It has been more than a week since MSNBC host and #Resistance hero Joy Reid took to the air to address the controversy surrounding homophobic posts found on her own blog and her claim they were the result of manipulation and hacking. In an attempt to put the scandal to rest, Reid said she didn’t believe she wrote those posts but her cyber-security experts were unable to prove that was the case. The MSNBC star then went on to apologize for some transphobic tweets she sent years ago while stating she held different views and thoughts back in the day.
Reid has now hosted two full weekends of AM Joy and also guest-hosted a broadcast of All In since this whole saga began. So how have her ratings held up in the aftermath? Well…
This past Saturday, the 10 AM hour of AM Joy pulled in 957,000 total viewers and 171,000 in the key 25-54 demographic, per Nielsen. Among the major cable news networks, it was last in the demo and second in total viewers. In the 11 AM hour, AM Joy again finished third in the demo, averaging only 150,000 in the metric while capturing 965,000 total viewers.
Comparatively, the previous Saturday’s broadcast — the one in which she delivered her apology — nabbed 229,000 in the demographic and a total audience of 1.03 million during the 10 AM time slot, finishing second in both areas. In the 11 AM hour, Reid’s program placed second in both the demo (230,000) and total viewership (1.077 million).
As for Sunday, there was little movement these past two weekends. This past Sunday, the 10 AM hour of AM Joy finished third in both the demo (197,000) and overall audience (881,000) while placing second in the key demographic (234,000) and total viewership (968,000) during the 11 AM time slot.
The previous Sunday, the 10 AM hour of Reid’s show was last in the demo (194,000) and second with 928,000 total viewers. The 11 AM time slot saw AM Joy finishing third in the 25-54 metric (189,000) and second in overall viewership (938,000).
So how do these past two weeks compare to pre-controversy AM Joy?
In the Saturday before Reid was embroiled in this brouhaha, her program averaged 263,000 demo viewers and a total audience of 1.28 million in the 10 AM hour, finishing second in both metrics. The 11 AM hour saw her barely finishing third in the demo (245,000) and second in total viewership (1.24 million).
That Sunday, AM Joy drew 980,000 total viewers and 212,000 in the demographic during the 10 AM hour, placing second and third respectively. In the 11 AM time slot, Reid placed second in total viewers (967,000) and third in the demographic (198,000).
Looking at this three-week snapshot, we definitely see an erosion in viewers on Saturday post-controversy. Her show saw its demo audience drop from 263,000 to 171,000 in the 10 AM hour and 245,000 to 150,000 during the 11 AM time slot. The total audience fell from 1.28 million to 957,000 at 10 AM and 1.24 million to 965,000 at 11 AM.
Sunday, however, shows things largely remaining steady, with some minor decreases. During the 10 AM hour, the total audience shrunk from 980,000 to 881,000 while the demo went from 212,000 to 197,000. At 11 AM, total viewership was virtually the same (967,000 to 968,000) while showing an increase in the demo (198,000 to 234,000).
So is Reid witnessing viewers turning away from her show in the wake of the controversy? Right now, it is too early to say, as the sample size is still too small, and one always has to take the news cycle into account during the weekend. But we can definitely see that the past two weekends have been pretty soft numbers-wise and there has been a significant decrease in audience size on Saturday. The question remains if this is just a blip or a trend.