The Corner

Why Young People Aren’t Watching Ronan Farrow

Over on the homepage, I write about newly-minted MSNBC host Ronan Farrow’s struggle to attract young viewers. Though he was hired in part to draw them to the network, Ronan Farrow Daily rated worse with the 18-49 demographic in its inaugural week than did the show it replaced, Andrea Mitchell Reports, in the comparable week one year ago. 

Farrow’s largest audience, according to Deadline Hollywood, was among adults 50 and older: that is, among the same demographic that groomed the precocious Farrow from childhood and taught him to meet their expectations. Griffin may have high hopes, but Farrow doesn’t look like the right pick to shake things up or shatter any preconceived notions. The Yale Law School graduate and Rhodes Scholar fits perfectly into the larger fabric of the network Griffin has shaped around 9 p.m. host Rachel Maddow, whose Stanford degree and Rhodes Scholarship make her the network’s preeminent wonk. Farrow will continue to do what he’s been doing for the past 26 years: striking a perfect pitch for the liberal elite. That’s probably not the missing ingredient at the network, whose increasingly preening tone hasn’t helped ratings.

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