Connect with us
Barrett News Media Summit 2024

BNM Writers

Fox News Scores High Viewership Marks with DeSantis/Newsom Debate

It topped all cable news telecasts in both total viewers and the 25-54 demo for the week ending December 3rd.

Doug Pucci

Published

on

A photo of a Fox News mic flag
(Photo: NurPhoto for Getty Images)

The 2024 presidential election season has, thus far, produced five nationally televised debates from August through December 2023. Four of them were for the Republican primary; the outlier being perhaps the most contrived made-for-TV setup: for Fox News Channel on November 30th involving Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) and Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA).

The event provided the cable network with an additional debate before the end of the calendar year. Fox News had previously televised the first two GOP debates back on August 23rd and September 27th. NBC aired the third one on November 8th and outlets NewsNation and The CW aired the fourth on December 6th.

Moderated by Fox’s conservative host Sean Hannity and billed as the “Great Red State vs. Blue State Debate”, one of the night’s most memorable moments was when Newsom — who is not declaring to run for POTUS in 2024 — quipped to presidential candidate DeSantis, “The one thing we have in common is neither of us will be our party’s nominee in 2024.”

The debate was tangential, at best, for the election cycle, but the night was more vital for DeSantis, who tried to increase his standing among the Republican field that features the party’s outright frontrunner, Donald Trump.

According to Nielsen Media Research, 4.747 million viewers (including 742,000 within the key 25-54 demographic) tuned in to the 90-minute event on Thursday, November 30th from 9-10:30 PM ET.

While far short of the three past GOP debates — Fox News from August 23rd (13 million viewers, 2.82 million adults 25-54), the combo of FNC, Fox Business Network, and Univision from September 27th (9.32 million viewers, 2 million adults 25-54), and on NBC-only from Nov. 8 (6.86 million viewers, 1.31 million adults 25-54), it still topped all cable news telecasts in both total viewers and the 25-54 demo for the week ending December 3rd.

Its half-hour debate analysis from 10:30-11 PM would be the week’s runner-up for cable news in each key figure: 3.414 million total viewers including 541,000 adults 25-54.

To put these numbers into perspective, Fox News — the usual non-sports cable leader in prime time total audience — averages in the range of 2.0-2.5 million total viewers, including 200,000-300,000 adults 25-54 with the lineup of Jesse Watters Primetime, Hannity, and Gutfeld! from 8-11 p.m. Mondays thru Fridays.

Decent ratings also resulted from its late-night rebroadcasts: the debate at midnight ET drew 706,000 viewers and 154,000 adults 25-54 (on par with how a midnight rerun of their popular early evening talk show The Five regularly performs on other nights); post-debate at 1:30 AM ET drew 576,000 viewers and 131,000 adults 25-54.

Within the seven-day period following their initial airings (November 30th-December 7th), the debate added 442,000 viewers; post-debate earned an additional 206,000 viewers

Cable news averages for November 27-December 3, 2023:

Total Day (Nov. 27-Dec. 3 @ 6 a.m.-5:59 a.m.)

  • Fox News Channel: 1.169 million viewers; 134,000 adults 25-54
  • MSNBC: 0.762 million viewers; 71,000 adults 25-54
  • CNN: 0.443 million viewers; 78,000 adults 25-54
  • Newsmax: 0.146 million viewers; 8,000 adults 25-54
  • HLN: 0.143 million viewers; 41,000 adults 25-54
  • Fox Business Network: 0.119 million viewers; 13,000 adults 25-54
  • CNBC: 0.110 million viewers; 22,000 adults 25-54
  • The Weather Channel: 0.078 million viewers; 17,000 adults 25-54
  • NewsNation: 0.072 million viewers; 12,000 adults 25-54
  • Court TV: 0.040 million viewers; 11,000 adults 25-54

Top 10 most-watched cable news programs (and the top programs of other outlets with their respective associated ranks) in total viewers:

1. Hannity (FOXNC, Thu. 11/30/2023 9:00 PM, 90 min.) 4.747 million viewers

2. Hannity (FOXNC, Thu. 11/30/2023 10:30 PM, 30 min.) 3.414 million viewers

3. The Five (FOXNC, Mon. 11/27/2023 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.995 million viewers

4. Jesse Watters Primetime (FOXNC, Thu. 11/30/2023 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.760 million viewers

5. The Five (FOXNC, Wed. 11/29/2023 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.754 million viewers

6. The Five (FOXNC, Thu. 11/30/2023 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.754 million viewers

7. The Five (FOXNC, Tue. 11/28/2023 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.709 million viewers

8. The Five (FOXNC, Fri. 12/1/2023 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.659 million viewers

9. Jesse Watters Primetime (FOXNC, Wed. 11/29/2023 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.504 million viewers

10. Jesse Watters Primetime (FOXNC, Tue. 11/28/2023 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.315 million viewers

16. Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC, Mon. 11/27/2023 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.056 million viewers

89. Rosalynn Carter Memorial Service (CNN, Tue. 11/28/2023 2:00 PM, 75 min.) 1.319 million viewers

175. Real Time With Bill Maher (HBO, Fri. 12/1/2023 10:00 PM, 59 min.) 0.761 million viewers

261. Trump Speech (NMX, Sat. 12/2/2023 4:30 PM, 75 min.) 0.565 million viewers

327. Last Week Tonight (HBO, Sun. 12/3/2023 11:00 PM, 38 min.) 0.423 million viewers

357. Kudlow (FBN, Tue. 11/28/2023 4:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.361 million viewers

363. The Daily Show “Nov 28, 23 – Michelle Wolf” (CMDY, Tue. 11/28/2023 11:00 PM, 30 min.) 0.353 million viewers

420. Forensic Files II (HLN, late Fri. 12/1/2023 1:00 AM, 30 min.) 0.294 million viewers

464. Fast Money Halftime Report (CNBC, Fri. 12/1/2023 12:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.259 million viewers

555. Cuomo (NWSN, Fri. 12/1/2023 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.218 million viewers

663. Heavy Rescue: 401 “(206) Not Your Regular Fender-Bender” (TWC, Wed. 11/29/2023 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.178 million viewers

752. FBI Files (COURT TV, Sun. 12/3/2023 12:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.148 million viewers

Top 10 cable news programs (and the top  programs of other outlets with their respective associated ranks) among adults 25-54:

1. Hannity (FOXNC, Thu. 11/30/2023 9:00 PM, 90 min.) 0.742 million adults 25-54

2. Hannity (FOXNC, Thu. 11/30/2023 10:30 PM, 30 min.) 0.541 million adults 25-54

3. Jesse Watters Primetime (FOXNC, Thu. 11/30/2023 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.305 million adults 25-54

4. Gutfeld! (FOXNC, Tue. 11/28/2023 10:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.279 million adults 25-54

5. The Five (FOXNC, Mon. 11/27/2023 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.261 million adults 25-54

6. Gutfeld! (FOXNC, Mon. 11/27/2023 10:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.259 million adults 25-54

7. Gutfeld! (FOXNC, Wed. 11/29/2023 10:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.257 million adults 25-54

8. Hannity (FOXNC, Wed. 11/29/2023 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.235 million adults 25-54

9. The Five (FOXNC, Fri. 12/1/2023 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.234 million adults 25-54

10. Jesse Watters Primetime (FOXNC, Wed. 11/29/2023 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.231 million adults 25-54

37. Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC, Mon. 11/27/2023 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.175 million adults 25-54

40. Erin Burnett Outfront (CNN, Mon. 11/27/2023 7:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.174 million adults 25-54

102. Real Time With Bill Maher (HBO, Fri. 12/1/2023 10:00 PM, 59 min.) 0.138 million adults 25-54

103. The Daily Show “Nov 29, 23 – Michelle Wolf” (CMDY, Wed. 11/29/2023 11:00 PM, 30 min.) 0.138 million adults 25-54

124. Last Week Tonight (HBO, Sun. 12/3/2023 11:00 PM, 38 min.) 0.127 million adults 25-54

189. Forensic Files (HLN, late Sun. 12/3/2023 12:00 AM, 30 min.) 0.102 million adults 25-54

448. America’s Morning Headquarters (TWC, Wed. 11/29/2023 8:00 AM, 60 min.) 0.053 million adults 25-54

477. Closing Bell (CNBC, Tue. 11/28/2023 3:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.050 million adults 25-54

506. Cuomo (NWSN, Tue. 11/28/2023 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.046 million adults 25-54

534. FBI Files (COURT TV, Sun. 12/3/2023 12:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.044 million adults 25-54

626. Trump Speech (NMX, Sat. 12/2/2023 4:30 PM, 75 min.) 0.035 million adults 25-54

645. Kudlow (FBN, Tue. 11/28/2023 4:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.033 million adults 25-54

Source: Live+Same Day data, Nielsen Media Research

Subscribe To The BNM Rundown

The Top 8 News Media Stories of the Day, sent directly to your inbox every afternoon!

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

BNM Writers

What to Do When Your Fear Your Media Career is Headed to the Graveyard

If you think about career death so much that it detracts from being in the moment, maybe it really is time to move on.

Published

on

A photo of a graveyard

“Do you guys ever think about dying?”

If you saw the Barbie movie, you know the line. Barbie is living the perfect and perfectly plastic life, perfectly choreographed and full of perfect smiles.

But the movie turns on that one line, basically shattering Barbie’s world with a concept no one there would ever have considered.

Death.

Why would you consider it when everything seemed in perfect order?

Well, when it comes to broadcasting and media, a lot of you think about dying … a lot. I do, too.

Of course, it’s not the stop breathing and get buried type of death but rather, the death of a career in media.

The truth is, when it comes to our business, very few people get to choose when it ends. Take a minute and consider a major media personality who truly “retired” after a multi-decade career.

It happens, but percentage-wise, it’s rare.

Take a minute and think. Name some. Name one. It’s not easy.

More often than not, you will get laid off or fired before you want to leave, and after a certain age, getting that next opportunity may be a bridge too far.

Then, you are done done.

That’s as much a music stopper as Barbie admitting she has considered her own mortality in the middle of the dance floor. Here on planet Earth, at least from the people in my orbit, the death of a media career often leads to even better professional options and more balanced lifestyle choices.

I have friends doing a million different things: Public relations, crisis management, content creation for large companies, political communications, fundraising, and teaching. Almost all of them tell me that it was such a stress relief to have a “normal” life, to not be worried about every pending contract or new boss.

Their work is appreciated. Their job is stable. And their schedule? Normal. Never has “normal” sounded so lovely than when they talk about watching shows with spouses, going out for a drink on a Tuesday, or having a regular pickleball game (or insert any middle-aged recreational sport).

I believe them.

Sort of.

The “sort of” comes from me not being able to actually envision that for myself. As enticing as it would be to see people on a more accessible schedule or play a weekly game with buddies, nothing beats talking and writing for a living. Nothing. And I am going to hang on until the lights are out, and we can’t pay to get them turned back on.

For me, I’m in too deep. I’m an indoor cat, incapable of survival outside.

Meetings. Deadlines. Reliant on other people. Meetings.

I’d be dead in a week. It’s beyond no, thank you. It’s, “I can’t”.

Sure, I have three teenagers and three college tuitions to pay. And two dogs. Two cars. And a mortgage.

Here’s where I am supposed to tell you that you should not only have thoughts about (career) death but also have a survival plan – a professional media-career living will if you would.

I should tell you that because you should.

But I don’t have one. And I don’t want one.

Why?

Because I don’t want to think about death anymore. I mean, I’ve already died twice. It wasn’t fun, and the third time most likely would be the charm in terms of getting me out of the business for good.

Why so stubborn? I don’t know.

Several times, I’ve said to myself, I need to make sure I have a backup plan … just in case. Each time, I find a reason not to get one.

Ultimately, what’s my point? Get a backup plan. Think about death. But it can’t take away from the essential joy of having the privilege of talking for a living. In that vein, don’t take it for granted. Ever. Even if the pay stinks and the schedule stinks. If you think about career death so much that it detracts from being in the moment, maybe it really is time to move on.

Subscribe To The BNM Rundown

The Top 8 News Media Stories of the Day, sent directly to your inbox every afternoon!

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Continue Reading

BNM Writers

Is the Fairness Doctrine Even Possible in Today’s Media Landscape?

Is it right for media consumers to judge what is “fair” and what is “unfair” news?

Published

on

A photo of an equal scale

As many media outlets shutter their doors, some have clamored for the return of the Fairness Doctrine. Newsweek released the results of their new way to connect with readers, by asking if its reporting is “fair.” Since September 2023, readers were asked to judge stories on the site, 78% said the outlet is “fair.” Another 22% found at least one story they read to be “unfair.”

AllSides Media has judged Newsweek to be center. However, let’s not forget they are the same outlet that wrongly claimed President Donald Trump was golfing on Thanksgiving in 2019. As Sheryl Attkisson noted on Full Measure this week, on Thanksgiving in 2019 President Trump was visiting troops in Iraq and the Newsweek story was fabricated.

While the reader assessment of Newsweek’s content is on par with AllSides Media, is it right for readers to judge what is “fair” and what is “unfair” news? If outlets like The Daily Caller (Right) or Vox (Left) would ask the same of their readers, would their echo chamber subscribers find them “fair?” While historically print (and later digital) outlets could (and still can) embrace the political leanings of their owner(s), from 1949 till 1987 TV news had guidelines they must adhere to: The Fairness Doctrine.

Long before Americans argued about bias in news, every TV outlet (there were only three major ones at the time) would follow “The Fairness Doctrine.” The Reagan Library notes the doctrine was “enforced by the Federal Communications Council, [and] was rooted in the media world of 1949. Lawmakers became concerned that the monopoly audience control of the three main networks, NBC, ABC, and CBS, could misuse their broadcast licenses to set a biased public agenda.”

To put it simply, the Fairness Doctrine made it so all sides of any story were presented. In 1985, under the Reagan Administration, the FCC found “the doctrine hurt the public interest and violated free speech rights guaranteed by the First Amendment.” Two years later, a panel under FCC Chairman Dennis Patrick repealed the Fairness Doctrine unanimously.

Keep in mind, at this point in time, CNN was the first and only 24-hour news network in the United States (it launched on June 1, 1980). Fox News wouldn’t be launched until almost 10 years after the Fairness Doctrine was repealed, on October 7, 1996.

Also happening at this time, large corporations (with lobbying power) were buying media outlets. General Electric purchased NBC in 1986. Westinghouse acquired CBS in 1995. One year later, ABC was bought by Disney. These purchases did not go unnoticed. Saturday Night Live even mocked the acquisitions in a now-banned short called “Conspiracy Theory Rock!: Media-opoly.”

The unwillingness of news organizations to cover both sides of a story has led to the creation of biased outlets including: CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, OAN, Newsmax, and others. None of these would be able to exist in their current form if the Fairness Doctrine wasn’t repealed.

News outlets that aren’t overtly biased use another trick to manipulate their viewers/readers, using emotionally charged verbiage. AllSides Media defines sensationalist words as presenting information in a way that gives a shock or makes a deep impression. This includes words like “shocking”, “heart-breaking”, “explosive”, “scathing”, “chaotic”, “desperate”, and “remarkable”… this list goes on but you’ve seen and heard these words from the news outlets daily. This is the media telling you how to react to a story instead of letting you determine how you actually feel after they present the facts of the story.

Today, what’s most concerning are outlets saying ‘fair and balanced’ news is a disservice to the public. An August 2023 NPR article explored just this, saying “Objectivity actually comes from an accurate examination of facts (actions, documentation, and even educated opinions) presented in transparent reports. Often, that coverage should also encourage audiences to examine supporting evidence for themselves.”

The problem with this is three-fold:

  • Selective fact presentation develops a one-sided narrative
  • An “educated opinion” is not a fact. It’s an opinion that is neither right nor wrong.
  • It is impossible for human beings to be completely unbiased (see January 31st column)

While it’s great Newsweek is asking readers if their reporting is ‘fair’ is the reader’s judgment neutral, or just as biased as the outlet they prefer to read? Sometimes when we are clicking to satisfy our own confirmation bias it’s hard to tell.

What the media and all Americans need to start recognizing is their own echo chamber. Knowing we all have some sort of bias is not a flaw but what makes us human. Our flaw is the inability to recognize our bias yet call out others for being biased just because they are on the other side of an issue.

Subscribe To The BNM Rundown

The Top 8 News Media Stories of the Day, sent directly to your inbox every afternoon!

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Continue Reading

BNM Writers

CNN Sees Biggest Viewership Jump During Super Bowl Parade Shooting Coverage

All news outlets spiked upon live breaking news coverage with Fox News — already the weekday afternoon leader in cable news — leading in total viewers.

Doug Pucci

Published

on

A photo of the CNN logo
(Photo: Getty Images)

The cable news outlets got increased viewership from two different news events during the week of Feb. 12, namely the shooting at the Super Bowl parade in Kansas City.

On Wednesday, Feb. 14, of the mass shooting at the Super Bowl celebration parade in Kansas City for the Chiefs football team. One person died and roughly two dozen others were injured.

All news outlets spiked upon live breaking news coverage with Fox News — already the weekday afternoon leader in cable news — leading in total viewers.

The following are what each network drew as the story unfolded on that Feb. 14 afternoon from Kansas City and how it grew from the same Wednesday time slots from Jan. 3 thru Feb. 7:

Fox News Channel

  • 3-4 p.m.: 1.656 million viewers (+18 percent)
  • 4-5 p.m.: 1.873 million viewers (+34 percent)
  • 5-6 p.m.: 3.175 million viewers (+7 percent)
  • 6-7 p.m.: 2.441 million viewers (+12 percent)
  • 7-8 p.m.: 2.250 million viewers (+4 percent)

MSNBC

  • 3-4 p.m.: 1.008 million viewers (+10 percent)
  • 4-6 p.m.: 1.504 million viewers (+7 percent)
  • 6-7 p.m.: 1.763 million viewers (+17 percent)
  • 7-8 p.m.: 1.474 million viewers (+13 percent)

CNN

  • 3-4 p.m.: 0.762 million viewers (+27 percent)
  • 4-5 p.m.: 0.913 million viewers (+35 percent)
  • 5-6 p.m.: 1.007 million viewers (+28 percent)
  • 6-7 p.m.: 0.985 million viewers (+43 percent)
  • 7-8 p.m.: 0.960 million viewers (+29 percent)

Newsmax

  • 4-5 p.m.: 0.343 million viewers (+23 percent)
  • 5-6 p.m.: 0.354 million viewers (+16 percent)
  • 7-8 p.m.: 0.547 million viewers (+13 percent)

Earlier in the week, on Tuesday, Feb. 13, the results were announced for the special election race for New York’s third congressional district between its former representative Democrat Tom Suozzi and Republican challenger Mazi Pilip. Suozzi left office in 2022 to run in the New York gubernatorial election but lost out to incumbent Kathy Hochul. Suozzi’s successor in Congress was the infamous George Santos who was officially expelled from office on Dec. 1, 2023 over charges of federal criminal laws including campaign finance fraud.

MSNBC and CNN were the only major national news outlets that provided live coverage of the special election results, stressing the significance of Suozzi’s eight-point win over Pilip as it reduced the GOP’s advantage in the House of Representatives by one.

From when the voting polls closed in New York at 9 p.m. ET, MSNBC easily topped CNN in total viewers at 9 p.m. (1.616 million viewers vs. CNN’s 0.847 million), 10 p.m. (1.903 million vs. CNN’s 0.879 million), 11 p.m. (1.112 million vs. CNN’s 0.541 million), and at midnight (774,000 viewers vs. CNN’s 299,000).

From 9-11 p.m. ET, though, both MSNBC and CNN scored the same performance among the key 25-54 demographic: a 0.15 rating at 9 p.m. and a 0.18 rating at 10 p.m. (Note: a 1.0 rating in 25-54 equates to 1.21 million viewers within the aforementioned age range.) 

For the 10-11 p.m. hour, when the New York candidate speeches had aired, CNN grew by 68 percent (in viewers) and by 80 percent (in 25-54) from its Tuesday 10-11 p.m. hour output from Jan. 2 thru Feb. 6 — a time period that included a Ron DeSantis town hall and New Hampshire primary results.

MSNBC was up as well at 10 p.m. hour — +16 percent in viewers, +33 percent in the 25-54 demo — using the same reference parameters.

Even though Fox News did not offer live coverage of New York’s special election results, Hannity at 9 p.m. (2.528 million viewers; 0.21 A25-54 demo rating) and Gutfeld! at 10 p. m. (2.357 million viewers; 0.31 A25-54 demo rating) still held the top spots in their respective hours on all of cable news.

Source: Nielsen Media Research

Subscribe To The BNM Rundown

The Top 8 News Media Stories of the Day, sent directly to your inbox every afternoon!

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Continue Reading
Advertisement

Advertisement
Advertisement

Upcoming Events

BNM Writers

Copyright © 2024 Barrett Media.