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’11th Hour’ Farewell From Brian Williams Lifts MSNBC

“The Dec. 9 edition of “11th Hour” delivered 1.62 million total viewers and 182,000 in the key 25-54 demographic, the program’s best total audience since Sep. 14.”

Douglas Pucci

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Brian Williams, the longtime NBC News anchor, signed off for the final time with the company on Dec. 9 on his MSNBC program “The 11th Hour”. During his closing remarks, he noted in his observation of the current state of America, “Grown men and women who swore an oath to our constitution, elected by their constituents … have decided to join the mob and become something they are not.” Williams later concluded, “I’ll show myself out, until we meet again.”

The Thursday, Dec. 9 edition of “11th Hour” delivered 1.62 million total viewers and 182,000 in the key 25-54 demographic, according to Nielsen Media Research. That was the program’s best total audience since Sep. 14 (1.9 million viewers), the night of the California gubernatorial recall election results.

Williams’ career was at its height during his 11-year stint as anchor of the “NBC Nightly News.” His work at MSNBC, since 2016, began at a time when his reputation needed rehabilitation following the revelations that he had falsely claimed the helicopter he flown in during the Iraqi War had been hit by enemy fire.

For much of his MSNBC era up until this year, “The 11th Hour” was cable news’ most-watched program within the 11 p.m.-midnight hour.

On the night after Williams’ departure (Dec. 10), MSNBC premiered the documentary “Paper & Glue” about acclaimed French artist JR. It drew 696,000 viewers, garnering a mere one-third retention from its “Rachel Maddow Show” (2.07 million) lead-in. A post-show discussion on the documentary in the 11 p.m. hour posted just 366,000 viewers.

Earlier that Friday (Dec. 10), the funeral services of former U.S. Senator and presidential candidate Bob Dole took place at the Washington National Cathedral. Dole passed away on Dec. 5 at the age of 98. Fox News Channel topped all cable news outlets in live coverage, averaging 1.11 million viewers and 180,000 adults 25-54 from 11 a.m. thru 1:07 p.m. Eastern. MSNBC drew 607,000 total viewers within the 2-hour span, edging out CNN’s 562,000 viewers but it was CNN (107,000 within the 25-54 demo) with the clear advantage over MSNBC (45,000) among adults 25-54.

Advancing to late night that same date (Dec. 10), President Biden was a guest on NBC’s “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”. The appearance — his first on the program as a sitting President and one which he described the recent laws in various states limiting voting as “un-American” — delivered 1.88 million total viewers and a late-night-demo-leading figure of 372,000 within the 18-49 demographic. It was the largest Friday audience for “The Tonight Show” since Feb. 5, yet it was not enough to best that night’s top talk show, CBS’ “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” (2.065 million).

In morning news, CBS — while still trailing their ABC and NBC counterparts — achieved its best weekly average in 14 weeks. The newly-titled “CBS Mornings” with Gayle King, Tony Dokoupil and Nate Burleson averaged 2.62 million total viewers for the week of Dec. 6-10, up one percent from the previous week and the network’s best morning show average since Aug. 30-Sep. 3.

ABC’s “Good Morning America” was still tops in the morning based on total viewers. For Dec. 6-10, it averaged 3.32 million total viewers. It was a week that featured host Michael Strahan’s excursion into space aboard Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin craft; that edition from Dec. 9 drew 3.33 million viewers.

The Weather Channel (their figures noted in the list of outlets below) jumped up 47 percent in viewership from the previous week. The uptick was attributed to their weekend coverage of the aftermath of the multiple deadly tornadoes that touched down across six states (Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi and Tennessee) on Dec. 10.

Cable news averages for December 6-12, 2021. Fox News Channel extended their streaks to 43 weeks as cable’s most-watched network in total viewers..

Total Day (December 6-12 @ 6 a.m.-5:59 a.m.)

  • Fox News Channel: 1.474 million viewers; 239,000 adults 25-54
  • MSNBC: 0.684 million viewers; 74,000 adults 25-54
  • CNN: 0.501 million viewers; 101,000 adults 25-54
  • HLN: 0.201 million viewers; 59,000 adults 25-54
  • The Weather Channel: 0.153 million viewers; 32,000 adults 25-54
  • CNBC: 0.147 million viewers; 33,000 adults 25-54
  • Newsmax: 0.110 million viewers; 17,000 adults 25-54
  • Fox Business Network: 0.105 million viewers; 13,000 adults 25-54

Prime Time (December 6-11 @ 8-11 p.m.; December 12 @ 7-11 p.m.)

  • Fox News Channel: 2.353 million viewers; 367,000 adults 25-54
  • MSNBC: 1.160 million viewers; 131,000 adults 25-54
  • CNN: 0.585 million viewers; 120,000 adults 25-54
  • HLN: 0.213 million viewers; 58,000 adults 25-54
  • CNBC: 0.166 million viewers; 42,000 adults 25-54
  • The Weather Channel: 0.155 million viewers; 36,000 adults 25-54
  • Newsmax: 0.147 million viewers; 31,000 adults 25-54
  • Fox Business Network: 0.060 million viewers; 12,000 adults 25-54

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

1. Special Report with Bret Baier (FOXNC, Thu. 12/9/2021 6:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.615 million viewers

2. The Five (FOXNC, Thu. 12/9/2021 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.592 million viewers

3. The Five (FOXNC, Mon. 12/6/2021 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.495 million viewers

4. The Five (FOXNC, Wed. 12/8/2021 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.427 million viewers

5. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Wed. 12/8/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.427 million viewers

6. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Thu. 12/9/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.380 million viewers

7. The Five (FOXNC, Tue. 12/7/2021 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.299 million viewers

8. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Tue. 12/7/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.210 million viewers

9. The Five (FOXNC, Fri. 12/10/2021 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.108 million viewers

10. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Mon. 12/6/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.017 million viewers

28. Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC, Wed. 12/8/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.104 million viewers

154. CNN Newsroom (CNN, Sat. 12/11/2021 1:00 PM, 60 min.) 1.000 million viewers

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

1. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Wed. 12/8/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.613 million adults 25-54

2. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Thu. 12/9/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.606 million adults 25-54

3. The Five (FOXNC, Mon. 12/6/2021 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.534 million adults 25-54

4. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Mon. 12/6/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.530 million adults 25-54

5. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Tue. 12/7/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.516 million adults 25-54

6. The Five (FOXNC, Wed. 12/8/2021 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.516 million adults 25-54

7. Hannity (FOXNC, Thu. 12/9/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.496 million adults 25-54

8. The Five (FOXNC, Thu. 12/9/2021 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.496 million adults 25-54

9. The Five (FOXNC, Tue. 12/7/2021 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.495 million adults 25-54

10. Special Report with Bret Baier (FOXNC, Thu. 12/9/2021 6:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.483 million adults 25-54

61. Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC, Wed. 12/8/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.263 million adults 25-54

106. Situation Room (CNN, Mon. 12/6/2021 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.205 million adults 25-54

147. Forensic Files “Murder On The Menu” (HLN, late Wed. 12/8/2021 12:30 AM, 30 min.) 0.168 million adults 25-54

168. Weekend Recharge (TWC, Sat. 12/11/2021 12:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.153 million adults 25-54

Source: Live+Same Day data, Nielsen Media Research

BNM Writers

Jan. 6th Hearings Draws Roughly 10M Viewers Across Networks

Almost 4.5 million of those viewers tuned in on the three main cable news outlets.

Douglas Pucci

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The second and third days of the hearings focused on the Jan. 6th insurrection at the Capitol took place during the week ending June 19.

For day No. 2 on Monday, June 13, approximately ten million viewers watched across several networks — about half of its opening night audience from June 9. Almost 4.5 million of those viewers tuned in on the three main cable news outlets. Unlike the many other news events of the past two years, the rankings according to their audience figures uniquely reflect the interest level by their respective channel’s typical crowd.

MSNBC, which had also topped its cable brethren on opening night, did so once again in total viewers with averaging 2.49 million from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Eastern, as tabulated by Nielsen Media Research. The network’s two-hour prime time recap later that night (from 8-10 p.m.) drew 2.34 million viewers and 218,000 in the key 25-54 demographic, well above their normal nightly levels.

CNN (from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.) posted 1.37 million. Its daytime coverage was cable’s tops among adults 25-54, with an approximate 200,000 within the demo.

Fox News was in the uncharacteristic third place spot with 960,000 total viewers from 10:45 a.m. to 1 p.m.

For the hearing’s third day (on Thursday, June 16), it was cable’s same ranking order in the daytime hours: MSNBC (noon-4 p.m.) 2.61 million total viewers, CNN (11:59 a.m.-3:45 p.m.) 1.33 million and Fox News (1-4 p.m.) 743,000. Once again, MSNBC aired a recap at night (from 8-10 p.m.) which delivered 2.46 million viewers and 326,000 adults 25-54 — a close runner-up to FNC’s duo of “Carlson” and “Hannity” (2.84 million total/444,000 A25-54 average) and a far outpacing of CNN’s “AC360” and “CNN Tonight” (622,000 total/140,000 A25-54 average). 

Cable news averages for June 13-19, 2022:

Total Day (June 13-19 @ 6 a.m.-5:59 a.m.)

  • Fox News Channel: 1.360 million viewers; 210,000 adults 25-54
  • MSNBC: 0.882 million viewers; 100,000 adults 25-54
  • CNN: 0.432 million viewers; 91,000 adults 25-54
  • HLN: 0.150 million viewers; 47,000 adults 25-54
  • CNBC: 0.138 million viewers; 32,000 adults 25-54
  • Fox Business Network: 0.130 million viewers; 13,000 adults 25-54
  • The Weather Channel: 0.115 million viewers; 22,000 adults 25-54
  • Newsmax: 0.113 million viewers; 14,000 adults 25-54

Prime Time (June 13-18 @ 8-11 p.m.; June 19 @ 7-11 p.m.)

  • Fox News Channel: 2.198 million viewers; 315,000 adults 25-54
  • MSNBC: 1.423 million viewers; 149,000 adults 25-54
  • CNN: 0.504 million viewers; 118,000 adults 25-54
  • HLN: 0.182 million viewers; 63,000 adults 25-54
  • CNBC: 0.182 million viewers; 65,000 adults 25-54
  • The Weather Channel: 0.160 million viewers; 27,000 adults 25-54
  • Newsmax: 0.141 million viewers; 17,000 adults 25-54
  • Fox Business Network: 0.067 million viewers; 8,000 adults 25-54
  • NewsNation: 0.049 million viewers; 6,000 adults 25-54

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

1. The Five (Fox News Channel, Tue. 6/14/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.351 million viewers

2. The Five (Fox News Channel, Mon. 6/13/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.295 million viewers

3. Tucker Carlson Tonight (Fox News Channel, Tue. 6/14/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.268 million viewers

4. Tucker Carlson Tonight (Fox News Channel, Mon. 6/13/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.200 million viewers

5. Tucker Carlson Tonight (Fox News Channel, Wed. 6/15/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.062 million viewers

6. Tucker Carlson Tonight (Fox News Channel, Thu. 6/16/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.013 million viewers

7. The Five (Fox News Channel, Thu. 6/16/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.006 million viewers

8. The Five (Fox News Channel, Wed. 6/15/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.998 million viewers

9. January 6th Hearings: Day Two Hearing (MSNBC, Mon. 6/13/2022 10:45 AM, 126 min.) 2.971 million viewers

10. January 6th Hearings: Day Three Hearings (MSNBC, Thu. 6/16/2022 1:01 PM, 165 min.) 2.964 million viewers

Source: Live+Same Day data, Nielsen Media Research

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BNM Writers

Financial News Media Praises LeBron James

On The Dave Ramsey Show, co-hosts George Kamel and Rachel Cruze discussed LA Lakers star LeBron James becoming a billionaire while still playing.

Rick Schultz

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On a recent episode of The Dave Ramsey Show, co-hosts George Kamel and Rachel Cruze discussed a story that intersected the pop culture world and financial news.

And they used one of the most polarizing athletes of our day to make their point.

According to a report from CBS News, basketball star Lebron James has officially become the first player to reach billionaire status while still in his playing days.

Kamel quoted the article, saying, “After another monster year of earnings, totaling $121.2 million, before taxes and agents fees over the last twelve months, Forbes estimates he’s officially become a billionaire while still playing hoops.”

James has both large numbers of admirers and detractors, often stemming from the argument over who is basketball’s Greatest of All-Time, or G.O.A.T. Some say, James, while others point to Michael Jordan.  

In addition, James has waded purposefully into the political waters as an outspoken supporter of Democratic politicians and their liberal policies. Unfortunately, many feel these policies hurt the very people James supports in so many other ways.

During the show, Kamel and Cruze continued discussing the article, which estimated the net worth of the hardcourt legend to be $1 billion. It quoted James as saying the milestone is important because he wants to maximize his business. 

“He’s commanded more than a $385 million salary from the Cavaliers, Miami Heat, and Lakers as the NBA’s highest-paid active player,” Kamel continued, quoting the article. “And off the court, to your point, Rachel, he’s raked in upwards of $900 million in income from endorsements and other business ventures. So he’s a very smart businessman on top of being an incredible athlete.”

“Kinda like Michael Jordan,” Cruze added.

“So, here’s the funny thing,” Kamel said. “This isn’t just why I wanted to talk about this. Yes, he’s a billionaire; that’s an amazing milestone. And it’s a thousand millions for those of you that need to get that picture in your head. But my favorite thing about this story is that he is known as the cheapest player in the NBA.”

The show then cut to an audio clip of former NBA star Dwyane Wade referring to James as “the cheapest guy in the NBA.” James listed a few extras he’s unwilling to pay for, such as data roaming, phone apps, or commercial-free streaming music. 

“Let’s be clear, LeBron James is not living in a shack. He’s got a nice house; I’m sure he’s got nice cars. He’s done really well,” Kamel joked. “But it’s amazing to me the things he goes. I’m not paying three bucks for that.”

“Hey, do you know who else who is not a billionaire but listens to Pandora with commercials,” Cruze asked. 

“Rachel Cruz!” Kamel answered.

“I’m basically like LeBron,” she quipped.

“I want to make it clear, LeBron James is not a cheapskate. In fact, he’s very, very generous,” Kamel made sure to note. “And there’s maybe a connection there; maybe you can speak to this. This is another article from CBS News. Lebron says he’s opening a multi-million dollar medical facility in his Ohio hometown. He’s built the I Promise School in his hometown in Ohio. He’s pledged to send 2300 students to college debt-free through scholarships. So to me, I just go; this guy has a plan for his money. He’s got a vision for where he wants it to go.”

Cruze agreed, discussing the mental approach and discipline needed to make such a significant financial impact.

“It’s not the Pandora subscription that’s going to make you a billionaire. That is not it. But it’s a mindset, too, of seeing what’s wasteful, what’s not. And it’s the same ways of looking at life that really could lead you; I mean, that kind of stuff can play into his business deals. Where he’s like, hmmm, what am I doing, it’s that same thought process that really can make you become successful.”

Ramsey Solutions has preached for years about the necessity of devising a plan for your money and following it rather than simply doing what feels good. They have always been strict adherents to a budget, regardless of how much one has flooded in on the income side of the equation. They also talk extensively about being a good steward and becoming incredibly generous along your journey.

Apparently, LeBron James shares many of the same deeply-held values.

“It’s wisdom with money,” Kamel added.

“LeBron, well done,” Cruze summed up.

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BNM Writers

The Cost of “Thoughts”

Jack Del Rio made a classic mistake of wondering aloud about topics that people in public positions aren’t allowed to think about on Twitter.

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wusa9.com

The first recorded use of the expression, “A penny for your thoughts,” was made by Sir Thomas Moore precisely 500 years ago (1522). But, no doubt, a penny went much further in the 16th century.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s most recent Consumer Price Index (CPI) shows that inflation continues to increase above expectations. The current annual rate of 8.6% is the highest since 1981. The cost of thoughts, or at least saying them aloud, well, saying certain things in a public forum, has gone up far more than the CPI.

Jack Del Rio, defensive coordinator for the Washington Commanders (formerly known as the “Washington Football Team,” and before that, the Washington Redskins), made a classic mistake of wondering aloud about topics that people in public positions aren’t allowed to think about on Twitter. Specifically, his Tweets compared (what he called) “the summer of riots” to January 6th at the U.S. Capitol. As the late, great Alex Trebek would say, Del Rio’s comments were “in the form of a question.”

Faced with media scrutiny about his Tweets, rather than back down, Del Rio referred to January 6th as a “dust-up at the Capitol.”

Can I tell you a trade secret of press flacks? They all have a small can of lighter fluid and a pack of matches within reach behind a piece of glass with the words “break only in the case of emergency” scrawled on it. Certain phrases or words will cause a press person, at great personal danger and sacrifice, to break the glass, douse themselves with the accelerant, and strike a match before flinging their immolating body in front of the podium. Okay, not literally, but I guarantee the Commanders’ public relations director would think this alternative less painful than hearing those words come out of Del Rio’s mouth in front of the press gaggle.

The controversy that followed was swift and certain: as was the reaction from Commanders Head Coach Ron Rivera. He promptly assessed a $100,000 fine on Del Rio for his comments.

Two points here: First, this is not a sports story. Talk Radio observers should be far more concerned with the consequences of this story than NFL or sports fans. Second, it doesn’t matter what you think happened on January 6th. You should still find the fine issued by Rivera chilling, whether you call it an insurrection or a dust-up.

I used to believe that comedian Bill Maher and I were about as far apart on the political spectrum as any two Americans could be. Maher and I, however, hold similar views on freedom of expression.

On his HBO show, “Real Time,” Maher defended Del Rio by saying: “In America, you have the right to be wrong. They fined him; the team fined him $100,000 for this opinion. Fining people for an opinion. I am not down with that.”

Because this is where we meet, I’d like to buy Bill Maher a drink and have a laugh over all the times he’s been wrong, or we can share that drink and a smile for understanding that freedom of expression IS the foundation of democracy – no matter who’s right or wrong. Freedom of expression is an issue where liberals and conservatives must find common ground.

The football team currently known as the Washington Commanders may need another name change. Perhaps the “Comrades” would reflect the team’s philosophy better? Levying such a hefty punishment for stating a political (and non-football) point of view because it is out of step with what is apparently official policy seems more reminiscent of the Politburo’s posture than a free society.

Del Rio’s words are understandably offensive to many. At the very least, they were ham-handed for someone who has been in the public spotlight for so long. But a $100,000 fine? Stifling political opinion is far more dangerous than anything Del Rio said.

Taking the Del Rio incident into context with the “Cancel Culture” of the past few years, Talk Radio hosts should look over their shoulders. Del Rio is also an excellent reminder to think twice before posting a politically unpopular opinion on social media.

Inflation has eaten away at the value of a penny and increased the cost of making politically incorrect statements, including on the air in recent years. What inhibits individuals from expressing their thoughts, beliefs, opinions, and emotions is a threat to Talk Radio and democracy.

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