MSNBC's Joy Reid reportedly sees 'significant decrease in audience size'

MSNBC star Joy Reid’s program “AM Joy” reportedly has been losing viewers since the #Resistance hero backtracked on claims that diabolical hackers were responsible for planting anti-gay rhetoric in her pre-fame blog. 

Last month, Reid kinda-sorta admitted to writing homophobic slursthat she’d previously insisted were the work of hackers. After days of speculation about her future, the MSNBC star addressed the situation during the April 28 episode of her show that airs every Saturday and Sunday morning.  

“I genuinely do not believe I wrote those hateful things,” Reid told her viewers, adding, "The person I am now is not the person I was then."

Contemptor – a media and culture website -- founder Justin Baragona, who was previously a cable news watchdog for Mediaite, broke down Reid’s ratings for her shows that have aired since the controversy erupted. Baragona found that this past Saturday’s 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. ET hours of “AM Joy” finished last among major cable news networks in the key demo of adults age 25-54 – but questioned whether or not it was a “blip or a trend.”

Baragona pointed out that Reid finished second among cable news rivals the previous Saturday when she delivered her quasi-apology for comments dug up by a Twitter user and published by Mediaite. The unearthed posts showed Reid wrote numerous offensive jokes and comments on her now defunct blog, “The Reid Report.”

In a somber statement, Reid admitted the old slurs did not appear to be the result of hacking and apologized profusely for comments she claimed not to remember making.

Initially, Reid apologized for offensive comments she made roughly a decade ago suggesting that Florida Governor Charlie Crist (“Miss Charlie,” as she called him) may be gay, despite no evidence to back up her contention. But when a new raft of offensive comments surfaced ‒ about some lesbians' short haircuts and her objections to seeing men kiss men, among other homophobic remarks ‒ Reid originally claimed she’d been hacked, and MSNBC circulated a much-panned statement from a computer hacking “expert” which sought to make that case.

Now it appears that viewers could be turning away as a result of Reid’s credibility crisis.

“Looking at this three-week snapshot, we definitely see an erosion in viewers on Saturday post-controversy. Her show saw its demo audience drop from 263,000 to 171,000 in the 10 a.m. hour and 245,000 to 150,000 during the 11 a.m. time slot. The total audience fell from 1.28 million to 957,000 at 10 a.m. and 1.24 million to 965,000 at 11 a.m.,” Baragona wrote.

"We can definitely see that the past two weekends have been pretty soft numbers-wise and there has been a significant decrease in audience size on Saturday."

- Contemptor founder Justin Baragona

Baragona pointed out that her Sunday show displayed “little movement these past two weekends,” aside from “minor decreases” since she addressed the homophobic remarks.

The Contemptor founder then asked, “Is Reid witnessing viewers turning away from her show in the wake of the controversy?”

Baragona said, it’s “too early to say” and reminded readers that the news cycle should be taken into account during weekend programing.

“But we can definitely see that the past two weekends have been pretty soft numbers-wise and there has been a significant decrease in audience size on Saturday,” Baragona wrote.

 

Brian Flood covers the media for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter at @briansflood.