MSNBC No Longer Wants You To “lean Forward” As Long As You Keep Watching. | Gradient

MSNBC no longer wants you to “lean forward” as long as you keep watching.


MSNBC is going purple, everyone! The popular news netw-

OK, actually, we should stop there, because that’s the problem. It’s a network, and there’s plenty of news, but MSNBC is far from popular, when compared to its main competitors, CNN and especially, Fox News. MSNBC’s prior strategy, epitomized by its “Lean Forward” slogan, became a Fox News of sorts to liberals. Unfortunately for them, it led to them hitting a seven-year low in ratings in 2014, forcing the network to recalibrate their editorial approach.

This week, MSNBC is unveiling the culmination of its efforts to rebrand and diversify its programming. From Politico:

“Sitting in his third-floor corner office overlooking Rockefeller Plaza in New York on a rainy day in early May, Griffin boasted that the crisis has passed: MSNBC is succeeding as it rebrands from a place to ‘lean forward’ to the place for in-depth news coverage, without fully shedding a progressive bent defined by opinionated, unabashedly liberal hosts like Rachel Maddow.

‘The defining elements of who we are is, giving real depth to the stories were covering,’ Griffin said before offering an unmistakable jab at CNN, now helmed by his former NBC colleague Jeff Zucker.

‘We’ve got some other plans we’re going to do, but they’re not based on following a single plane crash for three months,’ he said.”

The most striking example of this shift can be found in the above image, a teaser for the group of conservative commentators added to the roster, with a cheeky wink at their now-outmoded “Lean Forward” campaign: “People might start accusing us of leaning too far to the right.” To the right — get it? — of the quip, conservative pundits like former RNC chairman Michael Steele, radio host Hugh Hewitt, and George W. Bush-era White House communications chief Nicole Wallace.
While Maddow remains a key cog in MSNBC’s machine, their gamble to surround her with center, right, and non-partisan voices seems to have worked. Viewership is up 83% among 25-to-54-year-olds from their 2015 first quarter average and even beats CNN during the 6 a.m. – 9 a.m time slot.

Read more to learn about MSNBC’s quest for a non-conformist vibe.

If you enjoy ‘Reactions’, subscribe to our podcast In Case You Missed It.  

New Pod Flow: Sounds Good With Branden Harvey “Jason Russell”


Jason is the cofounder of the iconic non-profit Invisible Children which was founded to increase awareness of the horrendous activities of the LRA in Central Africa. Jason was also the director of the iconic Kony 2012 film that took the world by storm. In this two-part interview Jason and Branden talk about what it means to create a movement, what Jason experienced during his breakdown and subsequent recovery, and Jason’s experience in the world of theater.

New Pod Flow: Animalators, “ Aharon Rabinowitz”


Aharon Rabinowitz is the head of marketing for Red Giant based in New York City. During our conversation, we discussed the importance of work life balance, his start as a production intern at Sesame Street and why artist’s feel personally offended when you reject their work.

New Pod Flow: In Case You Missed It, Episode 040


United gets their cheap on, fake news, and Trump hired who?

New Pod Flow: Scribble & Jam, “Artist Matthew Perryman Jones”


Welcome to Episode IV. This week, Dan spends some time with his favorite singer/songwriter, Matthew Perryman Jones. Matthew and Dan talk about panic attacks, growing up in Atlanta, the way music is informed by pain and suffering and the way music gives freedom.

If you have spent any time watching television in the last decade you have most likely heard one of Mattew’s songs on shows like Grey’s Anatomy, Pretty Little Liars, One Tree Hill and many others. His insightful writing and voice have drawn comparisons to Leonard Cohen and Jeff Buckley, and he is on the short list of songwriters who skillfully weave the deeply philosophical and the vivid utterly human without ever losing sight of either.

To get his new album Cold Answer, (which features the three songs from him you heard on this episode), visit

Subscribe on iTunes.

New Pod Flow: Sounds Good With Branden Harvey “Next Steps After the Presidential Election”


Branden sits down with writer and speaker Tyler Huckabee days after Donald Trump was elected President of the United States to talk about empathy, justice, listening, and where we go from here.

New Pod Flow: In Case You Missed It, Episode 039


Special Election Edition, President Trump to legalized weed and everything in between.

This week we reflect on the election and discuss our strategies for staying sane.

New Pod Flow: Animalators, “Illo


Luca and Ilenia are the founders of Illo, a studio based in Turin, Italy.  During our conversation, we discussed their self-driving video bot named Algo, how Illo was formed and how they’ve crafted a unique office culture.

New Pod Flow: In Case You Missed It, Episode 038


This week we discuss Beyonce’s night at the CMAs, last minute election plans and how SNL might save us all.

Subscribe on iTunes and Stitcher.

New Pod Flow: It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s a Podcast: Doctor Strange


We appreciate everyone sticking with us through this long hiatus but are planning our return even as we speak, with a bunch of new goodies and an updated format. In the meantime, here’s a brief primer on Marvel’s Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Strange — just so you can go into the movie knowing what you’re getting yourself into.