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News Television

Virgin Galactic’s Space Odyssey Helps Cable Ratings Take Off

Douglas Pucci

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One of the notable news stories of the past week was when Virgin Galactic launched founder Richard Branson, chief astronaut instructor Beth Moses, lead operations engineer Colin Bennett and government affairs vice president Sirisha Bandla into space in a suborbital spaceflight aboard the aerospace company’s VSS Unity spacecraft on the morning of Sunday, July 11. 

The one-hour space trip launched from Spaceport America in New Mexico at 10:51 a.m. ET and had traveled more than 50 miles above Earth, which the U.S. government considers to mark the boundary of outer space.

Branson proclaimed, “To the next generation of dreamers: If we can do this, just imagine what you can do.”

For coverage of the event, Fox News Channel edged just past CNN in total viewers during the 11 a.m.-noon hour, 1.479 million to 1.444 million (CNN’s most-watched hour of the week), according to Nielsen Media Research; it was vice versa between the two networks based on the key adults 25-54 demographic: CNN 275,000, Fox News 227,000. MSNBC trailed both cable news outlets with 1.116 million total viewers and 189,000 adults 25-54 — yet, this delivery was well above the network’s usual weekend figures.

Later on July 11, CNN debuted the first two episodes of its eight-part documentary series “History of the Sitcom”. Their initial telecasts topped all of cable news within the 9-11 p.m. time slot:

9-10 p.m.

  • History Of The Sitcom “Part 1: A Family Matter” (CNN) 1.399 million viewers
  • The Next Revolution (FOXNC) 1.279 million viewers
  • The Week with Joshua Johnson (MSNBC) 0.470 million viewers

At 10 p.m., part two of “History Of The Sitcom”, entitled “Sex & The Sitcom”, drew 1.257 million viewers. It aired opposite re-airings of Fox News’ “Sunday Night In America” (947,000) and MSNBC’s “American Voices” (405,000).

Also on July 11: HLN’s crime docuseries “Forensic Files II” premiered its second season with back-to-back original episodes. The 10-11 p.m. hour averaged 176,000 adults 25-54, besting the entire Sunday prime times of each Fox News Channel (150,000) and MSNBC (approximately 60,000).

Here are the cable news averages for July 5-11, 2021 — cable’s best mark for the week in total viewers based on total day was by Fox News Channel; the 21st consecutive week FNC has accomplished this feat.

Total Day (July 5-11 @ 6 a.m.-5:59 a.m.)

  • Fox News Channel: 1.175 million viewers; 193,000 adults 25-54 
  • MSNBC: 0.752 million viewers; 100,000 adults 25-54
  • CNN: 0.598 million viewers; 125,000 adults 25-54

Prime Time (July 5-10 @ 8-11 p.m.; July 11 @ 7-11 p.m.)

  • Fox News Channel: 2.046 million viewers; 309,000 adults 25-54
  • MSNBC: 1.266 million viewers; 156,000 adults 25-54
  • CNN: 0.833 million viewers; 184,000 adults 25-54

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

1. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Thu. 7/8/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.229 million viewers

2. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Tue. 7/6/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.153 million viewers

3. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Wed. 7/7/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.083 million viewers

4. Hannity (FOXNC, Thu. 7/8/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.770 million viewers

5. Hannity (FOXNC, Wed. 7/7/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.767 million viewers

6. The Five (FOXNC, Thu. 7/8/2021 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.622 million viewers

7. Hannity (FOXNC, Tue. 7/6/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.564 million viewers

8. The Five (FOXNC, Wed. 7/7/2021 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.528 million viewers

9. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Fri. 7/9/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.508 million viewers

10. The Five (FOXNC, Tue. 7/6/2021 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.473 million viewers

11. Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC, Wed. 7/7/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.371 million viewers

47. Reliable Sources (CNN, Sun. 7/11/2021 11:00 AM, 60 min.) 1.444 million viewers

54. History Of The Sitcom “A Family Matter” (CNN, Sun. 7/11/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 1.399 million viewers

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

1. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Wed. 7/7/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.550 million adults 25-54

2. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Thu. 7/8/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.518 million adults 25-54

3. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Tue. 7/6/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.511 million adults 25-54

4. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Fri. 7/9/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.492 million adults 25-54

5. Hannity (FOXNC, Wed. 7/7/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.418 million adults 25-54

6. Hannity (FOXNC, Thu. 7/8/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.416 million adults 25-54

7. The Five (FOXNC, Thu. 7/8/2021 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.389 million adults 25-54

8. Hannity (FOXNC, Fri. 7/9/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.353 million adults 25-54

9. Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC, Wed. 7/7/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.349 million adults 25-54

10. The Five (FOXNC, Wed. 7/7/2021 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.347 million adults 25-54

29. Anderson Cooper 360 (CNN, Tue. 7/6/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.284 million adults 25-54

124. Forensic Files II “The Obsession” (HLN, Sun. 7/11/2021 10:00 PM, 30 min.) 0.182 million adults 25-54

Source: Live+Same Day data, Nielsen Media Research

News Television

CNN Asks Florida Judge to Toss Out Donald Trump’s Defamation Suit

Trump filed the lawsuit against CNN because he accuses the network of defaming his character during the 2020 Presidential Election.

Eduardo Razo

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Former President Donald Trump filed a lawsuit against CNN in October; now, over a month later, the cable news channel is asking a judge in Florida to toss the case (h/t The Hill).

Trump filed the lawsuit against CNN because he accuses the network of defaming his character during the 2020 Presidential Election. Trump’s attorneys argued CNN “has sought to use its massive influence — purportedly as a ‘trusted’ news source.”

Additionally, Trump’s lawyer says that CNN attempted “to defame the Plaintiff in the minds of its viewers and readers for the purpose of defeating him politically, culminating in CNN claiming credit for ‘[getting] Trump out’ in the 2020 presidential election.”

CNN lawyers have pushed back against Trump’s claims saying that the former president “seeks to silence any criticism of Plaintiff’s debunked claim that the 2020 presidential election was ‘stolen.’”

“Any alleged association resulting therefrom are also ‘rhetorical hyperbole’ and ‘pure opinion’ under well-established principles of defamation law,” CNN’s lawyers added.

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News Television

Investor Cautions Over Possible Fox-News Corp. Merger

Irenic Capital, which owns about 2 percent of News Corp., has taken issue with its potential merger between Fox and News Corp.

Eduardo Razo

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Rumors have swirled over Fox and News Corp. possibly merging into one entity, but Irenic Capital, which owns about 2% of News Corp., has taken issue with its potential merger.

A merger would produce a more complicated company and turn off investors rather than increase the company’s lagging stock price, Irenic Capital stated in a letter to the News Corp. board.

“And even if such synergies do exist today, they would principally benefit Fox and reside in the News Media segment of News Corp,” Irenic Capital said (h/t Deadline). “For example, Fox Business may benefit from greater integration with The Wall Street Journal and some of Dow Jones’ other properties, but it is highly debatable whether the benefits from such an association flow both ways.

“Combining News Corp with Fox will result in a combined company that is obviously more complex than both companies left separate.” 

Irenic believes a unification would aid Fox far better than News Corp. and cautioned that the board has a fiduciary responsibility to investigate all possible routes to develop value beyond the one suggested by its primary shareholder.

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News Television

Fox News Lights All-American Christmas Tree

The event was hosted by Greg Gutfeld, Judge Jeanine Pirro, Dana Perino, Jessica Tarlov and Jesse Watters

Ryan Hedrick

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Fox News held its annual All-American Tree Lighting at FOX Square in New York, New York Monday during “The Five.” The event was hosted by Greg Gutfeld, Judge Jeanine Pirro, Dana Perino, Jessica Tarlov and Jesse Watters

In a release, the network said it partnered with the Police Athletic League (PAL) to host a toy drive benefiting New York City’s youth. The network also honored first responders by selecting representatives of the FDNY and NYPD to light this year’s tree.

Guests included FOX News personalities and their families along with first responders from the NYPD and FDNY, including members of NYPD Precinct 32, who lost Wilbert Mora and Jason Rivera this year, and members of EMS Station 49, who lost EMS captain Alison Russo earlier this year.

FOX’s All-American Christmas tree stands at 50 feet tall and is adorned by 12,000 ornaments and 340,000 lights. The tree has 500 branches, a star topper that is over six feet tall and more than four miles of cord wrapped throughout.  Made in America, the tree features a patriotic theme of red, white, and blue decorations.

“After a busy year in America, it’s nice to, let’s just take a step back and celebrate traditions like this and remember how important it is to come together and focus on what truly matters,” said co-host Dana Perino. “This tree is not just for us to enjoy. We want you watching at home to be able to come here and make Christmas memories with your family and friends and of course, your pets, too, of course, as you can imagine.”

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