While Fox News Channel and Cable News Network wage their cable news war, MSNBC is looking for ways to open a second front.
One strategy: Stop sharing two popular programs, The News with Brian
Williams and Hardball with Chris Matthews, with co-owned CNBC.
"It's not appointment viewing. It's triplecasting, and it doesn't help MSNBC
in a direct ratings war," MSNBC president Erik Sorenson said.
By year-end, The News could become MSNBC property, while Matthews
would be exclusively a CNBC player.
That said, Sorenson could lose his franchise player if NBC taps Williams to
succeed Tom Brokaw whenever Brokaw retires (his contract is up this summer).
"We're a test tube for talent," Sorenson said. "We've lost five or six people
to the mother ship. If NBC says it's right for Brian to go, he'll