MSNBC, McDonalds, Big Boy and Fools Gold

It is more profitable for me to have a team that is in contention for most of the season, but finishes about fourth…A team like that will draw well enough during the first part of the season to show a profit for the year and you don’t have to give the players raises when they don’t win.

Connie Mack Owner/Manager Philadelphia A’s 1901-1953

Sheldon: Can’t we just go to Big Boy? They only have one burger. The Big Boy.

Penny: The Barbecue Burger is like the Big Boy.

Sheldon: Excuse me. In a world that already includes the Big Boy, why would I settle for something like a Big Boy?

The Big Bang Theory The Hamburger Postulate 2007

There is a bit of a fuss about this story at Politico concerning MSNBC’s revenues and viewership.

MSNBC suffered harder loses in 2013 — in terms of both viewership and revenue — than either of its competitors at Fox News and CNN, according to Nielsen data featured in a new Pew Research report. Primetime viewership declined by a staggering 24 percent (nearly twice the loss sustained by CNN and four-times that sustained by Fox News). Daytime viewership fell by 15 percent, even as it rose at both of the other networks.

On the revenue side, MSNBC was projected to decline by 2 percent, while both CNN and Fox News were projected to experience growth of 2 percent and 5 percent, respectively. MSNBC was expected to bring in $475 million in revenue: less than half what CNN will make and roughly one-quarter of what Fox News will make.

The graphs and charts make the case seem even more dire for MSNBC and there are a lot of folks on my side of the aisle noting with glee how the left’s favorite news network is no peacock compared to even CNN let alone the soaring and majestic Fox.

But people are forgetting a few things it’s not a question of relative audience it’s a question of actual profit.

Think of it as McDonalds vs Big Boy.

McDonalds had a gross of 28.11 Billion last year from 14,000 restaurants.  They are a worldwide powerhouse that last year had according to google finance  a net profit margin of over 19%.  As of this writing the stock is selling for more than $95 a share.

Frisch’s Big Boy has 120 locations.  Their stock price as of this moment is just over $23 a share, their net profit margin in 2013 was 3.42% and their sales were just over $213mill in the fiscal year ending may 2013

Any comparison of the relative strength of Frisch’s Big Boy & McDonalds is laughable.  In fact you could combine the numbers from Bob’s Big Boy out west with Frisch’s and their entire customer base would be considered a niche market vs the golden arches.

But that’s not how the real world works.  In the real word Big Boy, with sales over $200 million is and remains a powerhouse with a reach that many other small restaurants can only dream of.

Furthermore as long as the bills and employees are being paid and the shareholders are making a profit Big Boy will continue to remain a significant company that’s going away anytime soon.

It’s the same thing with MSNBC vs Fox.  This isn’t Tina Brown and the Daily Beast where  as Stacy McCain once put it

projected profitability at the Daily Beast to somewhere between (a) three years and (b) when hell freezes over.

MSNBC is a major company that makes a profit without the need for a George Soros or any other liberal angel to pay the bills.

As far as Comcast is concerned as long as MSNBC’s niche market (compared to Fox) produces a profit and provides a platform to promote Comcast products where the parent company can effectively pay itself for advertising, it is something that will continue for the foreseeable future.  Stacy Again:

Establishment Media still matters, and will continue to matter for the foreseeable future. MSNBC made a bet during the Bush years that there was a market for a cable network that was the antithesis of Fox News, and that bet helped MSNBC vault past CNN into second place among cable networks, but the momentum — which took MSNBC from about 350,000 primetime viewers in 2006 to about 750,000 in 2012 — couldn’t be sustained.

Conservatives who watch Fox News to get pro-GOP happy talk are much more numerous than people who tune into MSNBC to get anti-GOP angry talk, but that is cold comfort to Republicans when the Democrat in the White House was able to get re-elected in large measure because MSNBC actually reflects the private opinions of the people who produce mass-market news at the major networks.

MSNBC is a legit target as it almost uniformly pushes the left’s agenda so it’s trials and tribulations are worth a smile, but the goal isn’t to beat MSNBC it’s to beat liberals in elections to advance a conservative agenda and anything we do to counter MSNBC has to be in that context, anything else is fools gold.

Eyes on the prize people, eyes on the prize.


Olimometer 2.52

My own example makes the point even better. I can gloat about MSNBC’s trouble and their declining revenues but at this point in time I can only dream of drawing their traffic.

Furthermore their bills are going to be paid this week while for me it’s Thursday and we are still over $800 shy of the mortgage with only five days to get it.

Until I have the power of an MSNBC I will need you to get me there. Please consider helping by hitting DaTipJar below.


If 61 of you hit Subscribe at $20 a month subscribers this site will be able to cover its bills for a full year and things will be a lot more like Alito and Kagan around here than Kennedy & Roberts reliable..