What Will Post-Kaplan MSNBC Look Like?

With Rick Kaplan out at MSNBC (fired, just as I surmised), TV news observers are wondering what's next for the third-place cabler.

Word has it that Phil Griffin, a veep at the network's broadcast parent NBC, might be given the MSNBC healm. Previously, he was MSNBC's primetime veep.

During his tenure, Kaplan tried his hand at a number of new projects, none of which succeeded particularly well. He also seems to have stubbornly clung to things that less ideological (Kaplan is outspokenly liberal) president would've canned, such as the retaining the increasingly unhinged Keith Olbermann. Observers also say he gave host Chris Matthews too much latitude over his show "Hardball."

If NBC really is serious about "grow[ing] the channel in a way it hasn't to date," it should bring in someone who's willing to shake things up and try brand-new approaches, more than just new graphics or rebranded media retreads.

MSNBC has one thing going for it which is a younger demographic. It should build on that by forcing Matthews to update his schtick for the 21st century, dropping sports nerd/Jon Stewart-wannabe Olbermann (something which our friends at OlbermannWatch think is only a matter of time), handing "The Situation" over to a conservative with more panache than Tucker Carlson, and suffusing itself with the raw energy that Fox News has in spades.

Oh, and please drop that stupid little audio version of the company logo.

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