MSNBC's Joy Reid sees ratings drop more than 20 percent after blog hacking controversy

MSNBC's Joy Reid sees ratings drop more than 20 percent after blog hacking controversy
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MSNBC host Joy Reid has reportedly lost more than 20 percent of her audience since controversy erupted this spring over controversial posts from her now-defunct blog.

Contemptor, a media criticism and political and pop culture commentary online publication, found that Reid's audience for the weekend morning show, "AM Joy" has dropped 21 percent in the three months since the first batch of provocative posts from "The Reid Report" were discovered. Those posts included some deemed as homophobic, anti-Semitic or promoting 9/11 conspiracies.

Reid said in April that the posts were "completely alien" to her, adding that she believed they were the work of hackers.

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The Internet Archive reported in April, however, that there was no evidence to back up her claim of hacking.

The Contemptor analysis found that an average of 1.113 million total viewers and 238,000 viewers in the key 25-54 demographic turned in for "AM Joy" in January, February and March of this year -- before the blog controversy captured headlines.

Post-controversy, the program's total viewers fell to an average of 876,000, or 21 percent lower, while decreasing to 172,000 in the key demographic, or 23 percent in the months of May and June.

For context, CNN's ratings are also down in the same timeslot.

Excluding the ratings bonanza that was the special royal wedding coverage on both networks on May 19, "AM Joy" was down 26 percent in total viewers over the past 11 weeks on Saturdays, while CNN was down 25 percent in the same timeslot on Saturdays when compared to the three months prior to the controversy.

On Sundays, excluding MSNBC's Premier League soccer coverage on May 13 and a June 3 episode when Jonathan Capehart guest-hosted, "AM Joy" was down 23 percent in the key demographic against CNN’s decrease of 22 percent. "AM Joy" on Sunday was also down 17 percent in total viewers, while CNN was down 12 percent.

MSNBC has stood by Reid, seen by many as a rising star at the network, by stating Reid's old blog posts "are not reflective of the colleague and friend we have known at MSNBC for the past seven years" since joining the network.

"Some of the things written by Joy on her old blog are obviously hateful and hurtful," the network said on June 1. "They are not reflective of the colleague and friend we have known at MSNBC for the past seven years. Joy has apologized publicly and privately and said she has grown and evolved in the many years since, and we know this to be true."

--This report was updated at 12:23 p.m.