Thursday, February 19, 2009

Liberals Pushing for Cenk Uygur or Sam Seder to Get MSNBC's 10 p.m. Slot

MSNBC officials have been deluged with endorsements from liberal viewers who want either Cenk Uygur or Sam Seder to follow Rachel Maddow in the 10 p.m. Eastern slot, a time period that would be attractive to the West Coast audience.

The grass-roots campaigns started when it became apparent that the cable outlet is contemplating creating a new show for the slot that is occupied by a repeat of "Countdown With Keith Olbermann," Matea Gold of the Los Angeles Times reports.

Cenk Uygur is known for the Internet show "The Young Turks" and Sam Seder is an on-air personality for Air America.

Here is some of Gold's report:
The lobbying efforts have drawn thousands of supporters and led fans to pepper MSNBC with e-mails in support of their favorite personality. Hundreds of people have posted messages of support online, some even creating their own video spots. (Give the time slot to "The Young Turks," warns one, "or I'll switch back to CNN.") Liberal bloggers on sites like have also weighed in.

They all hope that MSNBC will choose a host cast from the same left-leaning mold as Olbermann and Rachel Maddow, who have helped power the cable channel's ratings.

"You have a block with two unabashedly progressive voices that doesn't exist anywhere else on cable news," said Markos Moulitsas Zúniga, founder of Daily Kos, who urged his readers to back Seder for the spot. "We want to take advantage of locking up that third hour, if we can."

MSNBC President Phil Griffin said he's not necessarily looking for someone who shares the political leanings of Olbermann and Maddow, but is delighted by the response.

"If people identify with us, I'm thrilled," he said.

"Obviously, we're going to have flow between our shows," Griffin added. "But it isn't going to be ideology that drives it. I want that hour to be edgy, to be smart, to be a little snarky."

A fresh show for the slot is desperately needed for MSNBC. The Olbermann reruns are in fourth place, getting a run for its money by CNN's Nancy Grace. Here are the Feb. 17 numbers from

10 PM P2+ (25-54) (35-64)
On the Record w/Greta—1,825,000 viewers (399,000) (645,000)
Anderson Cooper 360—1,443,000 viewers (572,000) (583,000)
Countdown w/Keith Olbermann—727,000 viewers (237,000) (360,000)
On the Money—170,000 viewers (66,000) (123,000)
Nancy Grace –724,000 viewers (273,000) (436,000)

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