Valentine's Day
Valentine’s Day


Yesterday I wrote about MSNBC’s current death spiral.  Today I would like to propose a format for a Progressive Cable station also available with live streaming on the web.  To use both outlets is critical, since more and more people are looking to cut the cable cord. Live streams are also critical since we are talking about news and current events. As the Stone sang many years ago “who wants yesterday’s news?”.  But, on the other hand, some programming may be better suited to making it available for streaming over a long stretch of time. Thus a cross platform is necessary.  That does not preclude a small $2 or $3 dollar per month subscription to the entire Progressive TV outlet’s catalogue.

But, content and name recognition is absolutely necessary to bring in the eyeballs and the ears initially.  But programming cannot and should not follow the Right Wing baloney, where a blowhard talk and rants for an hour, brings in the same rotation of talking heads and possible experts that tell the host how smart they are. This happens now on both Fox and MSNBC. The people that want Progressive programming are not fooled by such inanity. That is why MSNBC’s ratings are tanking. That and each and every show covers the same two top stories every night. Borrrring!!

So Rule #1 If the show before you covered scandal “A”, then don’t say anything more than coverage of scandal “A”  is available on the web and is also optimized for your cell phone. Two shows after scandal “A”, then the host has 90 seconds to outline the main theme and the redirect people to the web.

Rule #2. Nobody gets to cover scandal “A” more than 2 nights in a row.

Rule #3  is that Rules 1 and 2 can be overridden to introduce a new development, but only new information can be reported.

Rule #4, no host has a regular shift.   What?  No Rachel (or whoever) every night at the same time? Yup. All evening programming should be ready for publication by 5 PM each evening and announced via push technology such as social media, and even emails as well as 45 second blurbs on air. (These blurbs can be on radio and other tv outlets)  For example, Rachel can put together a 45 minute program one night where she explores an issue in depth, the next night she follows with a rebuttal or a an expansion or possibly responds to viewer questions live or prerecorded, but that program only take 30 minutes.

Rule #5, One host, each evening may choose to not do a program.

The idea here is to create a dynamic set of programs that can explore issues with real experts, and sometimes follow up on the issues generated from one program into another. It does not have to repeat the same news stories over and over. Invite, but not require or expect viewer participation. Place material on the web that ties various parts of the same subject together . Allow hosts to live or die on their talents, and above all do not repeat the same story.




  1. I agree with most of your argument, except for not having the same host at the same time each night. Having worked in broadcast, that does not build audience loyalty.

    Now if you are in need of a production studio, I have one available complete with cameras, lighting, microphones, live-streaming on the web, cable TV broadcast capable, multi-camera broadcast switch, graphics generator, and everything else you need to produce such a program. The downside is that I’m located in Salt Lake City, UT. One of the few progressive production companies in the state, if not the only one.


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