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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.

Douglas 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

News Television

Jessica Tarlov, Leo Terrell Clash Over Roe v. Wade Ruling

It didn’t take long for news outlets to begin sparring on the issue, and one of the more animated ones occurred on Fox News.

Eduardo Razo

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On Friday, the Supreme Court overruled Roe v. Wade, which now hands over the determination of abortion legality to individual states. 

It didn’t take long for news outlets to begin sparring on the issue, and one of the more animated ones occurred on Fox News. Contributors Leo Terrell and Jessica Tarlov disputed multiple times on the topic following the ruling. 

Tarlov, a Democratic strategist and co-host of The Five, said that this decision would have dire consequences, something that made Terrell shake his head and interrupt multiple times.

“Alito made it clear that he didn’t think this it would expand to contraception and same-sex marriage, but [Clarence] Thomas said he thought they should be reevaluated, and when you consider the fact that Justices [Brett] Kavanaugh and [Neil] Gorsuch lied to the senators that they met with —” Tarlov said, per Mediaite

“They followed the law. You may not like the law, but we are a nation of laws. That’s what they did. What they basically said was if you don’t like the ruling, you go to the states,” Terrell fired back.

Tarlov and Terrell continued clashing in another segment while discussing the potential consequences. 

She said “every man that takes part in conceiving a child” should be on the hook for child support, leading to Terrell shaking his head while muttering, “oh God.”

“Stop saying, ‘Oh God!’” Tarlov said. 

“I can’t believe you’re using this quality time to push a democratic agenda. Go ahead. I’ll be quiet. Go ahead. Keep talking. It’s ridiculous,” Terrell snapped.

“I’m sorry. Were you pregnant recently?” Tarlov stated.

“Every time I come on this show, I’m attacked,” Terrell mumbled.

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News Television

Kim Godwin: “Newscasts at Some Point Will Be Totally Streamed”

Godwin sat down with Recode host and Vox journalist Peter Kafka at the Collison Conference in Toronto.

Eduardo Razo

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ABC News president Kim Godwin has been in her position for more than a year and she recently sat down with Recode host and Vox journalist Peter Kafka at the Collison Conference in Toronto, where they discussed the future of news media. 

With streaming both on the audio and visual side, becoming more of a player for news and how they reach the younger audience, Godwin says that getting to the demographic is via a digital strategy. 

“The price of admission is that digital strategy. That push alert – getting to people early,” said Godwin, per TV Newser. “And then we have people who really are in tune with the way people are consuming news.”

“You really have to niche it out. You can’t put a TikTok on Facebook…. You have to approach it with a multi-faceted and multi-pronged approach and try to get there first.”

Furthermore, Godwin wants the network to lean on their brand on various platforms that are skewered to the young generation, like TikTok. 

“ABC News is a strong news brand in America. So we are leveraging that brand on TikTok. [ABC News foreign correspondent] Ian Pannell who is covering the war in Ukraine right from the frontlines,” Godwin said.

“In addition to the reports he’s sending back for World News Tonight and Good Morning America, he’s doing TikToks. And they’re interesting, different and customized for that audience. As journalists, we are looking at our coverage in a different way.”

Godwin was then asked how she plans to get the younger crowd to turn on ABC News, where they make their money, but she says news could be heading toward being streamed rather than having the more youth turn on ABC. 

“I think there is going to be a business for us there one day (on TikTok),” said Godwin. “That’s where all the bridges are leading. Everything is getting smaller on linear, but maybe the newscasts at some point will be totally streamed, like ABC News Live,” Godwin concluded. 

“Maybe that’s where World News Tonight and GMA will eventually be. I really think we are headed that way, all the numbers show that… Maybe they meet in the middle somewhere eventually.”

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News Television

Dan Abrams: Someone in Donald Trump’s Inner Circle Could See Charges

“For the first time, I think there’s a real possibility a member of Donald Trump’s inner circle could face criminal charges related to Jan. 6,” Abrams said on Thursday’s edition of “Dan Abrams Live.”

Eduardo Razo

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The hearings into the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol remain ongoing, and following the raid on former Trump Department of Justice official Jeffrey Clark this week, anchor Dan Abrams has a bold belief. 

Abrams, the founder of Mediaite and anchor on NewsNation, considers that for the first time, someone from former President Donald Trump’s inner circle could see criminal charges.

“For the first time, I think there’s a real possibility a member of Donald Trump’s inner circle could face criminal charges related to Jan. 6,” Abrams said on Thursday’s edition of “Dan Abrams Live.”

“It’s generally seemed to me that the criminal inquiry into Trump and his inner circle in connection with Jan. 6 wasn’t going anywhere. I’m talking about what I actually think is happening, that’s all.”

Abrams stated the latest hearing and the Wednesday raid on Clark are what altered his view on whether anyone could end up seeing charges.

“What we learned today changed my analysis. That’s because federal investigators just raided the home of former trump department of justice lawyer Jeffrey Clark,” Abrams added. 

“He was the guy heading the justice department’s environmental division who Donald Trump tried to put in as acting attorney general could see was apparently the only one within the DOJ willing to support the effort to overturn the 2020 election.”

Finally, Abrams conveyed that the raid’s timing before the hearing could examine Clark’s role could lead to something significant when facing jail time.  

“To get authorization to raid his home now, the day before the Jan. 6 committee held a hearing examining Jeffrey Clark’s role in trying to overturn the election, suggest to me that they believe they suddenly could have something big,” Abrams concluded. 

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