Does Relocation Signal the Beginning of the End of MSNBC and 'Countdown?'
Is MSNBC about to leave its offices in Secaucus, New Jersey, and be absorbed into other facilities owned by parent company NBC? According to The Hudson Reporter (hat tip to TVNewser), this appears to be the case: “The geographical division of the new leadership has helped fuel the rumors that NBC will close the Secaucus site and consolidate broadcast operations in Manhattan.”
TVNewser’s Brian Stelter, who has been following developments at MSNBC quite closely, believes such a relocation would be all about dollars and cents:
"The move may come down to the fact that NBC is not in a good financial state," Stelter said. "They are pretty much the fourth place TV network in prime time. Frequently pressures in prime time will affect the news operations, much to the chagrin of the news people. The news division is clearly being squeezed, including MSNBC. The number of $150 million for budget cutbacks across the network has been used."
Porter Bibb of Mediatech Capital Partners agreed:
"MSNBC, like CNBC, is costing NBC a lot of money," he said. "It's an indulgence that probably is never going to pay off. A move to 30 Rock makes a lot of sense. Neither MSNBC nor CNBC have really ever found their niche, and NBC itself is in kind of a black hole right now. Candidly, folding MSNBC into Englewood Cliffs makes even more sense than bringing them into New York. But if they are going to bring them into 30 Rock, then they are really downsizing MSNBC."
Stelter feels that such a relocation might be the beginning of major changes at the beleaguered network:
"It's unclear whether NBC knows what the future of MSNBC really is," he said. "In public, NBC executives point to the promotions of Abrams and Griffin to demonstrate their clear commitment to the network. But they can only survive for so many years doing what they are doing right now. They tried it for ten years. I would be shocked if they kept trying the same thing for ten more years. I wonder if this is part of a larger shift in what the channel is. They may run more documentaries, because they seem to be getting better ratings, and it seems to be more cost effective."
It is quite safe to say that most conservatives recommend the first change be the immediate cancellation of “Countdown,” and the termination of its host. All in favor, say “aye”.