Conservatives may be cheered by this.
MSNBC, which has given Keith Olbermann a ratings home for the last few years, is going away.
This was already hinted at several weeks ago, when NBC announced major lay-offs, lay-offs that began today at its Dateline show.
I discussed it all a week ago, in my piece on the horrid election coverage being done by all networks.
Why? It's cheap.
It costs almost nothing to do talking heads news coverage. When the so-called "correspondents" have themselves devolved to nothing more than talking head status the handwriting is on the wall.
This is also a turning point in terms of cable generally.
We have seen, over the last few years, how networks have been bought-and-sold essentially as program vehicles. ABC bought the Family Channel from Fox, which had bought it from Pat Robertson's CBN, and within a short time the Family Channel was showing ABC re-runs instead of Fox re-runs.
Something similar happened here when Turner South was acquired by Fox. A ton of interesting shows disappeared, and what we were left with (after a time when such garbage was placed on the air that no one watched) was essentially a second regional Fox cable sports network.
This, however, is something else entirely. What we're seeing, slowly, is the disappearance of what had been a major network. Within a few months, I predict, the name will be changed to simply NBC. You'll have a small studio somewhere deep in 30 Rock trying to do broadcasts, and "shows" taking corners of other studios on a rotating basis. If even a fraction of the viewers now watching MSNBC tune in, the tiny rating will still mean a profit to General Electric.
In a larger sense, I predict that what is happening is that NBC itself is going on the block. You can't cut your way to 15% annual profit growth -- not for very long. You can only grow your way into it. And if Jeff Immelt (above) doesn't think NBC can achieve these goals, then he is right to seek a buyer for the property.