African American Viewership Increases at MSNBC

For far too many years now, African Americans have been overlooked by the mainstream media when it comes to being major players at how the American public looks at the concerns of the Black audience.

Well earlier this week, the African-American media-watching site Shadow and Act, reported on how all of that may have changed, as MSNBC reported a huge increase in their overall ratings.

The cable news network saw a monstrous 20% increase in 2012. And while much of that can be attributed to the 2012 Presidential campaign, much of it is due to another major factor – Black viewership. The network announced an incredible increase in African American viewers – a mammoth 60.5% increase during the past year.

The numbers were compared to CNN, whose African American viewership increased last year by 23.7%, while Fox News’ Black audience decreased by the same amount of 23.7%.

Surely, MSNBC’s progressive leaning approach to the news and their wide array of black hosts and pundits such as Toure, Melissa Harris-Perry, Tamron Hall, Joy-Ann Reid, Karen Finney, Michael Steele, Al Sharpton, Eugene Robinson, Jonathan Capehart and Goldie Taylor.

“I think we made a commitment, we decided, that in order for this channel to succeed, that we had to reflect the country,” MSNBC president Phil Griffith said to Shadow and Act. “This meant that we had to be part of the country in ways that the other channels weren’t.”

He went on to say:

”We have a diverse on-air group of people, because that matters, and people want to know that we reflect their world. And it’s not just a single show – it’s across the board. You look at the guests every hour and we make sure that we have women, African Americans, everything, and I think to spend a day watching MSNBC is to see America as we have seen it.”

Finally, he said:

“It wasn’t like we said ‘Oh, we have to have a diverse person on here and there,’” he said. “We made a decision. We made a commitment in ideas, issues and everything – the audience followed, and that goes back to four or five years ago. As we grew, we recognized that it was the right thing to do. It’s giving a voice to people in these kinds of programs who don’t always get a voice. Our look is as diverse as any on mainstream TV. I’m incredibly proud of it. It’s not like we decided ‘We’re going to increase our African American viewership by 60%,’ but I’m thrilled that it happened, and it says a lot about what we’ve been doing over the last few years.” 

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