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Thanksgiving Holiday Brings Traditional Ratings Dip

An average of 2.35 million viewers checked in to the Maria Bartiromo-hosted program. She spoke with outgoing President Donald Trump in his first interview following the Nov. 3rd election.

Doug Pucci

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Outside of sports, the Thanksgiving holiday does not usually attract as many households to television viewing compared to normal levels. This was especially exhibited with the depressed ratings of most prime time programs, especially on the cable news front.

With that, combined with a featured special guest, the Sunday Nov. 29 morning edition of Fox News Channel’s “Sunday Morning Futures” became the most-watched cable news telecast during the entire Thanksgiving weekend (Nov. 26-29). An average of 2.35 million viewers checked in to the Maria Bartiromo-hosted program. She spoke with outgoing President Donald Trump in his first interview following the Nov. 3rd election. Trump continued to present unfounded claims of voter fraud amidst the multiple results certifications that confirmed Joe Biden’s victory from various states.

In addition, “Sunday Morning Futures” delivered 382,000 adults 25-54 — the top mark for a cable news program from Nov. 26-29 in the key demographic.

As stated here on BNM last week, for the week ending Nov. 22, the three major cable news networks were separated by just 94,000 viewers, based on their total day viewer averages. For the week ending Nov. 29, 2020, the margin got even narrower: a mere 29,000 viewers. According to total day data (from 6 a.m. to 5:59 a.m. each day), CNN — despite not airing a single telecast that landed in the top-25 most-watched cable news programs for the week — rose back up to the No. 1 cable news network spot with an average of 1.114 million viewers. It is the third week within the past four weeks CNN has led all cable news in total viewers. They also remained the key demos cable news leader (for the fourth consecutive week) with 273,000 adults 25-54; 378,000 adults 25-54 in prime time (8-11 p.m.). CNN came 1,000 total viewers short of topping cable altogether, but the Christmas movie-laden Hallmark Channel earned those top honors.

Fox News Channel led cable news in prime time among total viewers with an average of 2.048 million. Nonetheless, in total day, FNC averaged 1.095 million viewers and 169,000 adults 25-54.

MSNBC, with the Nov. 23 and Nov. 24 editions of “The Rachel Maddow Show” being the top two most-watched cable news telecasts of the holiday week, averaged 1.085 million viewers and 168,000 adults 25-54.

The three cable news networks were three of the top four most-watched networks on cable overall; also, they were three of cable’s top five in prime time behind “Monday Night Football”-enhanced ESPN (3.085 million) and Hallmark Channel (2.53 million). Here are their prime time averages during the Thanksgiving week:

  • Fox News Channel: 2.049 million viewers; 289,000 adults 25-54
  • CNN: 1.43 million viewers; 378,000 adults 25-54
  • MSNBC: 1.635 million viewers; 253,000 adults 25-54

Top 10 most-watched cable news programs (and the top CNN program with associated rank) in total viewers:

1. Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC, Tue. 11/24/2020 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.680 million viewers

2. Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC, Mon. 11/23/2020 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.465 million viewers

3. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Mon. 11/23/2020 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.444 million viewers

4. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Tue. 11/24/2020 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.378 million viewers

5. The Five (FOXNC, Mon. 11/23/2020 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.883 million viewers

6. Hannity Special (FOXNC, Mon. 11/23/2020 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.839 million viewers

7. Tucker Carlson Special (FOXNC, Wed. 11/25/2020 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.814 million viewers

8. The Five (FOXNC, Tue. 11/24/2020 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.715 million viewers

9. Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell (MSNBC, Tue. 11/24/2020 10:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.703 million viewers

10. Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC, Wed. 11/25/2020 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.695 million viewers

26. Erin Burnett Outfront (CNN, Mon. 11/23/2020 7:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.330 million viewers

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News Television

CNN Defends Jake Tapper, Dana Bash Amid Criticism of Political Bias

“There are no two people better equipped to co-moderate a substantial and fact-based discussion…”

Barrett News Media

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A photo of the CNN logo

CNN has defended both Jake Tapper and Dana Bash amid backlash and criticism of their perceived political biases.

In a statement to The Hill’s Dominick Mastrangelo, the network stood behind its decision to choose the pair to moderate the first presidential debate from its Atlanta studios this week.

“Jake Tapper and Dana Bash are well-respected veteran journalists who have covered politics for more than five decades combined. They have extensive experience moderating major political debates, including CNN’s Republican Presidential Primary Debate this cycle,” a network spokesperson said. “There are no two people better equipped to co-moderate a substantial and fact-based discussion and we look forward to the debate on June 27 in Atlanta.”

The defense of the moderators comes after CNN This Morning host Kasie Hunt prematurely ended an interview with former President Donald Trump’s national press secretary Karoline Leavitt after she continually levied criticisms against Tapper.  

Hunt fiercely defended her colleagues both on the air in ending the interview with Leavitt and also in a social media post.

“You come on my show, you respect my colleagues. Period,” wrote Hunt on X. “I don’t care what side of the aisle you stand on, as my track record clearly shows.”

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News Television

MSNBC Announces First Live In-Person Show Featuring Rachel Maddow, Jen Psaki and More

There are two separate sessions scheduled for that day, with a 1-3 PM show and a 5-7 PM show.

Barrett News Media

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A photo of the MSNBC Live logo

Late last year, MSNBC announced plans for a series of live events leading up to the 2024 presidential election. It has now made plans for its first event featuring Rachel Maddow and Jen Psaki, among others.

On Saturday, September 7th, Maddow, Psaki, and Steve Kornacki are part of a panel who will appear on the stage at the Howard Gilman Opera House at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

There are two separate sessions scheduled for that day, with a 1-3 PM show and a 5-7 PM show.

In the afternoon timeslot, Psaki, Kornacki, Chris Hayes, Joy Reid, and Alex Wagner will “lead deep-dive discussions on the issues that matter most to voters: the state of the 2024 presidential race, the changing electorate, and the critical stretch of the campaign,” the network says.

In the evening session, Rachel Maddow, Lawrence O’Donnell, Ari Melber, Stephanie Ruhle, Micahel Steele, Alicia Menendez, Symone Sanders Townsend, and more will discuss “where things stand less than two months from Election Day,” before Maddow closes things out “the way only she can,” MSNBC said.

Tickets for the first session start at $128.50 while tickets for the evening show will begin at $168.50. Tickets for the event went on sale Monday morning.

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News Television

Kasie Hunt: You Must Respect My CNN Colleagues to Come On My Show

“I don’t care what side of the aisle you stand on, as my track record clearly shows.”

Barrett News Media

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A photo of CNN's Kasie Hunt
(Photo: CNN)

Monday morning, CNN host Kasie Hunt ended an interview with the national press secretary for former President Donald Trump’s campaign after she attacked anchor Jake Tapper. Hunt took to social media to make one thing clear.

“You come on my show, you respect my colleagues. Period,” wrote Hunt. “I don’t care what side of the aisle you stand on, as my track record clearly shows.”

During the CNN This Morning interview, Hunt asked Karoline Leavitt a pair of questions about the former President’s debate preparation. In each answer, Leavitt turned the attention to Tapper, which Hunt quickly shot down.

“Ma’am, we’re going to stop this interview if you’re going to keep attacking my colleagues,” Hunt said as the pair talked over one another.

After Leavitt said that she was “stating facts” by mentioning that CNN has been biased in its coverage of Trump, especially from Tapper, Hunt ended the interview.

“I’m sorry … Karoline, thanks very much for your time. You are welcome to come back at any point,” said Hunt.

On social media, Leavitt took issue with Hunt’s conduct during the exchange.

“You cut off my microphone for bringing up the debate moderator’s history of anti-Trump lies,” she wrote. “This proved our point that President Trump will not be treated fairly on Thursday.”

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