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News Television

Thanksgiving Holiday Brings Traditional Ratings Dip

An average of 2.35 million viewers checked in to the Maria Bartiromo-hosted program. She spoke with outgoing President Donald Trump in his first interview following the Nov. 3rd election.

Douglas Pucci

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Outside of sports, the Thanksgiving holiday does not usually attract as many households to television viewing compared to normal levels. This was especially exhibited with the depressed ratings of most prime time programs, especially on the cable news front.

With that, combined with a featured special guest, the Sunday Nov. 29 morning edition of Fox News Channel’s “Sunday Morning Futures” became the most-watched cable news telecast during the entire Thanksgiving weekend (Nov. 26-29). An average of 2.35 million viewers checked in to the Maria Bartiromo-hosted program. She spoke with outgoing President Donald Trump in his first interview following the Nov. 3rd election. Trump continued to present unfounded claims of voter fraud amidst the multiple results certifications that confirmed Joe Biden’s victory from various states.

In addition, “Sunday Morning Futures” delivered 382,000 adults 25-54 — the top mark for a cable news program from Nov. 26-29 in the key demographic.

As stated here on BNM last week, for the week ending Nov. 22, the three major cable news networks were separated by just 94,000 viewers, based on their total day viewer averages. For the week ending Nov. 29, 2020, the margin got even narrower: a mere 29,000 viewers. According to total day data (from 6 a.m. to 5:59 a.m. each day), CNN — despite not airing a single telecast that landed in the top-25 most-watched cable news programs for the week — rose back up to the No. 1 cable news network spot with an average of 1.114 million viewers. It is the third week within the past four weeks CNN has led all cable news in total viewers. They also remained the key demos cable news leader (for the fourth consecutive week) with 273,000 adults 25-54; 378,000 adults 25-54 in prime time (8-11 p.m.). CNN came 1,000 total viewers short of topping cable altogether, but the Christmas movie-laden Hallmark Channel earned those top honors.

Fox News Channel led cable news in prime time among total viewers with an average of 2.048 million. Nonetheless, in total day, FNC averaged 1.095 million viewers and 169,000 adults 25-54.

MSNBC, with the Nov. 23 and Nov. 24 editions of “The Rachel Maddow Show” being the top two most-watched cable news telecasts of the holiday week, averaged 1.085 million viewers and 168,000 adults 25-54.

The three cable news networks were three of the top four most-watched networks on cable overall; also, they were three of cable’s top five in prime time behind “Monday Night Football”-enhanced ESPN (3.085 million) and Hallmark Channel (2.53 million). Here are their prime time averages during the Thanksgiving week:

  • Fox News Channel: 2.049 million viewers; 289,000 adults 25-54
  • CNN: 1.43 million viewers; 378,000 adults 25-54
  • MSNBC: 1.635 million viewers; 253,000 adults 25-54

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

1. Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC, Tue. 11/24/2020 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.680 million viewers

2. Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC, Mon. 11/23/2020 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.465 million viewers

3. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Mon. 11/23/2020 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.444 million viewers

4. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Tue. 11/24/2020 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.378 million viewers

5. The Five (FOXNC, Mon. 11/23/2020 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.883 million viewers

6. Hannity Special (FOXNC, Mon. 11/23/2020 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.839 million viewers

7. Tucker Carlson Special (FOXNC, Wed. 11/25/2020 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.814 million viewers

8. The Five (FOXNC, Tue. 11/24/2020 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.715 million viewers

9. Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell (MSNBC, Tue. 11/24/2020 10:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.703 million viewers

10. Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC, Wed. 11/25/2020 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.695 million viewers

26. Erin Burnett Outfront (CNN, Mon. 11/23/2020 7:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.330 million viewers

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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