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Fox News Dominates Election Day Coverage

Although less than half of FNC’s draw, MSNBC (3.21 million) was runner-up among cable in total viewers followed by CNN (2.61 million).

Douglas Pucci

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November 8th was Election Day, as the country decided who held control of Congress in this midterm session, and Fox News signaled it still controls cable news viewership.

Results from early and same-day voting indicated, much to the surprise of news outlets and observers, that Democrats would likely retain power in the U.S. Senate. This was confirmed as close races in Arizona and Nevada were decided in the Democratic Party’s favor; also confirmed, the GOP earned a majority in the House of Representatives, albeit by a slimmer margin than expected. For Joe Biden, it marked one of the best midterm election results for a sitting President’s political party in U.S. history.

Of course, all major cable news outlets experienced a lift from election coverage. Fox News Channel dominated the TV landscape (including broadcast networks) averaging 7.42 million viewers in prime time (8:00-11:00 PM ET), according to Nielsen Media Research. Although less than half of FNC’s draw, MSNBC (3.21 million) was runner-up among cable in total viewers followed by CNN (2.61 million).

The race for the U.S. Senate seat in Pennsylvania was one of the high-profile contests to watch. At about shortly after the 1:00 AM ET hour, it was called for Democratic incumbent John Fetterman, defeating Republican challenger and former daytime talk show host Dr. Mehmet Oz. The cable news rankings in total audience remained the same: FNC (2.64 million), MSNBC (1.94 million) and CNN (1.25 million).

Fox Business Network’s simulcast of FNC midterm election news delivered 629,000 viewers. Meanwhile, Newsmax averaged 572,000 and NewsNation posted 93,000.

During the 9:00 PM ET hour on Saturday, Nov. 12, it was reported that Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto held onto her seat in Nevada after defeating Republican Adam Laxalt, clinching the Democrats’ control of the Senate regardless of the results of the upcoming December runoff election in Georgia. MSNBC (1.68 million) edged past CNN (1.53 million) within the hour. FNC opted for regular programming; its “Unfiltered with Dan Bonigno” drew 1.29 million.

On the broadcast side back on Nov. 8, ABC led with 3.31 million viewers, with NBC (3.11 million) close behind and CBS in third (2.56 million). In their regular 11:35 PM hour, CBS aired a live edition of Late Show with Stephen Colbert (at a below-average 1.88 million total viewers) and ABC televised an original edition of “Jimmy Kimmel” (guest Bill Maher; delivered 1.56 million — near its normal levels). NBC preempted The Tonight Show for additional news coverage.

Univision (1.29 million viewers from 9-11 p.m. on Nov. 8) led all Spanish-language outlets, and more than doubled Telemundo (601,000) in the same two-hour period.

The 2022 midterm elections drew a combined total viewership of 23 million from the eight major networks (ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox News plus FBN simulcast, MSNBC, CNN, Univision and Telemundo). This marked a 33 percent decline from those same networks for the 2018 midterms (34.2 million), although that was in the midst of the chaotic Trump White House era which then heightened interest for all news outlets.

Figures for 2022 somewhat harken back to those from 2014. ABC, CBS and NBC then each only devoted the 10 p.m. ET hour to the midterms. Combined with FNC, CNN and MSNBC, the six outlets posted 22.9 million viewers.

Cable news averages for November 7-13, 2022:

Total Day (Nov. 7-13 @ 6 a.m.-5:59 a.m.)

  • Fox News Channel: 1.911 million viewers; 223,000 adults 25-54
  • MSNBC: 0.986 million viewers; 146,000 adults 25-54
  • CNN: 0.767 million viewers; 201,000 adults 25-54
  • The Weather Channel: 0.166 million viewers; 36,000 adults 25-54
  • Newsmax: 0.162 million viewers; 21,000 adults 25-54
  • HLN: 0.156 million viewers; 38,000 adults 25-54
  • Fox Business Network: 0.144 million viewers; 22,000 adults 25-54
  • CNBC: 0.123 million viewers; 29,000 adults 25-54

Prime Time (Nov. 7-12 @ 8-11 p.m.; Nov. 13 @ 7-11 p.m.)

  • Fox News Channel: 3.243 million viewers; 597,000 adults 25-54
  • MSNBC: 1.702 million viewers; 274,000 adults 25-54
  • CNN: 1.219 million viewers; 368,000 adults 25-54
  • Newsmax: 0.269 million viewers; 39,000 adults 25-54
  • The Weather Channel: 0.183 million viewers; 38,000 adults 25-54
  • HLN: 0.169 million viewers; 40,000 adults 25-54
  • CNBC: 0.157 million viewers; 49,000 adults 25-54
  • Fox Business Network: 0.136 million viewers; 43,000 adults 25-54
  • NewsNation: 0.076 million viewers; 14,000 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. FNC Democracy 22 Election (FOXNC, Tue. 11/8/2022 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 7.805 million viewers

2. FNC Democracy 22 Election (FOXNC, Tue. 11/8/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 7.274 million viewers

3. FNC Democracy 22 Election (FOXNC, Tue. 11/8/2022 10:00 PM, 60 min.) 7.186 million viewers

4. FNC Democracy 22 Election (FOXNC, Tue. 11/8/2022 7:00 PM, 60 min.) 5.826 million viewers

5. FNC Democracy 22 Election (FOXNC, Tue. 11/8/2022 11:00 PM, 60 min.) 5.745 million viewers

6. The Five (FOXNC, Tue. 11/8/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 4.827 million viewers

7. FNC Democracy 22 Election (FOXNC, Tue. 11/8/2022 6:00 PM, 60 min.) 4.521 million viewers

8. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Wed. 11/9/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 4.428 million viewers

9. The Five (FOXNC, Wed. 11/9/2022 5:09 PM, 51 min.) 4.340 million viewers

10. The Five (FOXNC, Mon. 11/7/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 4.071 million viewers

20. Decision 2022 “Midterms Results and Analysis” (MSNBC, Tue. 11/8/2022 10:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.435 million viewers

36. Election Night In America “Midterm 2022” (CNN, Tue. 11/8/2022 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.683 million viewers

262. Real Time With Bill Maher “Episode 619” (HBO, Fri. 11/11/2022 10:00 PM, 56 min.) 0.828 million viewers

322. FNC Simulcast: Election (FBN, Tue. 11/8/2022 10:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.681 million viewers

385. America’s Morning Headquarters (TWC, Thu. 11/10/2022 8:00 AM, 60 min.) 0.535 million viewers

401. The Daily Show (CMDY, Mon. 11/7/2022 11:00 PM, 30 min.) 0.478 million viewers

413. Last Week Tonight (HBO, Sun. 11/13/2022 11:06 PM, 34 min.) 0.455 million viewers

488. Fast Money Halftime Report (CNBC, Fri. 11/11/2022 12:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.306 million viewers

490. Forensic Files “Hundreds of Reasons” (HLN, Fri. 11/11/2022 11:30 PM, 30 min.) 0.303 million viewers

767. Cuomo (NWSN, Wed. 11/9/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.163 million viewers

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

1. FNC Democracy 22 Election (FOXNC, Tue. 11/8/2022 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 1.978 million adults 25-54

2. FNC Democracy 22 Election (FOXNC, Tue. 11/8/2022 10:00 PM, 60 min.) 1.879 million adults 25-54

3. FNC Democracy 22 Election (FOXNC, Tue. 11/8/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 1.781 million adults 25-54

4. FNC Democracy 22 Election (FOXNC, Tue. 11/8/2022 11:00 PM, 60 min.) 1.497 million adults 25-54

5. FNC Democracy 22 Election (FOXNC, Tue. 11/8/2022 7:00 PM, 60 min.) 1.285 million adults 25-54

6. Election Night In America “Midterm 2022” (CNN, Tue. 11/8/2022 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 1.120 million adults 25-54

7. Election Night In America “Midterm 2022” (CNN, Tue. 11/8/2022 10:00 PM, 60 min.) 1.097 million adults 25-54

8. FNC Democracy 22 Election (FOXNC, Tue. 11/8/2022 12:00 AM, 60 min.) 1.054 million adults 25-54

9. Election Night In America “Midterm 2022” (CNN, Tue. 11/8/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.960 million adults 25-54

10. FNC Democracy 22 Election (FOXNC, Tue. 11/8/2022 6:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.876 million adults 25-54

13. Decision 2022 “Midterms Results and Analysis” (MSNBC, Tue. 11/8/2022 10:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.811 million adults 25-54

120. FNC Simulcast: Election (FBN, Tue. 11/8/2022 10:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.279 million adults 25-54

210. The Daily Show (CMDY, Mon. 11/7/2022 11:00 PM, 30 min.) 0.186 million adults 25-54

279. Last Week Tonight (HBO, Sun. 11/13/2022 11:06 PM, 34 min.) 0.139 million adults 25-54

308. America’s Morning Headquarters (TWC, Thu. 11/10/2022 8:00 AM, 60 min.) 0.127 million adults 25-54

319. Real Time With Bill Maher “Episode 619” (HBO, Fri. 11/11/2022 10:00 PM, 56 min.) 0.124 million adults 25-54

325. Forensic Files “One For The Road” (HLN, late Thu. 11/10/2022 1:00 AM, 30 min.) 0.121 million adults 25-54

420. Shark Tank “Shark Tank 1303” (CNBC, Sun. 11/13/2022 10:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.085 million adults 25-54

735. Newsnation: Rush Hour (NWSN, Mon. 11/7/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.035 million adults 25-54

Source: Live+Same Day data, Nielsen Media Research

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BNM Writers

Airing The Tyre Nichols Video Was A Necessity

There were hard moments to watch in those videos, hard sounds to hear. But they aired.

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Far be it for me not to address this outrageous and embarrassing instance in humanity. After the videos of Memphis police brutally beating Tyre Nichols were shown on television there really seemed to be more outrage emerging from society this time than from the media, for a change. One would think that’s how we wish things to be.

In instances like this, where the video and audio images are far from brief but are instead chaptered as they unfold, there are few options other than to let them run their course. Clocks — breaks hard and soft — are out the window, just as in live coverage.

Because that’s what this was, only the live this time was us, and as we all absorbed and reacted to actions disapprovingly familiar yet somehow foreign at the same time, the impact was still becoming apparent even though we already knew the outcome.

It’s happened before.

Not always like this but we’ve seen it before, police encounters shown on the news overtakes and become the news.

It takes effect as the sights and sounds are digested, dissected, and discussed, often before their potential impact could really be imagined.

In 1991, when the Handycam footage crossed screens for the first time and we learned Rodney King’s name, we didn’t know then but we had a feeling.

We were on the right track, though as newsrooms evolved and street reporting incorporated a different type of storytelling.

I was a cop in 1991. Changes came. Some.

It’s 2023, I’m no longer a cop. Changes will come again. Some.

Turning points — or the overused watershed moments — mean just as much to the news media as they do to law enforcement.

The “why’s” that make this a turning point are more society and community based this time around than they were in 1991.

At least I think so. And I don’t think it makes a bit of difference who’s involved this time.

There were hard moments to watch in those videos, and hard sounds to hear. But they aired. Where they couldn’t air, they were described in great detail; descriptions sometimes can be worse than the real thing. Sometimes, not this time.

And they should air, they shouldn’t stop airing. This is what happened and this is what people need to see and hear and this is exactly why we are here.

Warn them, provide them with a heads up that they’re not going to like what happens next. It’s life and we show life, and we show what some of us do with it when it’s someone else’s.

Overall, I would say the news platforms held their composure, even after the videos were released. I saw, read, and heard some refreshingly neutral coverage, even from outlets where I expected hard turns into the lanes on either side of the road.

Legitimate questions were asked by anchors and reporters and much of the time, the off-balance issues were raised more by those on the sidewalks and those on the other side of the cameras and microphones.

As much as I find myself in disagreement with what I often see on the cable networks — all the cable networks — I did find a sense of symmetry watching CNN’s Don Lemon speak with Memphis City Council Chair Martavius Jones in the hours after the videos were released.

Regular protocols be damned, Lemon and producers lingered patiently as Jones, visibly overcome by emotion, struggled to regain breath and composure enough to be able to speak. Rather than cut away or move to other elements, they stood fast and it became an example of what often requires no words.

There were fewer punches pulled on other platforms as well.

The sounds of the screams, the impacts, and the hate-filled commands were broadcast through car radios.

As were Tyre Nichol’s calls for his mom. They aired. They had to.

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BNM Writers

Does the Republican Establishment Get It?

For many it seemed that the Republican establishment stood idly by as Democrats changed the rules and worked behind the scenes to alter elections.

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In a move that seemed to go against the wishes of the patriotic American grassroots, the Republican party on Friday re-elected RNC Chairperson Ronna McDaniel. 

The media immediately took notice, as many on television and radio are now wondering why the party would re-elect a chairperson who has been so unpopular with the base of its party. 

Grant Stinchfield discussed this issue Friday night on his program, Stinchfield Tonight, which airs on Real America’s Voice network.

“Ronna McDaniel holds on to her chairmanship of the Republican Party. By a whopping total of — what were the numbers– 111 to 54. Harmeet Dhillon only received 54 votes. Mike Lindell 4 votes. This is proof to me that the Republican establishment is dug in,” Stinchfield — formerly of Newsmax — said. “Don’t tell me they’re out of touch. See, you tell me they’re out of touch, that implies ignorance. They’re not ignorant about anything.”

As sentiment for Dhillon grew in the days leading up to Friday’s vote, many influential politicians and party donors publicly offered her their support and endorsement. These included Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), as well as donors Mike Rydin, Dick Uihlein, and Bernie Marcus.

Also on board were musician and outspoken conservative John Rich, along with the state GOP of Nebraska and Washington State. Countless journalists and media personalities, such as Charlie Kirk, Miranda Divine, and Lou Dobbs, also came out publicly in support of Dhillon. Former President Donald Trump remained neutral, not making a public choice of either of the three candidates.

For many of Dhillon’s supporters, the deciding factor was public sentiment across the party’s base.

“They’re reading the same chat boards. They’re getting the same emails I’m reading. I will literally post something about this race when I was supporting Harmeet Dhillon. There was not one comment – not one – that supported Ronna McDaniel. Everyone wanted change,” Stinchfield said, noting that the party elite saw the same groundswell of support for change.

“Now, nobody has an issue as Ronna McDaniel is some evil kind of person. I don’t believe she is. I believe, though, that she is part of the establishment. She’s been around too long as far as the establishment goes. And she’s been ingrained in doing business as usual. It’s not working.”

In making their choices known, many Dhillon supporters simply pointed to the scoreboard during McDaniel’s reign.

“Think about where we are. 2018, we lost the House. 2020, we lost everything. 2022, we won the House, but we should have really steamrolled the House and we should have taken back the Senate, which we didn’t do,” Stinchfield said. “That means we’re on a real losing track since she took over. I don’t like being on a losing track. I like being on a winning track.

“Something has got to change when you talk about all of this. So how does Ronna McDaniel get 111 votes and Harmeet Dhillon only get 54 votes, when everyone, every Republican voter I talk to said it was time for change?” pondered Stinchfield.

And even more than the losses, for many it seemed that the Republican establishment stood idly by as Democrats changed the rules and worked behind the scenes to alter elections. The most recent example of which came in Arizona, where presumptive gubernatorial favorite, Kari Lake, was “defeated” when countless voting irregularities occurred in some of the state’s most deep-red areas.

“Under her watch, Democrats instituted a mail-in ballot scheme. That may be even worse than losing, when you talk about the House and the Senate and all these things. The fact that we now have a junk mail-in ballot scheme across the country under Ronna McDaniel’s watch is serious trouble. Very serious trouble,” Stinchfield said on Friday. “And so the reason it is is because the Democrats are rigging the system.”

For years – until Donald Trump descended the golden escalator and took the world by storm – the Republican party had the reputation of being the party of the rich. Rush Limbaugh used to refer to this wing of Republicans as “the country club crowd.” President Donald Trump flipped the narrative completely, offering a clear vision of hope and patriotism to working-class America.

Reputable polling — such as Richard Baris’ Big Data Poll — consistently showed Trump running well ahead of almost every Republican candidate during the 2022 mid-term election cycle. In other words, Trump still maintains considerably more support across the country than most of the individual Senate or House candidates experienced.

Many experts believe this is because voters still view Trump as an outsider, while they view the Republican party much less favorably.

“Let’s tell you how out of touch they are, how elitist they are,” Stinchfield said, calling out the GOP establishment. “This meeting that went on, do you know where it is? It’s at the Waldorf Astoria Monarch in California. One of the most expensive resorts in America. You’re lucky if you get a room for a thousand dollars a night down there on Dana Point. Now, it’s a beautiful hotel, but why is the Republican Party holding an event there? Then I went back and I looked at what RedState did. RedState went back and looked at some of the expenses that the Republican Party under Ronna McDaniel’s leadership was spending money on.

“Take a look at this. $3.1 million on private jets. $1.3 million on limousine and chauffeur services. $17.1 million on donor mementos. $750,000 on floral arrangements. Now you compare this to the Democrats. The Democrats spent $35,000 on private airfare. A thousand dollars on floral arrangements. A thousand. Not $750,000. A thousand. And the $17.1 million they spent on donor mementos, the Democrats spent $1.5 million.

“Democrats know where to put the money. It’s not giving donors gifts. Donors shouldn’t want gifts. If you give money, give money. You don’t need the fancy pin to put on your lapel.”

Following her loss, Dhillon warned her party that it must listen to the base, saying, “if we ignore this message, I think it’s at our peril. It’s at our peril personally, as party leaders and it’s at our peril for our party in general.”

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BNM Writers

The State of the Radio Industry and Technology

“As the industry continues to evolve, radio broadcasters must find new ways to monetize their digital offerings and adapt to changing listener habits.”

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After writing some three-dozen columns for Barrett Media, I often hear that I don’t provide a balanced view of the radio industry. Therefore, this week, I will write about the strengths and weaknesses of the radio industry. It may be a little simplistic, but it will make sense at the end. I promise.

The radio broadcasting business continues to evolve in the digital age, with strengths and challenges to consider. One of the most significant strengths of radio is its ability to reach a broad audience. Radio waves can travel long distances, allowing local stations to reach listeners beyond their immediate area. This makes radio a powerful tool for both local and national advertisers. Radio also reaches audiences in their cars, at work, and at home, providing advertisers with multiple touchpoints. According to the Radio Advertising Bureau, radio reaches 93% of adults in the United States each week, making it one of the most widely consumed mediums. Furthermore, radio is a cost-effective form of advertising, with lower ad rates than other media forms. This allows small businesses to reach a large audience without breaking the bank.

Another strength of radio is its role in emergency communication. In times of crisis, radio can provide important information to listeners quickly and efficiently. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requires all radio stations to have emergency alert systems, allowing them to disseminate critical information to the public promptly. Radio can be a lifeline for communities during natural disasters, power outages, or other emergencies, providing updates on road closures, evacuation orders, and other important information. Radio can reach remote areas where other forms of communication may not be as reliable. This makes radio a vital tool for emergency responders, who rely on it to coordinate responses and disseminate information.

Despite these strengths, the radio industry faces several challenges in the digital age. One of the biggest challenges is competition from other media outlets, such as streaming services and podcasts. The rise of these digital platforms has led to a decline in traditional radio listening, which is likely to continue. 

According to a Nielsen report, traditional radio listening among adults aged 18-34 has dropped by 20% over the last decade. Additionally, many radio stations are struggling to monetize their digital offerings, which has led to a decline in revenue. However, radio has been able to adapt by incorporating streaming services, podcasts, and other digital platforms, which allows them to reach a wider audience and cater to changing listening habits.

Another challenge is the consolidation of the radio industry. In recent years, there has been a significant amount of it, with a small number of companies owning multiple stations. This has led to less programming diversity and less market competition. This can lead to a homogenization of content, with less local flavor and less opportunity for new voices in the industry. However, many smaller independent stations have survived by providing unique and localized content catering to the needs of their community.

Despite these challenges, the radio industry continues to generate significant revenue. The Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) says that radio advertising revenue in the United States reached $18.9 billion in 2019. The radio industry has been able to adapt to the changing market, with many stations now offering a combination of traditional and digital programming. The industry has also been able to monetize digital offerings by incorporating targeted advertising, sponsorships, and other revenue streams.In conclusion, the radio broadcasting business is facing challenges in the digital age, but it continues to have an enormous audience reach and role in emergency communication. 

Additionally, the industry continues to generate significant revenue. As the industry continues to evolve, radio broadcasters must find new ways to monetize their digital offerings and adapt to changing listener habits.

If my analysis seems a little simplistic or this column doesn’t seem like my typical style, it’s because I didn’t write it. The column was written using artificial intelligence (AI). More specifically, by the hottest tech trend these days, ChatGPT.

How hot? Here are a couple of data points from a report in Axios.

  • In June, generative AI was covered in only 152 articles. Just six months later, the topic has generated roughly 12,000 news stories, according to MuckRack data.
  • At this year’s CES trade show, 579 exhibitors were listed under the show’s “Artificial Intelligence” category — more than double of those categorized as “Metaverse” (176), “Cryptocurrency” (19), and “Blockchain” (55) combined.

ChatGPT is AI technology that allows you to have regular conversations with a chatbot that can answer questions and help with tasks such as writing columns. 

ChatGPT is what Siri wants to be when she grows up.

ChatGPT is currently open and free while it’s in its research and feedback collection phase. If it’s not perfect, it’s certainly a lot of fun. It is also quite helpful when researching a topic (as long as the information you need is pre-2021). It is much more efficient and precise than Google, any other search engine, or Siri. I find myself obsessed with seeing what it knows and can do. If you try it, you probably will be too.

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