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60 Minutes Lifts CBS to Top Spot in Weekly Ratings

The hour-long candidates’ edition – the fourth such pre-election “60 Minutes” broadcast since 2008 – featured Lesley Stahl’s interviews with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence and interviews with their opponents on the Democratic ticket, former vice president Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), conducted by CBS Evening News anchor Norah O’Donnell.

Douglas Pucci

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On prime time television for the week ending October 25, 2020, there were three NFL games, five MLB World Series games and the final U.S. presidential debate. But none of those telecasts achieved the week’s most viewers for a single prime time program on a single network. Those honors went to the CBS newsmagazine “60 Minutes”. The special Oct. 25th edition drew 17.4 million viewers.

The hour-long candidates’ edition – the fourth such pre-election “60 Minutes” broadcast since 2008 – featured Lesley Stahl’s interviews with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence and interviews with their opponents on the Democratic ticket, former vice president Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), conducted by CBS Evening News anchor Norah O’Donnell.

While “60 Minutes” was certainly assisted by its late Sunday afternoon NFL lead-in (49ers-Patriots or Chiefs-Broncos or Jaguars-Chargers, based on their respective regions), the special had attracted controversy when the petulant Trump, who had openly railed against Stahl and her style of questioning, broke an agreement with CBS News and released his videotaped interview on Facebook before it was broadcast on CBS.

Online, it drew season-high digital traffic levels for a “60 Minutes” program on CBSNews.com, and an excerpt from the segment was the top video on YouTube’s trending list on Monday, Oct. 26th.

Excluding sports and multi-network programming, the Oct. 25th “60 Minutes” attracted the largest audience for any television broadcast since the Academy Awards ceremony on Feb. 9. Additionally, it was the most-watched “60 Minutes” edition since March 25, 2018; that edition was also featured a Trump-related controversy: Anderson Cooper’s interview with Stephanie Clifford, the adult film star known as Stormy Daniels who claimed she had an affair with Donald Trump in 2006.

Sunday’s broadcast saw its best delivery of adults 25-54 (3.6 rating/14 share; equating to 4.33 million viewers within that age range) since the aforementioned date of March 25, 2018.

Over on the cable front, for the second consecutive week, Fox News Channel topped the cable networks in both viewers and adults 25-54. For the week ending Oct. 25, 2020 in total day data (from 6 a.m. to 5:59 a.m. each day), Fox News Channel averaged 2.43 million viewers and 467,000 adults 25-54.

Also like the prior week, MSNBC was the runner-up cable news network in total viewers while CNN was runner-up among adults 25-54. Their averages were, as follows:

  • MSNBC: 1.47 million viewers, 245,000 adults 25-54
  • CNN: 1.33 million viewers, 348,000 adults 25-54

Top 10 most-watched cable news programs in total viewers:

1. Presidential Debate (FOXNC, Thu. 10/22/2020 9:03 PM, 94 min.) 15.405 million viewers

2. Presidential Debate Analysis (FOXNC, Thu. 10/22/2020 10:37 PM, 23 min.) 12.143 million viewers

3. Presidential Debate Coverage (FOXNC, Thu. 10/22/2020 8:50 PM, 13 min.) 11.289 million viewers

4. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Thu. 10/22/2020 8:00 PM, 50 min.) 8.152 million viewers

5. Hannity (FOXNC, Thu. 10/22/2020 11:00 PM, 60 min.) 7.533 million viewers

6. Final Presidential Debate (CNN, Thu. 10/22/2020 9:04 PM, 93 min.) 7.508 million viewers

7. Debate (MSNBC, Thu. 10/22/2020 9:03 PM, 94 min.) 6.929 million viewers

8. MSNBC Debate Analysis (MSNBC, Thu. 10/22/2020 10:37 PM, 23 min.) 6.594 million viewers

9. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Wed. 10/21/2020 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 5.330 million viewers

10. Debate Night In America (CNN, Thu. 10/22/2020 10:37 PM, 83 min.) 5.275 million viewers

Top 10 cable news programs among adults 25-54:

1. Presidential Debate (FOXNC, Thu. 10/22/2020 9:03 PM, 94 min.) 4.385 million adults 25-54

2. Presidential Debate Analysis (FOXNC, Thu. 10/22/2020 10:37 PM, 23 min.) 3.495 million adults 25-54

3. Final Presidential Debate (CNN, Thu. 10/22/2020 9:04 PM, 93 min.) 3.019 million adults 25-54

4. Presidential Debate Coverage (FOXNC, Thu. 10/22/2020 8:50 PM, 13 min.) 2.803 million adults 25-54

5. Hannity (FOXNC, Thu. 10/22/2020 11:00 PM, 60 min.) 1.908 million adults 25-54

6. Debate Night In America (CNN, Thu. 10/22/2020 10:37 PM, 83 min.) 1.817 million adults 25-54

7. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Thu. 10/22/2020 8:00 PM, 50 min.) 1.745 million adults 25-54

8. Debate (MSNBC, Thu. 10/22/2020 9:03 PM, 94 min.) 1.584 million adults 25-54

9. MSNBC Debate Analysis (MSNBC, Thu. 10/22/2020 10:37 PM, 23 min.) 1.469 million adults 25-54

10. Debate Night In America (CNN, Thu. 10/22/2020 8:00 PM, 64 min.) 1.230 million adults 25-54

News Television

NBC News’ Joe Fryer Receives NLGJA’s Journalist of the Year

The award is presented by The Association of LGBTQ Journalists

Eduardo Razo

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NBC News Now morning anchor Joe Fryer has received a significant honor as he was named NLGJA’s Journalist of the Year. 

The award is presented by The Association of LGBTQ Journalists, which honors “an LGBTQ journalist whose exceptional abilities, integrity, and distinctive work brought honor to the profession within the past year.”

“Humbled & honored to be named “Journalist of the Year” by the NLGJA — an organization that’s so important to the LGBTQ community. I share the award w/ my many colleagues at NBC NewsNow, TODAY show, & NBCNews who’ve helped me tell these stories,” Fryer tweeted

Fryer joined NBC News in 2013 as a West Coast correspondent, following a stint as a special projects reporter for Seattle NBC affiliate KING. The NBC News anchor wasn’t the only network newser to win an NLGJA award. 

CBS News correspondent Jamie Yuccas and the 48 Hours team won the Excellence in Network Television Award for the 48 Hours story The Life and Death of Nikki Kuhnhausen.

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News Television

News Media Reacts to Supreme Court Overturning Roe v. Wade

There was no shortage of news media reaction when the official overturning of Roe v. Wade came down, some celebrating it while others shared concern.

Eduardo Razo

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In a decision many already knew was coming following the leaked draft, the Supreme Court, in a 6-3 ruling, overturned Roe v. Wade, which is the landmark enactment that established the constitutional right to abortion.

Since 1973, women have been permitted abortions during the first two trimesters of pregnancy in the United States; however, now the decision on this matter will return to the states, with a good portion expected to outlaw or severely restrict abortion.

There was no shortage of news media reaction when the official ruling came down, some celebrating it while others shared concern for what’s to come a post-Roe v. Wade United States.

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News Television

Fox News Reveals Slate of Independence Day Weekend Programming

The network said in a release that over the course of the holiday weekend, segments will air in major U.S. cities including Boston, Washington, D.C., New York City, and Los Angeles.

Ryan Hedrick

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Fox News will kick off Independence Day weekend with its “Proud American” series beginning Friday, July 1. The network said in a release that over the course of the holiday weekend, segments will air in major U.S. cities including Boston, Washington, D.C., New York City, and Los Angeles.

“FOX & Friends Weekend” will broadcast from the United States Military Academy at West Point on Saturday, July 2nd and Sunday, July 3rd from 6-10 AM/ET. The show will highlight West Point’s iconic Independence Day celebrations, including patriotic music from the West Point band, as well as interviews with cadets.

FNC will broadcast a primetime special called “A West Point Independence Day Celebration” hosted by Army Veteran Hegseth, Rachel Campos-Duffy, and Will Cain. Military Veteran and FOX News contributor Johnny Joey Jones will also join the special coverage, interviewing Medal of Honor recipients, West Point personnel and families in the crowd.

On July 4, the network will air a live two-hour primetime special entitled, “FOX News Presents: An Independence Day Celebration.” The program will air from 8-10 PM/ET and will feature “Cross Country’s” Lawrence Jones, Johnny Joey Jones, “FOX & Friends FIRST’s” Carley Shimkus and “Outnumbered” co-host Kayleigh McEnany.

Fox News will air the iconic fireworks display from Washington D.C. FOX Nation will also carry 4th of July content featuring host Abby Hornacek from Boston Harborfest, where the city is marking the 246th Independence Day celebration.

FOX News Audio will also present special coverage of the holiday, featuring original programs to be offered across its syndicated stations and digital audio platforms. 

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