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Symone Sanders wasn’t the answer for MSNBC, it turns out.
Sanders, a former spokesperson for Vice President Kamala Harris, debuted her MSNBC weekend program to just 361,000 total viewers on Saturday.
In the advertiser-coveted 25-54 demographic, the show called Symone drew just 29,000 viewers, an average that would frustrate even the Vice network.
MSNBC can ill afford to continue striking out on new hires. The network is shedding viewers in all key demographics. And with Rachel Maddow down to just one day a week, the network is allowing CNN to close the gap as No. 2 in cable news.
Plans to offset the fall include moving traditional news anchors like Chuck Todd off of MSNBC and relying on former Biden administration figures. In addition to Sanders, MSNBC will soon create programming for Jen Psaki, who will step down as White House Press Secretary this week.
While Psaki is more famous and polarizing than Sanders, there is little confidence now that she — or any other former Biden official — will help MSNBC make up lost ground.
If Psaki and Sanders are not the answers, MSNBC is out of options. Its bench does not include a single “talent” who can move the needle. At best, weekend host Tiffany Cross will call someone a racist, get praised on Twitter, and still fail to make the top 45 in cable news:
Cable News Rankings – Sat May 7
— RoadMN 📈 (@RoadMN) May 10, 2022
At least Symone made the list.
Next week will be more challenging when Sanders doesn’t have an exclusive interview with First Lady Jill Biden. Perhaps she will have to turn to her former boss Kamala out of desperation?
If not, Symone Sanders will fall below 300,000 viewers by June and prompt another immediate lineup change at MSNBC.