINE, MSNBC's new slogan: What doesn't it even mean?, The Week, October 6, 2010,weblink October 11, 2010, NEWS, Stelter, Brian, With Tagline, MSNBC Embraces a Political Identity, The New York Times, October 4, 2010,weblink October 11, 2010, NEWS, Miller, Emily, NBC Flees from Lefty MSNBC Cable Network, Human Events, October 8, 2010,weblink October 11, 2010,
In January 2012, MSNBC used Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, and other network commentators during its coverage of the Iowa Republican caucuses. Nando Di Fino of the Mediaite website said MSNBC was "giving up on the straight news coverage, and instead [appearing] to be aiming to create some controversy."WEB, Di Fino, Nando, MSNBC Hosting Lineup For Iowa Caucus Exchanges Neutral Journalism For Partisanship… And Fun,weblink Mediaite, December 29, 2011, In November 2012, The New York Times called MSNBC "The Anti-Fox" and quoted former President Bill Clinton as saying, "Boy, it really has become our version of Fox."NEWS, Stelter, Brian, The Anti-Fox Gains Ground,weblink The New York Times, October 2, 2013, November 11, 2012, Citing data from the A.C. Nielsen TV ratings service, the article noted that while the Fox News Channel had a larger overall viewership than MSNBC, the two networks were separated by only around 300,000 viewers among the 25–54 age bracket most attractive to advertisers.In the Pew Research Center's 2013 "State of the News Media" report, MSNBC was found to be the most opinionated news network, with 85 percent of the content being commentary or opinions and the remaining 15 percent being factual reporting. The report also stated that in 2012, MSNBC spent only $240 million on news production compared to CNN's $682 million and the Fox News Channel's $820 million.MAGAZINE, Bercovici, Jeff, Pew Study Finds MSNBC the Most Opinionated Cable News Channel By Far, Forbes, March 18, 2013,weblink July 17, 2013, Others have argued that MSNBC has a bias against progressive politics. Phil Donahue's show was canceled in 2003 due to his opposition to the Iraq War, and Donahue later commented that the management of MSNBC required that "we have two conservative (guests) for every liberal. I was counted as two liberals."Poniewozik, James, "Watching the Not-Watchdogs,"Time, April 26, 2007. Cenk Uygur, after his departure from MSNBC in 2011, said that MSNBC management had told him "people in Washington" were "concerned about [his] tone,"WEB,weblink Cenk Uygur Leaves MSNBC After Being Told to 'Act Like an Insider', Democracy Now!, September 17, 2018, and that he "didn't want to work in a place that didn't challenge power."WEB,weblink Cenk Uygur Out at MSNBC, Mediaite, September 17, 2018,

Favoritism towards Barack Obama

Some Democratic Party supporters, including former Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell and Bill Clinton advisor Lanny Davis,NEWS,weblink Clinton confidant dismisses MSNBC as no longer fair and balanced, The Hill, May 5, 2008, April 18, 2014, dead,weblink" title="">weblink December 8, 2008, criticized MSNBC during and after the 2008 Democratic Party primaries as covering Barack Obama more favorably than Hillary Clinton. Rendell said, "MSNBC was the official network of the Obama campaign," and called their coverage "absolutely embarrassing".Rendell: Obama coverage was embarrassing. Published August 24, 2008. Retrieved August 24, 2008.Dangerous Liaison. The New Republic published May 27, 2008. Retrieved August 24, 2008. {{webarchive | url= | date=December 16, 2008}} Rendell later became an on-air contributor to MSNBC.NEWS,weblink Ed Rendell Signs Deal With NBC, November 5, 2012, Huffington Post, January 25, 2011, A study done by the Project for Excellence in Journalism showed that MSNBC had less negative coverage of Obama (14 percent of stories versus 29 percent in the press overall) and more negative stories about Republican presidential candidate John McCain (73 percent of its coverage versus 57 percent in the press overall).WEB,weblink The Color of News | Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ),, October 29, 2008, July 30, 2010, MSNBC's on-air slogan during the week of the 2008 presidential election, "The Power of Change", was criticized for being too similar to Obama's campaign slogan of "Hope and Change".NEWS,weblink MSNBC's Tag for Now: 'The Power of Change', Stelter, Brian, The New York Times, November 10, 2008, November 13, 2008, After the election, conservative talk show host John Ziegler made a documentary entitled Media Malpractice.... How Obama Got Elected, which was very critical of the media's role, especially MSNBC's, in the election. While promoting the documentary, he had an on-air dispute with MSNBC news anchor Contessa Brewer about how the media, especially MSNBC, had portrayed Sarah Palin.WEB,weblink Contessa Brewer vs. John Ziegler re: Sarah Palin – 'Cut the mic, please', Annie Barrett, June 10, 2009, PopWatch Blog, Entertainment Weekly, November 1, 2009, During MSNBC's coverage of the Potomac primary, MSNBC's Chris Matthews said, "I have to tell you, you know, it's part of reporting this case, this election, the feeling most people get when they hear Barack Obama's speech. My, I felt this thrill going up my leg. I mean, I don't have that too often." This led Fox News to assert that both he and MSNBC were biased toward Obama.NEWS,weblink Bernie Goldberg on 'Love Affair' Between Obama and Media – Hannity,, 2009-01-27, 2010-02-23,weblink" title="">weblink July 24, 2013, dead, mdy-all,

Rise of the New Right documentary

In June 2010, the MSNBC documentary Rise of the New Right aired. It featured interviews with right-wing figures, including Dick Armey, the former House majority Leader, Orly Taitz, a leading figure in the "birther" movement, and conspiracy theorist radio host Alex Jones. The documentary also showed the Michigan Militia's survival training camp and hit the campaign trail with Kentucky senatorial candidate Rand Paul.NEWS, Weigel, David, MSNBC documentary on the 'New Right' profiles birthers, militias, Alex Jones, The Washington Post, June 7, 2010,weblink June 20, 2010, The documentary angered Tea Party movement figures and others on the right. After the documentary aired, FreedomWorks, chaired by Armey, called for a boycott of Dawn and Procter & Gamble, which advertised during Hardball with Chris Matthews.NEWS, Weigel, David, Tea partyers push back against 'The Rise of the New Right' with boycott, The Washington Post, June 17, 2010,weblink June 20, 2010, NEWS, Montopoli, Brian, Tea Party Groups Lash Out at MSNBC Over Special, CBS News, June 17, 2010,weblink June 20, 2010, The boycott was ineffective as Procter & Gamble continued to advertise on the show.

Romney coverage during 2012 election

A study by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism found that MSNBC's coverage of Mitt Romney during the final week of the 2012 presidential campaign (68 percent negative with no positive stories in the sample), was far more negative than the overall press, and even more negative than it had been during October 1 to 28, when 5 percent was positive and 57 percent was negative.PRESS RELEASE, THE FINAL DAYS OF THE MEDIA CAMPAIGN 2012: Final Weeks in the Mainstream Press, Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism, November 19, 2012,weblink November 20, 2012, On the other hand, their coverage of Barack Obama improved in the final week before the presidential election. From October 1 to 28, 33 percent of stories were positive and 13 percent negative. During the campaign's final week, 51 percent of MSNBC's stories were positive while there were no negative stories at all about Obama in the sample.

Romney family grandchild

Political commentator Melissa Harris-Perry and her guest panel, in a look back on the 2013 segment of her show, featured a picture of former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his extended family. Romney was holding on his knee his adopted grandchild, Kieran Romney, an African-American. Harris-Perry and her guests, including actress Pia Glenn and comedian Dean Obeidallah, joked about coming up with captions for the photo. Glenn sang out, "One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just isn’t the same." Obeidallah said, "It sums up the diversity of the Republican Party and the [Republican National Committee], where they have the whole convention and they find the one black person." Afterwards, Harris-Perry gave an on-air apology as well as apologized in a series of tweets.NEWS,weblink Christian Science Monitor, Peter, Grier, Melissa Harris-Perry apologizes for Romney grandchild jokes: Sincere?, December 31, 2013, January 5, 2014, NEWS,weblink Los Angeles Times, Patrick, Day, Melissa Harris-Perry apologizes for Mitt Romney grandchild comments, December 31, 2013, January 4, 2014,

Suspensions of hosts

Michael Savage

During the spring and early summer of 2003, MSNBC featured a weekend talk show hosted by conservative radio host Michael Savage. In July of that year, Savage responded to a prank caller on his show by calling him a "pig" and a "sodomite", and telling him he "should get AIDS and die." Savage's show was canceled and Savage was fired from the channel shortly afterward (with some reports placing the termination immediately after the episode in question ended).NEWS, Lowry, Brian, Savage gets the boot after on-air anti-gay outburst, Los Angeles Times, July 8, 2003, E1,

Don Imus

In early April 2007, Don Imus, whose radio show Imus in the Morning was simulcast on MSNBC for over ten years, described members of the Rutgers University women's basketball team as "some nappy-headed hoes." The comments sparked outrage, as many considered them to be racist and sexist. After sponsors began to withdraw advertisements from the show, MSNBC canceled the simulcast. Imus, as well as NBC News, apologized to the Rutgers Basketball team for the remarks.MSNBC drops simulcast of Don Imus show. April 11, 2007. The television simulcast of Imus' program later moved to RFD-TV until August 2009 and then to Fox Business Network until May 2015.

Keith Olbermann and Joe Scarborough

On November 5, 2010, MSNBC President Phil Griffin suspended Keith Olbermann indefinitely without pay for contributing $2,400 (the maximum personal donation limit) to each of three Democratic Party candidates during the 2010 midterm election cycle.Aujla, Simmi. "Keith Olbermann suspended after donating to Democrats." November 5, 2010 NBC News policy prohibited contributions to political campaigns unless NBC News had given its prior permission. On November 7, 2010, Olbermann posted a thank you message to supporters via Twitter.WEB, KEVIN DOLAK and RUSSELL GOLDMAN (@GoldmanRussell),weblink Keith Olbermann Can Return to 'Countdown,' MSNBC Boss Says – ABC News,, November 7, 2010, November 5, 2011, That same day, MSNBC announced that he would be back on the air starting on November 9.WEB,weblink NBC Media Centre – STATEMENT REGARDING KEITH OLBERMANN – SUNDAY, NOV. 7,, November 7, 2010, May 11, 2011, dead,weblink" title="">weblink March 16, 2011, Two weeks later, Griffin announced the suspension of Joe Scarborough for the same offense, as the Morning Joe host had donated $4,000 to Republican candidates in Florida. Like Olbermann's suspension, Scarborough's suspension was brief, and he returned to the airwaves on November 24."MSNBC Suspends ‘Morning Joe’ Host Scarborough for Political Donations" Wall Street Journal November 19, 2010 On January 21, 2011, MSNBC announced that Olbermann would host his final show that same night.

Martin Bashir

Host Martin Bashir resigned after making a controversial comment about Sarah Palin.WEB,weblink Martin Bashir Resigns From MSNBC, December 4, 2013,, On November 15, 2013, Bashir criticized Palin for equating the federal debt to slavery."MSNBC not commenting on whether further action contemplated against Bashir", Associated Press. The Washington Post (November 19, 2013). Bashir referred to the cruel and barbaric punishment of slaves as described by slave overseer Thomas Thistlewood, specifically a punishment called "Derby's dose", which forced slaves to defecate or urinate into the mouth of another slave. Bashir then said, "When Mrs. Palin invokes slavery, she doesn't just prove her rank ignorance. She confirms if anyone truly qualified for a dose of discipline from Thomas Thistlewood, she would be the outstanding candidate."Williams, Rob. "Martin Bashir says Sarah Palin is an 'idiot' and suggests someone should defecate in her mouth", The Independent (November 18, 2013).WEB, Millstein, Seth, December 4, 2013, MSNBC's Martin Bashir Resigns Over Sarah Palin Slavery Comments,weblink Bustle (magazine), Bustle, August 25, 2017,

Alec Baldwin

Alec Baldwin's 2013 show Up Late with Alec Baldwin was suspended after five episodes because of a homophobic slur Baldwin made to a photographer in New York City.WEB,weblink Alec Baldwin's MSNBC Show Suspended After Gay Slur Controversy, People,

Phil Donahue

{{see also|Media coverage of the Iraq War}}Phil Donahue's 2002 program Donahue was canceled in late February 2003 during the buildup to the Iraq War. Despite earlier claims of cancellation because of low ratings,NEWS,weblink Phil Donahue Gets The Ax, MSNBC Cancels Donahue's Talk Show Due To Low Ratings, February 25, 2003, CBS News, Donahue was MSNBC's highest rated show that month.NEWS,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, April 1, 2003, Commentary: The Surrender Of MSNBC,, February 25, 2003, Rick, Ellis, A leaked NBC internal study revealed that the studio was concerned that Donahue would act as "a home for the liberal antiwar agenda at the same time that our competitors are waving the flag at every opportunity."




  • NEWS, Chris, Ariens, November 15, 2007, MSNBC Expands to South Africa,weblink TVNewser, August 25, 2017,

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