2011 marks a milestone in Cable News:
* MSNBC launched on July 15, 1996
* Fox News launched on October 7, 1996
While the MSNBC crew celebrated with fireworks on the Hudson during their anniversary party on the night of July 14th, the folks at Fox News had their celebration a few weeks early on September 19th. No doubt, MSNBC threw a great bash, but the folks at Fox had even more reason to celebrate: they have achieved an unrivaled ratings supremacy. Fox is the darling of the right and bane of the left — pretty much the mirror image of MSNBC. But MSNBC never received the ratings acclaim or traction that Fox achieved within five years of its launch.
Each cable news organization has beaten the odds. When CNN first went on the air, it was never given a chance to succeed. “Chicken Noodle News” was derided by its broadcast peers, but eventually became the most influential news outfit in America and, arguably, globally. MSNBC was given a chance to succeed, considering its partnership between the venerable NBC News and Microsoft, but Fox News turned in the greatest triumph of all. Offering a voice to those overlooked by the media, Roger Ailes tapped into a void that developed in mainstream media — representing all points of view, not just that of the center and left.
The rest is history. Congrats to MSNBC and Fox News for the first very interesting 15 years. More to come….