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Election Night Was Disappointing For The GOP And Traditional TV Coverage

“Why did 10 million fewer people watch election coverage on the networks this year?”

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Did you watch much Election Night coverage? Surrounded by a bank of screens, I watched as many as five different networks simultaneously. 

Television has a clear Election Night 2022 ratings winner: Fox News dominated the traditional and cable news networks. Its total viewers doubled the number of Election Night’s second and third-rated networks in addition to those of its two cable news rivals, MSNBC and CNN.

Nielsen Primetime Viewership Election Night 11/9/22 – Total Viewers

  1. Fox – 7.42 million
  2. ABC – 3.31 million
  3. MSNBC – 3.21 million
  4. NBC – 3.11 million
  5. CNN – 2.61 million
  6. CBS – 2.56 million

Fox News also won among 25 – 54-year-olds.

Further, Fox has a larger audience than MSNBC, and CNN combined, in both total viewers and 25 – 54-year-olds, during each hour of prime time.

Detractors can continue to make derogatory remarks about Fox News Channel. However, it offers the marketplace something that a large number of viewers across a wide range of demographics prefer. 

Republicans weren’t the only ones whose Election Night hopes fell short of expectations. It wasn’t a great night for television news either. 

The total number of viewers was disappointing, considering the interest in this election. Nielsen data (published in numerous sources) shows that slightly over 22 million people watched primetime election coverage on the three major networks and three major cable news networks (ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and NBC). That’s off nearly one-third from the 2018 midterms when the same six outlets combined for 32.5 million people.

Why did 10 million fewer people watch election coverage on the networks this year? 

Possibilities include:

  • Cord-cutters may account for the greatest losses
  • Alternative networks have improved coverage and are stealing audience – NewsMax for conservatives and NPR for liberals. Univision, Telemundo, and Fox Business presented more extensive reporting than in the past.
  • Trust in the media is at an all-time low. Many people choose to get information from other sources instead of television networks.
  • Perhaps there was less interest in the 2022 elections than in 2018 when Trump was in office. We don’t have final data for 2022 yet.
  • Maybe interest in the 2018 midterms was an anomaly. According to the Census Bureau, the 2018 election had the highest participation for any midterm since at least 1978. 
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Each network lost audience compared to the 2018 midterms. Fox lost the least, about 5% of its 2018 Election Night coverage. ABC was down 38%, MSNBC by 32%, NBC 45%, CBS 33%, and CNN by almost half (these Nielsen numbers are from “Variety”).

CNN: It was a particularly bad night for CNN. It was the first Election Night since Chris Licht took over as its President. It was also the first time the network lost the battle for total viewers to MSNBC on Election Night.

The first noticeable difference in CNN’s coverage was the absence of Wolf Blitzer, who has hosted its Election Night for as long as I can remember. As CNN’s election anchor, Blitzer made the historic announcements of Barack Obama and Donald Trump’s elections and was the first TV anchor to call the 2020 election for Joe Biden.

Jake Tapper and Anderson Cooper shared CNN lead anchor duties while John King manned the “Magic Wall.” However, Cooper or one of several data analysts would often join King at the “Magic Wall.”

CNN’s “Magic Wall” got my attention. The technology worked and provided the most valuable data, such as graphically showing where votes were outstanding.

CNN had the best use of technology. It’s something to build on. 

The problem with CNN is you can’t call it journalism. It is so far in the tank for Democrats and so against Republicans that it’s hard to watch unless you are a liberal. Except, MSNBC is the liberal network – and it beat CNN.

It’s one thing to have somebody like David Axelrod, Obama’s former chief political strategist, openly rooting for Democrats – or Karl Rove on Fox News. But Tapper, Cooper, “chief political analyst” Gloria Borger – and most of the other people serving as anchors and reporters might as well have broken out the paper hats, noise-makers, and champagne throughout their coverage.

If CNN president Chris Licht hopes to make CNN watchable (let alone successful again), he must clean house and overhaul the talent.

Is it that difficult to see the hole for a network that provides information – journalism without anchors that openly root for one side and against the other? 

ABC: CNN wasn’t the only network to change its longtime election anchor. World News Tonight anchor David Muir led ABC’s coverage for the first time. Good Morning America and This Week host George Stephanopolous has been the lead on Election Night for nearly two decades.

Muir did an excellent, steady job. If he has a political opinion, I couldn’t tell. I appreciated his unbiased view, although that didn’t hold quite as well when political director Rick Klein and FiveThirtyEight editor Nate Silver added commentary.

ABC also added a new graphics package and tri-screen interactive voting data that Klein and Silver used to feature exit polling numbers.

Its panel of experts is ABC’s weakness. Donna Brazille (who has been on every other network). Heidi Heitkamp and Chris Christie aren’t strong draws.

ABC is probably the most straightforward of the networks and has the second-highest ratings after Fox,

Fox News: Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum anchored the Fox News Democracy 2022 desk. To be sure, the coverage on Fox included plenty of conservative commentary from Karl Rove, Trey Gowdy, Kellyanne Conway, and the usual Fox Primetime hosts. But there is always a liberal included on the panel. 

If we remove identifying markers such as IDs and handoffs with conservatives – and could make them unknown – Baier and MacCallum would get high marks from media reviewers. I’ll make a declarative statement; Baier, MacCallum, and Bill Hemmer are as unbiased as any anchors that did Election Night coverage – and in fact, less biased. 

I will say the same about Bill Hemmer’s analysis from the “Bill-board.” However, where CNN’s technology worked flawlessly, Fox’s frequently did not. Perhaps it was just technical issues, but I found CNN’s “Magic Wall made its points easier to understand – when not riddled with bias.

Forgetting what you think about his partisanship, Rove is a genius. He knows every county and Congressional District in the nation. He can break down the towns and precincts within them. There is no better analyst – although he has points of view that others won’t agree with.

There were two things on Fox that didn’t work: The “focus group” segments. I’m not fond of the concept in general. A group of people who are in a studio and know they will be on television with opposing views isn’t authentic. It is more effective to interview people after exit polling,

I also didn’t understand the Shannon Bream voter analysis data. It seemed part exit poll and part pre-election poll. The last thing anybody wanted to hear on election night was more polling.

MSNBC: I lasted about three minutes with MSNBC. 

I thought they put Rachel Maddow out to pasture.  

Liberals probably have the same visceral reaction to Fox that I do to MSNBC. I saw a clip online from later in the night where an MSNBC reporter suggested John Fetterman was a candidate for 2024. Somebody, please tell me this is fake news or at least a joke. 

NBC: Used a combination of four anchors, including Meet the Press Moderator Chuck Todd, Today Show Co-Host Savannah Guthrie, Nightly News Anchor Lester Holt, and Andrea Mitchell. 

It might as well have been MSNBC. Conservatives consider this group to have a considerable liberal bias – and not without good reason.

The most curious part of NBC’s coverage was the QR code that kept flashing in the corner of the screen. Scanning the code brought you to their blog – apparently – something I had neither the time nor interest in doing.

While CNN, Fox, CBS, and ABC seemed to have reporters on-site in every major battleground, NBC had the fewest – or at least I caught the fewest cutaways to them.

NBC was the first to make the call for John Fetterman in the Pennsylvania Senate race. I’m still undecided whether this is because they have better analytics or their more Democratic view of the world 

CBS: Norah O’Donnell anchored “America Decides,” flanked by the network’s chief political analyst John Dickerson and morning co-host Gayle King. The latter just seemed strangely out of place. The Mariah Carey interview now online feels more in her wheelhouse, but maybe that’s my problem.

CBS also was the most cautious in calling elections, moving races from “toss-up” to “leans” to “likely” before making a projection.

For the first time, CBS News had something it called its “Democracy Desk.” It used this new feature to track “election deniers” and all the scary things Democrats talked about in the final couple of weeks before the election.

We’re going to come back to this Democracy Desk. 

Since I’m a conservative, I pay the most attention to Fox and find it impossible to watch MSNBC. It doesn’t surprise me that Fox is easily the top-rated network for Election Night coverage.

I appreciate the technology CNN utilizes, but CNN is the second “I hate Trump” network. I’ll ask it again, How difficult is it to see that the hole is for a network that provides information without anchors that openly root for one side and against the other? The other question is how much lower will the ratings have to go before CNN realizes that’s its only position?

ABC is working toward filling the hole that CNN should occupy – except that it won’t do it full-time. They also have the second-best technology after CNN.

Beyond those three, I didn’t find much worse spending my time on.

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BNM Writers

Christopher Gabriel Isn’t Crazy About Politics, But Is Crazy About Making People Laugh

“We’ve been number one in  Fresno for the past 19 months, one of the top stations in the state. We must be doing something right. When we’re not doing news, we’re light-hearted.”

Jim Cryns

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Talk about conflicted youth. Christopher Gabriel grew up a couple of miles from Wrigley Field, even though his father was a devoted fan of the White Sox.

“My dad was a southside guy,” Gabriel said. “I was a White Sox fan like him. My mom was the anomaly, a Cubs fan, but now she’s a Philly fan. We had a divided household. I was in the first row in the upper deck for the last game at Comiskey. It was gut-wrenching saying good-bye to it.”

Yup. Conflicted.

As a kid, Gabriel watched Dick Allen in the red stripe era Sox uniforms. “I saw Allen hit one so far up in left field, it hit the lip of the roof before flying over and out,” Gabriel said. “That’s the kind of power Allen had.”

Gabriel was a basketball standout in high school, recruited by several schools including Tennessee. He had a lot of connections with the school. His uncle attended Tennessee, but he ultimately didn’t think the academic program was right for him.

He said the film Hoosiers was emblematic of everything he was. “I think it mirrored everything I could have been if I’d stayed with basketball. I always knew I had the talent but admittedly didn’t put in the necessary effort. I should have stayed there. At the same time, I never would have had the other amazing experiences in my life if I had stayed.”

His father was a shrewd businessman. Living in the Chicago area, along with McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc, his father  recognized the promise of the Golden Arches early.

“It cost 100 thousand dollars in liquid cash to get into a McDonald’s franchise back then,” Gabriel said. “My father had 9 thousand, far short of the money he needed. He kept borrowing more and finally Ray Kroc put up the difference himself. When my dad was concerned about how he was going to be able to pay Kroc back, Kroc just told him to pay it back by giving back to the community.”

Wow. Good deal for the Gabriel family.

Gabriel’s radio career  has encompassed both sports talk and news talk, from Fargo to Fresno. He is the host of Fresno’s Morning News on KMJ 580 AM/105.9 FM and has a ton of fun on his show. He’s not crazy about politics, but he’s passionate about his opinions.

“When I started on this show, I wanted to make people laugh on their morning commute,” Gabriel explained. “It was my goal to keep people in their car to hear the end of a story. Deliver heart-wrenching stories. I think we do that. We’re interesting, engaging, funny. We take the work seriously, but we don’t take ourselves too seriously. It’s a fine line.”

Gabriel said there’s no screaming on his show, no agenda, no attempt to make listeners lean a certain way. “We’ve been number one in  Fresno for the past 19 months, one of the top stations in the state. We must be doing something right. When we’re not doing news, we’re light-hearted.”

Gabriel did his homework before accepting the job.

The story goes like this; Gabriel had been working at another station. They canned him despite his being responsible for raising most of the revenue the show generated. He refused to play the game.

“It was the only job I ever got fired from in radio,” Gabriel said. “The reason–I wasn’t a cheerleader. I told them I’d rather be fired than become a cheerleader for anyone. I told them I wasn’t the right fit. They eventually agreed.”

KMJ program director Blake Taylor was familiar with Gabriels’ work at the previous station.

“I don’t know how he got my phone number, but the same day I was let go, he called me,” Gabriel explained. “Blake told me he was a fan of my work and wanted me to do guest-hosting. After months of guest-hosting, he insisted one day he was going to hire me. Five years later an opening came along and I had two interviews. I turned it down twice. When they offered the job a third time it made me think perhaps they really wanted me.”

If you’re keeping score at home, it was basketball, theater, and then radio. Here’s the theater part. In high school, he met Regina Gordon, who ran the theater department.

“She grabbed my arm in the hallway and asked me to audition,” Gabriel said. “I was open-minded in school. I was never afraid to walk the line between all groups of kids. I didn’t hang out with only one group. It wasn’t like I only hung out with jocks or theater kids. I didn’t give a damn about sitting at a popular table.”

After Regina Gordon’s interest in Gabriel’s possible acting future, he was working at the college radio station. A temporary wall had been put up in between the radio studio and the theater office.

“Someone in the theater office would bang on the wall when they felt I got too loud on my show,” Gabriel explained. “The banging would ruin my show. I got so pissed, I burst into the theater office and was raising hell,” Gabriel said. “The girl who had banged on the wall was apparently impressed with my anger and said I’d be great for a part they were looking to fill.”

A sign? Probably. It gets better. At USC, he studied under John Housman. Yes, the John Houseman.

“He told us stories about working with Orson Welles,” Gabriel explained. “Mr. Houseman was one of the greatest people I’ve ever met, a classical theater guy. I was on campus reading my lines for Barefoot in the Park. It was hot as hell and he was dressed in a tweed jacket and bow tie, just like he would be in the film, The Paper Chase. He saw the script I was reading and seemed dismissive. He grabbed my script and said, ‘commercial crap Mr. Gabriel.’ I’ll never forget, he walked 30 feet, turned and said, ‘Don’t ever forget. Commercial crap pays the bills.”

During Gabriel’s first year of theater studies he was starting to get it. Understand the craft, as thespians say. One day John Houseman took him aside and explained it to him this way:

“He said I was talented, but raw. He said I needed a lot of work but believed I could become a good actor and ‘join him on the boards.”

That’s such a thespian thing to say, but also greatly encouraging. In order to do that, Gabriel would have to give up basketball. He did. 

“I was going to be a walk-on at USC, and I realized the theater season was almost exactly the same duration as the basketball season. One of them had to go.” Basketball bit the dust.

Gabriel takes time to talk to theater groups and tells them a simple truth–if they want to pursue acting, they have to be dedicated. Work as hard as they can. He tells them he’s been in 105 plays in his career, but auditioned for more than a thousand.

He was a stellar athlete, but now his acting talent was gaining recognition. Mitch Albom went to see him in the play he penned, Tuesdays With Morrie in St. Paul, Minnesota. The stage play was adapted from Albom’s hugely successful book of the same name.

“Mitch Albom came to see me in Tuesdays with Morrie in St. Paul,” Gabriel said. “He liked the work and came backstage after the show. He said he’d like me to do another play he’d written. I thought he was bullshitting me, just being nice.When Mitch went back on the air on WJR in Detroit, someone told me he’d said he’d attended the best production of Tuesdays with Morrie he’d ever seen. That was our show.”

The accolades just kept on coming.

Gabriel worked with a director in Minneapolis by the name of Don Stolz. He ran the Old Log Theater, the oldest continuously run theater west of the Mississippi.

“He was a WWII veteran and was a theater major at Northwestern,” Gabriel said. “The guy who was running the Old Log once told him if he ever wanted to take over the theater, to send him a dollar. Stolz sent him a dollar and ran the theater for 50 years. He once told me, ‘You know what my idea of success as an actor is? You get that paycheck every Thursday. You get paid for doing what you love to do. I’ve always seen that as a critical message.”

Months later, Gabriel got a call from Albom. Turns out Albom was being sincere, and he wanted Gabriel to replace a guy in his play, Duck Hunter Shoots Angel.

“It’s a play about a couple of knucklehead brothers in Alabama who go duck hunting and actually wind up shooting down an angel,” Gabriel explained. “After a while, I told Mitch as much as I loved doing the show, I was burnt out. Mitch told me he thought I’d be good in radio, a good talk show host. He essentially pushed me into this business.”

Another door opens for our hero.

Gabriel had what could be called an apprenticeship at KFAN with Doug Westerman. “They didn’t need anyone on-air, but they were talking about starting a news-talk station,” he said. “Doug told me they were going to need someone to screen calls,” Gabriel recalled. Gabriel was apprehensive. “I thought I’d done too much in my career to start that low. Answering phones. I really didn’t know any better though so I asked him if I could have the weekend to think about it. Doug Westerman is a big and burly guy with a quick trigger. “F***that,’ Westerman screamed, ‘I need an answer now.’”

Whether Gabriel was intimidated or recognized a good opportunity when he saw one is only known by Gabriel himself. That’s where he started working with Pat Kessler, a TV political reporting legend in Minneapolis.

“Pat was like an older version of me,” Gabriel said. “He was a  real newshound. Pat was doing some speech on the air and I recognized it as the St. Crispin’s Day speech from Henry V. He paused for a moment so I chimed in with several lines and quickly felt I’d made a huge mistake.

“At the commercial break I thought I’d just blown this new career, and was anticipating Pat yelling at me. Instead, he loved it. He told me to go crazy, to create characters for his show. I did liners for the show as Kim Jong-il. There wasn’t a ceiling. He gave me the latitude to create. He allowed me to grow quickly. I couldn’t have asked for a better pro to learn from. And Doug, he is simply the man who gave me this awesome career. I’m forever grateful to him.”

Throughout his stage career, Gabriel has worked alongside some big names like Julie Harris and James Earl Jones. He said he was incredulous when he learned he’d be working with James Earl Jones.

“The first time I saw him I introduced myself and said, ‘Hello Mr. Jones.’ He said, ‘Call me Jimmy.’ I thought he had to be kidding. How the hell do you call James Earl Jones, ‘Jimmy?’”

With actors like Julie Harris and James Earl Jones, Gabriel recognized how much they cared about and respected their work. For them, it wasn’t about celebrity, it was about the craft, the work. They were so sure of themselves.

Gabriel is the father of two daughters. He was thrilled when one of their school principal’s insisted the students practiced their interpersonal skills.

“He had the students shake hands, make eye contact with each other,” he explained. “I saw it as an attempt to counter the phone culture. It forced the girls to communicate with aunts and uncles and be present. I’m grateful for his efforts.”

While he concedes no child is perfect, including his own, there was one incident he felt should be brought to my attention. When one of his daughters was 15, she sent Gabriel a text message.

“It began, ‘Hey Bruh.’ I wrote back, ‘Hey Bruh? Do you think this is your boyfriend?’ I told her ‘Here’s the thing. As your grandpa would certainly tell you, if you want to make it to 16, don’t ever text me ‘Hey Bruh’ again.”

In yet another Forrest Gump-ian moment, Gabriel worked with Andrew Zimmern, the host of Bizarre Foods on The Travel Channel.

“A lot of people don’t realize he was homeless and a drug addict,” Gabriel said. “He turned his life around and became an award-winning chef. He was a food critic on television and is a good friend to this day. He always made me feel important.”

Gabriel said when Zimmern visited a city, he didn’t want to eat in the heart of the city on the main street. The popular restaurants. Instead, he wanted to eat at the restaurant on the street behind the street. The family-run joint with real recipes.

“It’s kind of like how I approach sports,” Gabriel said. “I don’t care about batting averages, I look at the nuance and depth.”

You know, the sport behind the sport.

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BNM Writers

Are Fast Food Sandwich Stories News or Free Advertising?

The majority of these stories that make air seem to involve chicken but even then, hiding behind the latest “sandwich wars” justification seems a bit thin.

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Scarcely a week goes by where we don’t have an opportunity to watch, read, or listen to a “news” story concerning the latest menu item introduced or returned by a chain restaurant or fast food outlet. Yes, “news” is in quotations because I question just how this type of information finds its way into a legitimate rundown.

I’ve always wondered about this and nobody has ever successfully explained, argued, or come close to justifying this practice is legitimate. It’s advertising without the commercial spot break and I don’t know why we continue to do it.

First, let’s lay down the disclaimer that this is no criticism or finger pointing against any particular food, franchise, corporation, or drive-thru operation or employee. Additionally, no blame or negative evaluation is to be inferred against any news station, outlet, publication or staff member.

Frankly, you’re (we’re) all culpable and equally to blame.

I have sat in the control room and watched as a fast-food restaurant graphic popped up in between the anchor team or over the solo anchor’s shoulder as the prompter rolled out copy I myself would fight not to write.

And yet there it is, Murrow and other award-winning journalists enthusiastically telling us about the new chicken sandwich this place is rolling out next month or the latest two-for-one offer at that place if you go and eat there on a Tuesday.

“It’s their new olive burger…now with more olives!”

Actually, the majority of these stories that make air seem to involve chicken but even then, hiding behind the latest “sandwich wars” justification seems a bit thin.

So, again I ask why?

What makes this information suddenly become part of an article or news copy that costs a business nothing and not an ad campaign they should be paying for?

Seriously, we’re at the point where the lines have been blurred by mayonnaise or special sauce or two kinds of lettuce or several kinds of cheese if we’re really lucky.

I am on a soapbox here but not on either a pedestal nor an altitudinous mare. In other words, I myself have tasted the forbidden fruit. Often that fruit has come in the form of a free breakfast sandwich, flavored coffee, pizza or bacon double cheeseburger that found its way to the newsroom before suddenly becoming a topic discussed on the air.

Hey, I can’t review it if I don’t try it, right?

Well, yes and mostly no. I’m not advocating for it and unless I’m being compensated to extoll the wonder that is the addition of guacamole or coleslaw it’s not getting into my headline set.

On radio, the talkers can do it all they want. They’re about other stuff like fun and music and nobody is calling them out on credibility.

The newsroom is different.

When an individual does something good we go to cover it and a business, large or small should be afforded the same courtesy. So many fast-food chains and restaurant franchises do great things for charities and local people in-need and that is part of what we regularly like to showcase.

We get press releases, sometimes distributed as “news releases” from the food chains letting us know about the new offerings. “We’ve Added Wings!” This is not an ad copy, it’s meant to get in our shows and someone, somewhere decided this is okay and not to be questioned.

I tend not to read those memos that say, “don’t ask”.

In a different direction, there are legitimate incidents, developments and news stories that often must go through a screening process because the business involved is a paying sponsor or advertiser for news programming.

I’ve had and seen accurate and justifiable copy stricken, “massaged” until unidentifiable or outright killed because somebody’s commercial ran during the show or one of the dayparts.

No naiveté here, one understands the concern. However, if a pizza joint is facing a class action sexual harassment suit and good journalism has been practiced do we run from it because they’ve bought air time or worse yet have now added cilantro to the cheesy-bites?

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BNM Writers

ABC’s “The Light We Carry” Special Draws 3.5 Million Total Viewers

Bestselling author and former First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama was the focus of ABC’s Nov. 13 special “The Light We Carry.”

Douglas Pucci

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With the 2022 midterm elections almost entirely in the rearview mirror (save for extended vote counts in selected areas and the Georgia U.S. Senate runoff), a few notable figures from elections of years past took the spotlight on November 13-15.

Bestselling author and former First Lady Michelle Obama was the focus of ABC’s Nov. 13 special “The Light We Carry”. Sharing the same title of her newest book release, Obama offered new life stories as well as coping strategies for surviving stress and uncertainty, especially since the early days of the COVID pandemic. “Good Morning America” anchor Robin Roberts interviewed Obama in Chicago and hosted a lunch with Michelle’s mother and their close circle of friends.

For its original telecast, it drew 2.8 million total viewers on Nov. 13 from 10-11 p.m., according to Nielsen Media Research. The special ranked fourth in the hour, behind NBC’s “Sunday Night Football: Chargers at 49ers”, Paramount’s “Yellowstone” season premiere and CBS’ “NCIS: Los Angeles.” Within the following seven days, it picked up an additional 710,000 viewers bringing the tally for ABC’s “Michael Obama: The Light We Carry” to 3.5 million.

On the next night (Nov. 14), ABC televised “World News Tonight” anchor David Muir’s exclusive interview with former Vice President Mike Pence. It was Pence’s first sit-down interview since the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection at the Capitol and the subsequent committee hearings that investigated the day. It delivered 3.93 million viewers, which nearly doubled its “Bachelor in Paradise” lead-in (2.27 million) and ranked third in the 10-11 p.m. hour (behind ESPN “Monday Night Football: Commanders-Eagles” and CBS’ “NCIS: Hawai’i”). In Live plus seven-day viewers, the Pence interview added another 1.3 million to its audience figures, totaling 5.23 million overall.

Then, on Nov. 15, as expected, Donald Trump announced his run for the 2024 U.S. presidency. The three major cable news outlets plus two newer news channels all saw an uptick for that announcement within the 9 p.m. ET hour, although CNN and MSNBC only checked in on the event periodically.

Fox News Channel’s “Hannity” drew the biggest crowd with 5.16 million viewers — the program’s top mark since Trump spoke with Hannity on Aug. 26, 2021. CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” was a distant runner-up at 2.43 million. “Alex Wagner Tonight” on MSNBC (1.83 million) was a decent third; its lead-out “Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” (1.99 million) built upon Wagner’s show that evening.

Newsmax devoted two hours to Trump’s announcement, from 9-11 p.m. ET, drawing 1.13 million total viewers — normally, the outlet averages about 1/8th that amount in prime time.

Upstart NewsNation posted 234,000 viewers. It was preceded by “Cuomo” (193,000) at 8 p.m. and succeeded by a post-analysis hosted by Chris Cuomo at 10 p.m. (122,000). The night helped propel NewsNation to another 100,000+ weekly viewer average in prime time, a mark that was in far distant reach for almost all of its two years in existence.

Cable news averages for November 14-20, 2022:

Total Day (Nov. 14-20 @ 6 a.m.-5:59 a.m.)

  • Fox News Channel: 1.567 million viewers; 216,000 adults 25-54
  • MSNBC: 0.818 million viewers; 94,000 adults 25-54
  • CNN: 0.625 million viewers; 131,000 adults 25-54
  • HLN: 0.156 million viewers; 40,000 adults 25-54
  • Newsmax: 0.135 million viewers; 16,000 adults 25-54
  • Fox Business Network: 0.123 million viewers; 14,000 adults 25-54
  • CNBC: 0.122 million viewers; 29,000 adults 25-54
  • The Weather Channel: 0.108 million viewers; 21,000 adults 25-54

Prime Time (Nov. 14-19 @ 8-11 p.m.; Nov. 20 @ 7-11 p.m.)

  • Fox News Channel: 2.399 million viewers; 319,000 adults 25-54
  • MSNBC: 1.312 million viewers; 144,000 adults 25-54
  • CNN: 0.877 million viewers; 205,000 adults 25-54
  • Newsmax: 0.277 million viewers; 43,000 adults 25-54
  • CNBC: 0.170 million viewers; 51,000 adults 25-54
  • HLN: 0.162 million viewers; 37,000 adults 25-54
  • The Weather Channel: 0.110 million viewers; 20,000 adults 25-54
  • NewsNation: 0.103 million viewers; 14,000 adults 25-54
  • Fox Business Network: 0.069 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, Tue. 11/15/2022 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 5.157 million viewers

2. The Five (FOXNC, Tue. 11/15/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.869 million viewers

3. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Tue. 11/15/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.662 million viewers

4. The Five (FOXNC, Thu. 11/17/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.629 million viewers

5. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Thu. 11/17/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.629 million viewers

6. The Five (FOXNC, Mon. 11/14/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.560 million viewers

7. The Five (FOXNC, Wed. 11/16/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.546 million viewers

8. The Ingraham Angle (FOXNC, Tue. 11/15/2022 10:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.531 million viewers

9. The Five (FOXNC, Fri. 11/18/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.318 million viewers

10. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Wed. 11/16/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.299 million viewers

23. Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC, Mon. 11/14/2022 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.650 million viewers

28. Anderson Cooper 360 (CNN, Tue. 11/15/2022 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.430 million viewers

221. Real Time With Bill Maher “Episode 620” (HBO, Fri. 11/18/2022 10:00 PM, 57 min.) 0.834 million viewers

348. The Daily Show (CMDY, Thu. 11/17/2022 11:00 PM, 30 min.) 0.501 million viewers

395. Last Week Tonight (HBO, Sun. 11/20/2022 11:06 PM, 40 min.) 0.387 million viewers

399. Varney & Company (FBN, Wed. 11/16/2022 10:00 AM, 60 min.) 0.382 million viewers

444. Fast Money Halftime Report (CNBC, Tue. 11/15/2022 12:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.296 million viewers

453. Forensic Files “To The Viktor” (HLN, Thu. 11/17/2022 12:00 AM, 30 min.) 0.288 million viewers

500. Weekend Recharge (TWC, Sat. 11/19/2022 10:00 AM, 60 min.) 0.247 million viewers

526. Newsnation Special Report “Trump Potus 2024 Speech” (NWSN, Tue. 11/15/2022 9:00 PM, 69 min.) 0.234 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, Tue. 11/15/2022 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.929 million adults 25-54

2. Anderson Cooper 360 (CNN, Tue. 11/15/2022 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.656 million adults 25-54

3. The Ingraham Angle (FOXNC, Tue. 11/15/2022 10:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.637 million adults 25-54

4. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Tue. 11/15/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.573 million adults 25-54

5. The Five (FOXNC, Tue. 11/15/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.546 million adults 25-54

6. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Wed. 11/16/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.506 million adults 25-54

7. The Five (FOXNC, Thu. 11/17/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.501 million adults 25-54

8. Gutfeld! (FOXNC, Tue. 11/15/2022 11:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.481 million adults 25-54

9. The Five (FOXNC, Wed. 11/16/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.479 million adults 25-54

10. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Thu. 11/17/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.465 million adults 25-54

35. Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC, Mon. 11/14/2022 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.298 million adults 25-54

147. The Daily Show (CMDY, Thu. 11/17/2022 11:00 PM, 30 min.) 0.172 million adults 25-54

158. Real Time With Bill Maher “Episode 620” (HBO, Fri. 11/18/2022 10:00 PM, 57 min.) 0.167 million adults 25-54

221. Last Week Tonight (HBO, Sun. 11/20/2022 11:06 PM, 40 min.) 0.128 million adults 25-54

261. Forensic Files “Kidnapping” (HLN, late Fri. 11/18/2022 4:00 AM, 30 min.) 0.113 million adults 25-54

386. Shark Tank “Shark Tank 1005” (CNBC, Tue. 11/15/2022 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.075 million adults 25-54

450. Weekend Recharge (TWC, Sat. 11/19/2022 11:00 AM, 60 min.) 0.063 million adults 25-54

570. American Built (FBN, Mon. 11/14/2022 11:30 PM, 30 min.) 0.048 million adults 25-54

644. Cuomo (NWSN, Wed. 11/16/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.038 million adults 25-54

Source: Live+Same Day data, Nielsen Media Research

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