Rachel Maddow’s ‘Glorified Understudy’ Struggles in Demo

Rachel Maddow’s decision to step down from her titular show on MSNBC and reduce it to a once-weekly Monday slot created a vacuum on the Liberal network.

Alex Wagner, described by NewsBusters editor Nicholas Fondacaro as Maddow’s “glorified understudy,” has struggled to garner audiences for her primetime show “Alex Wagner Tonight” since her Aug. 16 debut, Fox News reported Tuesday.

The former MSNBC daytime host averaged 1.6 million viewers in her first two weeks from Tuesday through Friday at 9 p.m., according to the Washington Examiner.

That was a 38 percent drop from Maddow’s 2.6 million viewers on Monday.

More directly, Wagner was unable to realistically compete with her Fox News rival in the prestigious 9 p.m. slot: Sean Hannity.


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While Wagner continues to average 1.6 million viewers a night, the “Hannity” host has brought in 2.7 million, according to Fox News, who said he “beat” her “by 63% among total viewers.”

The outlet, citing data from Nielsen Media Research, further noted that Wagner averaged just 157,000 viewers from the revenue-sensitive 25-to-54 age group, including fewer than 100,000 on Sept. 16.

Hannity, on the other hand, drew an average of 336,000 viewers in this demo.

“Instead of a primetime buzz, Alex Wagner caused a tiny, microscopic ripple, as it’s easy to forget she’s a host on the MSNBC lineup,” Fondacaro told Fox News. She hasn’t made any big headlines, so she’s becoming a gap in the lineup.”

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“Before she landed the anchor position, Wagner was known for making headlines with outrageous statements slandering the right, including in her former life on MSNBC during the daytime. But nowadays it’s mostly on par with the same old liberal preaching,” he added.

Fondacaro then posed a rhetorical question: “Her stated goal for her show was to ‘dissect’ and ‘undermine’ right wing lies, but can anyone honestly say that her show differs in anything from the rest of the MSNBC franchise?”

Wagner’s performance issues were hinted at by a prominent teleprompter failure during her debut, which made social media trends.

TheBlaze reported that she paused and looked confused as the malfunction became apparent.

“I’m thrilled to be here and honored to share this hour with you every evening Tuesday through Friday,” Wagner began after joking with Chris Hayes.


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“Like most of you watching right now, I’m a longtime viewer of ‘The Rachel Maddow Show’ and I hope to live up to the incredibly high standard she has set for providing the day’s stories and context to this moment we’re going through together,” she continued before pausing awkwardly and hesitantly attempting to continue.

Wagner’s eyes darted repeatedly to the left camera, her hands wagging questioningly at the crew as she stumbled over her words.

She addressed the issue later in the show, according to TheBlaze, saying: “Yeah, we sure had an instance of tech gremlins at the top of the show, but that’s the first one, so we’ll sort it out. I think we have everything under control now.”

Matt Holloway is a millennial constitutional conservative commentator, content creator and content writer. Matt covers politics, faith, history, national and global news.

Matt Holloway is a Millennial Constitutional Conservative Commentator, Content Creator and Author covering the Phoenix area market. Matt covers politics, faith, history and news. A 35 year old happily married father of four: Matt grew up in New Jersey and moved to Arizona in ’06. When not writing, working, or spending time with his family, Matt enjoys PC gaming, science fiction, and YouTube. Rachel Maddow’s ‘Glorified Understudy’ Struggles in Demo

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