Buried in the Post this weekend was a very interesting little tidbit on MSG's programming.
Phil Mushnick write in his column that:
"MSG, NY," the nightly catch-all studio show, as well as "Inside the Rangers" and other shows, will be kaput, as of Jan. 1. All were bleeding bucks while registering no ratings. MSG will expand Knicks and Rangers pre and post-game shows.
Cablevision, as always when it loses expensive programming, will pass some of the savings on to subscribers. Sure it will.
While I am slightly saddened because a friend of mine will lose some freelance work, the demise of "MSG, NY" and "Inside the Rangers" has been long coming. Both shows royally stunk, which is why the ratings were so bad.
I pointed out how poor "MSG, NY" was eight months ago and will not shed a tear now that its gone. It was a poor concept from the start. In this day and age where there is so many tools available to test show concepts before they go to air, I am just curious why the MSG bigwigs didn't use any of them before flushing so much money down the tubes. Music updates are great. Sports highlights are great. Together? Not so great. Not even so good. Actually ... really, really bad. The show had no flow and was a public relations vehicle for the Garden's properties rather than an actual news show.
And the same goes for "Inside the Rangers." Instead of being an actual look inside the locker room, it was a glossy advertisement. Rarely was there any candor from the players, everything seemed droll and rehearsed. Sure there was a gem or two, but overall it was frankly boring. And, let's face it, the host, Scott Lasky, was a tool. This show could have been great - look at Islanders Insider on MSG-Plus - but instead it was a benign, boring commercial for the team.
On the other side of the coin, MSG has done pretty well to address the need for a good hockey show with its "Hockey Night Live" panel program. I don't necessarily agree with the folks on the panel - Ron Duguay, Ken Daneyko and Butch Goring - but the concept is a good one. I just ask that they remove part-time host Deb Placey from it as she clearly acts the fool most of the time and is known to many as more of a puck bunny than a journalist. No complaints about Al Trautwig, as he does a solid job. He knows what he is talking about and when he doesn't, he admits it and asks the smart questions that other fans like himself would be asking.
Mushnick joked that the savings from these cuts would be passed on to the customers but even if a small portion was used to improve the actual game broadcasts and the pre- and post-game shows, then this is a win-win situation. The production folks who work on-site at the games know what they are doing and it shows. The only negative side is more face time for Joe Micheletti; perhaps he will go in the next wave of network cuts and Dave Maloney can take his spot in the booth.
One can only hope ...
Many thanks to my friend Greg for pointing out the Post piece; I would have totally missed it.