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News Television

Biden Town Hall Leads ABC to Ratings Win This week

Despite three networks showing Trump, it was Joe Biden’s ABC town hall that drew more viewers

Douglas Pucci

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The night of Thursday, Oct. 15 was supposed to feature a presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden in Miami, Fla. But after Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis on Sep. 30, the Commission on Presidential Debates offered the candidates to hold the debate virtually online, to which Trump declined. As a result, Biden instead scheduled a two-hour town hall from Philadelphia for the ABC network. Trump countered with his own one-hour town hall from Miami, Fla. hosted by “Today” anchor Savannah Guthrie on the networks of NBC, MSNBC and CNBC.

Despite three networks showing Trump, it was Joe Biden’s ABC town hall that drew more viewers — 14.13 million viewers vs. the combined 13.46 million (NBC 10.91 million, MSNBC 1.83 million, CNBC 0.72 million). Biden also won in the key demo battle of adults 25-54: 4.64 million vs. 3.74 million.

Here were the half-hour breakdowns of both town halls where Biden even topped Trump head-to-head in the 8-9 p.m. ET hour:

8:00-8:30 p.m. ET

ABC — The Vice President and the People: A Special Edition of 20/20 (Joe Biden Town Hall)

Viewers: 13.51 million, Adults 25-54: 4.13 million

NBC/MSNBC/CNBC — Trump Town Hall

Viewers: 12.79 million, Adults 25-54: 3.39 million

8:30-9:00 p.m. ET

ABC — The Vice President and the People: A Special Edition of 20/20 (Joe Biden Town Hall)

Viewers: 15.15 million, Adults 25-54: 4.97 million

NBC/MSNBC/CNBC — Trump Town Hall

Viewers: 14.13 million, Adults 25-54: 4.09 million

9:00-9:30 p.m. ET

ABC — The Vice President and the People: A Special Edition of 20/20 (Joe Biden Town Hall)

Viewers: 16.70 million, Adults 25-54: 5.67 million

9:30-10:00 p.m. ET

ABC — The Vice President and the People: A Special Edition of 20/20 (Joe Biden Town Hall)

Viewers: 11.18 million, Adults 25-54: 3.78 million

Biden’s town hall peaked in its third half-hour (9-9:30 p.m. ET), presumably due to some of those who had switched over to ABC after Trump’s town hall had concluded.

For the week ending Oct. 11, 2020 in total day data (from 6 a.m. to 5:59 a.m. each day), Fox News Channel and CNN shared top honors among the cable news networks: FNC in viewers (2.07 million); CNN in adults 25-54 (390,000: edging out FNC’s 382,000). MSNBC (1.54 million) surpassed CNN (1.47 million) in total viewers but lagged behind both cable news stations in the key demo (249,000 adults 25-54).

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

1. VP Debate (FOXNC, Wed. 10/7/2020 9:03 PM, 91 min.) 11.898 million viewers

2. VP Debate Analysis (FOXNC, Wed. 10/7/2020 10:34 PM, 26 min.) 9.162 million viewers

3. VP Debate Coverage (FOXNC, Wed. 10/7/2020 8:50 PM, 13 min.) 8.399 million viewers

4. Vice Presidential Debate (CNN, Wed. 10/7/2020 9:04 PM, 89 min.) 7.705 million viewers

5. Debate (MSNBC, Wed. 10/7/2020 9:03 PM, 92 min.) 6.918 million viewers

6. MSNBC Debate Analysis (MSNBC, Wed. 10/7/2020 10:35 PM, 25 min.) 6.635 million viewers

7. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Wed. 10/7/2020 8:00 PM, 50 min.) 6.122 million viewers

8. Debate Night In America (CNN, Wed. 10/7/2020 10:33 PM, 87 min.) 5.372 million viewers

9. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Tue. 10/6/2020 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 5.297 million viewers

10. Hannity (FOXNC, Wed. 10/7/2020 11:00 PM, 60 min.) 5.276 million viewers

Top 10 cable news programs among adults 25-54:

1. VP Debate (FOXNC, Wed. 10/7/2020 9:03 PM, 91 min.) 3.097 million adults 25-54

2. Vice Presidential Debate (CNN, Wed. 10/7/2020 9:04 PM, 89 min.) 2.924 million adults 25-54

3. VP Debate Analysis (FOXNC, Wed. 10/7/2020 10:34 PM, 26 min.) 2.333 million adults 25-54

4. Debate Night In America (CNN, Wed. 10/7/2020 10:33 PM, 87 min.) 1.948 million adults 25-54

5. VP Debate Coverage(FOXNC, Wed. 10/7/2020 8:50 PM, 13 min.) 1.876 million adults 25-54

6. Debate (MSNBC, Wed. 10/7/2020 9:03 PM, 92 min.) 1.480 million adults 25-54

7. MSNBC Debate Analysis (MSNBC, Wed. 10/7/2020 10:35 PM, 25 min.) 1.430 million adults 25-54

8. Hannity (FOXNC, Wed. 10/7/2020 11:00 PM, 60 min.) 1.351 million adults 25-54

9. Debate Night In America (CNN, Wed. 10/7/2020 8:00 PM, 64 min.) 1.243 million adults 25-54

10. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Wed. 10/7/2020 8:00 PM, 50 min.) 1.209 million adults 25-54

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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