MSNBC has not always impressed me. In particular, I was surprised by its lack of live-tweeting and curation. (link) But it did well in terms of its coverage of the 9/11 anniversary (link) and the death of Jobs (link). Its photojournalism was also a strong point.
That is why I feel MSNBC could pioneer emerging forms of journalism and produce some great stories while doing it. No doubt economic pressures are something of an inhibitor: They might not feel they can afford to experiment.
Nonetheless, the changing market will demand that they stay flexible. They need to be adopting new media and technologies to stay relevant, while maintaining established standards and techniques to stay good. They've certainly "stayed good." They just need to stay relevant.