The New York Times
Anderson Cooper is helping CNN at 8 p.m., when the network's viewership is up 38 percent over last year. At MSNBC, Lawrence O'Donnell now occupies the 8 p.m. slot previously held by Keith Olbermann, who -- now at Current TV -- is competing against O'Donnell. O'Donnell's audience is down 35 percent year to year, leading in to Rachel Maddow's show, which has dropped 15 percent this September compared to last. MSNBC denies the decline is related to Olbermann's contentious departure and believes it's seasonal. “I’m confident that we will increase our ratings as politics become the dominant story over the next year," MSNBC president Phil Griffin told Bill Carter. Here's another explanation:

“MSNBC may be rediscovering the downside of partisan news,” said Chris Daly, a professor of journalism at Boston University. “That is, the size of your audience is essentially cajoled by the size of the electorate that already agrees with you.”

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