Election 2012 postseason play: Fox News vs. MSNBC

Rachel Maddow, Karl Rove. ()
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The Lineup collects the media stories, big and small, that are on our radar each day.

In a move that could only be described as "fair and balanced," The New York Times business section today includes profiles of enemy cable news outlets MSNBC and Fox News.

On the left (the left-hand margins of pages B1 and B2, that is) we have Fox News featured in David Carr's latest Media Equation column, which declares:

On Tuesday night, the people in charge of Fox News were confronted with a stark choice after it became clear that Mr. Romney had fallen short: was Fox, first and foremost, a place for advocacy or a place for news?

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In this moment, at least, Fox chose news.

And here's Brian Stelter on the ground MSNBC has gained on its bellicose rival:

MSNBC, a unit of NBCUniversal, has a long way to go to overtake the Fox News Channel, a unit of News Corporation: on most nights this year, Fox had two million more viewers than MSNBC.

But the two channels, which skew toward an audience that is 55 or older, are on average separated by fewer than 300,000 viewers in the 25- to 54-year-old demographic that advertisers desire. On three nights in a row after the election last week, MSNBC—whose hosts reveled in Mr. Obama’s victory — had more viewers than Fox in that demographic.

“We’re closer to Fox than we’ve ever been,” said Phil Griffin, the president of MSNBC

Sidenote: Stelter's piece includes the following tidbit:

Several MSNBC employees, who spoke about programming plans on the condition of anonymity, said the most likely candidate for a new show was the Washington Post columnist Ezra Klein, a frequent substitute for Ms. Maddow. Mr. Klein may start with a weekend time slot, but these people said the 8 p.m. weekday time slot held by [Ed] Schultz was also a possibility.

MSNBC pushed back on the rumor, telling Politico: "We're very happy with the performance of our primetime lineup, which topped Fox News Channel three nights this week. There are no changes planned."

And if you still want more Fox News fodder, here's Howard Kurtz writing on The Daily Beast about the rising starpower of anchor Megyn Kelly.

On Capital...

Times Company chairman welcomes Mark Thompson as BBC scandal widens

'Daily News' scrambling to relocate staff as storm-drenched downtown headquarters dry out

How scintillating is this Jill Kelley addition to the Paula Broadwell story, actually?

A writer for Wall Street Journal sports section deletes tweets about the Mets finances, apologizes

In other news...

Jennifer Saba and Jeff Bercovici both have pieces up about the challenges facing Mark Thompson as he takes charge of The New York Times Company. [Reuters, Forbes.com]

Times public editor Margaret Sullivan: "The Times has pulled no punches in reporting on Mr. Thompson’s role and on the wider BBC story." [NYT/Public Editor's Journal]

Times union members are "deeply divided" on their proposed new contract. [Jim Romenesko]

The Washington Post hasn't sought comment from its editor who co-authored the Gen. Petraeus biography reported by his paramour. [The Huffington Post]

A reporter raises the question of conflict of interest at Playbook. [The Huffington Post]

The Financial Times is reportedly in talks about a deal with Thomson Reuters. [The Telegraph]

Bloomberg Businessweek is under fire for its ranking of B-schools with the hottest females. [The Daily Dot]