As NewsBusters previously reported, MSNBC president Phil Griffin told the New York Times in June that his network is "not the place" for breaking news.
This was evident again this past Saturday when MSNBC actually saw a 20 percent week-over-week decline during the busy news period when President Obama announced that he was going to Congress for approval to attack Syria.
Variety reported Wednesday (emphasis added):
Nielsen estimates that Fox News Channel was the most-watched news network during the special breaking news coverage on Syria from noon to 5 p.m. ET, averaging 971,000 viewers — slightly ahead of CNN’s 926,000. This period covered the hours leading up to President Obama’s address and the hours following it.
While both FNC and CNN saw significant week-over-week gains, third-place MSNBC actually was down about 20% week to week, averaging 390,000 viewers for its Syria coverage.
That bears repeating: "FNC and CNN saw significant week-over-week gains, third-place MSNBC actually was down about 20% week to week."
So, once again, Americans turned to other sources of information when serious news broke.
Of course, this isn't the first time this happened this year.
Americans avoided MSNBC during the busy news week in April when the Boston Marathon was bombed and a fertilizer plant exploded in Texas.
The following month, MSNBC came in fourth in one of the busiest news days of the year when more information came out about Amanda Berry's captor, the Jodi Arias verdict was announced, and the Benghazi Congressional hearings took place.
In March, the Pew Research Center study found that 85 percent of MSNBC's programming is opinion and not news.
Americans clearly agree, and have decided to go elsewhere for information about serious events.
When are cable and satellite providers going to realize this and move MSNBC away from real news channels on their program guides?
*****Update: It should be noted that MSNBC the previous Saturday featured live coverage of the events at the Lincoln Memorial as part of the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's March on Washington. As such, that day's ratings were likely much higher than normal for a Saturday.