There was a huge problem though and that was the strength of competitors. The reality was that how ever hard the crew tried, they were still trailing the likes of Fox News and CNN. Obviously this was a huge battle to have on their hands, as the much more established two channels had a huge loyal following, something that needed to be penetrated in order to expand further.
One thing that MSNBC proved they liked was the Fox News, and how they allowed hosts to get interactive and offer their views. For this reason, they replicated this scenario and allowed them to get involved with discussions. There was a small problem with this though. A lot of people found that controversial topics were certainly not things that uneducated hosts should be expressing opinions on. This led to a lot of people accusing both MSNBC and even Fox News of being extremely biased.
NBC Universal were keen to keep and even grow their share in the channel as it had a direct link to everything they were doing. In 2005, they took over 32% of Microsoft’s 50% share, making themselves the majority share holder. That being said, NBC and Microsoft still had an even share of the website Msnbc.com, although the future of that was also doubted. Two years after, NBC would have the option to purchase the remaining 18% stake that Microsoft still held in the project.
2008 came and went and left MSNBC with many changes. For example, a political analyst was hired to ensure that nothing said was biased and also to express an opinion. Alongside this, there were big movements in political shows. A new show called The Rachel Maddow Show was hosted by Rachel Maddow and became extremely popular, very quickly. The new program was an instant success and it proved to be a bold but correct move for MSNBC who were no longer underperforming in comparison to the likes of CNN’s Larry King Live.
Over the last couple of years, shows such as the one mentioned above have continued to prosper. They have grown in such a way that in primetime ratings in 2010, MSNBC scored well ahead of CNN for overall rankings and markings. This was extremely promising for MSNBC as it set them up for a much stronger future than they originally anticipated.