Restarting MSNBC’s The Cycle

Imagine you’ve started a new job, working for four weeks straight on a new project, and then the fifth week you get to put a couple of days in before being furloughed for two weeks.  When you get back, how quickly can you get back into the swing of things?

If you’re MSNBC’s The Cycle, that’s your story.  The show debuted on June 25th, and a month later was suspended so MSNBC could cover the Olympics.  That’s not a great strategy for building and retaining an audience!

So how did The Cycle do in its rebound week (The Cycle is in red)?

Click to see larger version of image

Very nicely, in fact: total mentions this past week were on a par with total mentions the last full week they aired.  Activity picked up sharply on Thursday when Touré had some acerbic remarks about Romney which carried into Friday.  You might say that Touré’s remarks were over the top, but you can never deny that Touré can make his views known far and wide. 

Some observations:

  • I have included Martin Bashir’s mentions during the same time period.  As you can see, they are fairly similar to The Cycle’s in size and variation.  There’s a lot more than just the show itself that affects its audience size.
  • More importantly, there has been no single week during The Cycle’s short life — except for weeks affected by Olympics coverage — where the number of Twitter mentions The Cycle has received dropped below the average number of weekly mentions Dylan Ratigan received in his last 7 weeks on MSNBC.  On the contrary, The Cycle garners roughly 87% more mentions on Twitter than Dylan did.  I know that there are the occasional schadenfreude articles that pop-up to talk about The Cycle’s ratings, but if Twitter is any activity, they’ve generated a lot more interest than their predecessor in one of the slowest times of the year.
Let’s see how they do after they’ve regained their sea legs and we move into the Fall when people start paying attention to politics!

On a  related topic:

To follow along with the high volume of tweets on MSNBC’s news show shows, I finally gave up on the usual Twitter client apps — it was just too frustrating to try to read everything and contribute back.  So I wrote my own Twitter app that’s optimized for tweeting along with shows.  I’ve released a “public beta” of the program, and I would be pleased if you gave it a shot.  It’s free, easy to use, and doesn’t neet you to install anything (it runs in the web browser).

See the start page for it at: Here’s a screen shot of it in operation:

(Yes I have awkward timing in making my screen shots.  But I really like Fareed Zakaria, so I’m going to keep the screen shot as a sort of vigil for his return next weekend).