Dangers of Diversification

Whenever a cable news network starts to struggle, the commentators begin to suggest ideas on how the cable news network lost its way and how they can regain it. One of the common refrains is that networks need to diversify their programming and have more variety in their offerings. Sometimes this is not having the same basic show over and over again (cough, cough MSNBC) or having non-political news. Of course, not soft news because it’s well, soft.

Now all three of the main three cable news networks are experimenting with different news offerings. Fox News has been showing a health and lifestyle news show, A Healthy You, on the weekends. However, the show has been preempted repeatedly where it is more surprising when a tweet says the show has not been preempted.

CNN and MSNBC have both attempted to introduce sports into their current offerings. CNN attempted to have a weekly sports show, but it did not work out so well. However, Rachel Nichols has remained with CNN and continues to impress with her tough, rigorous questioning in press conferences, especially with the NFL. Hopefully, CNN finds out a better vehicle to showcase her talents.

MSNBC will also be having a sports-like program tomorrow night. Taking advantage of the NBC Universal synergy, they will have a Super Bowl show. Chris Matthews will be talking the game and the cities of Boston and Seattle. Then, the Morning Joe crew invades our nights, too.

I have no further comment on this.

However, there is some danger to changing the status quo. Programming determines the image of one’s network. CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News all have their reputations due to the shows they broadcast. The problem is that when you air something you are not known for, there is an awareness curve. Viewers will not turn to a political network right away for a sports show. While I would not advocate against any channel taking a risk and doing something new, they must be invested in the long-term.


Categories: The Conveyors

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