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Fox News Tops Ratings With Bezos Coverage

Douglas Pucci

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FOX News

Amazon founder and former CEO Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest man, flew on a supersonic excursion to the edge of space on July 20 aboard a suborbital capsule and rocket system named New Shepard. It was built by his space company Blue Origin. He, along with a few guest passengers including his brother Mark Bezos, took off from Van Horn, Texas. The trip lasted approximately 11 minutes.

Fox News Channel was the top cable news outlet with Bezos coverage, which began during “FOX & Friends”, this year’s top morning cable news program. In the 8 a.m. ET hour leading up to the Blue Origin launch, FNC drew 1.46 million total viewers and 221,000 in the 25-54 demo, topping both MSNBC (1.03 million viewers/145,000 adults 25-54) and CNN (665,000 viewers/115,000 adults 25-54), according to Nielsen Media Research.

Upon the rocket launch and subsequent landing within the 9-10 a.m. hour, Fox News Channel was once again on top, delivering 1.89 million total viewers and 272,000 in the 25-54 demo during their “America’s Newsroom” slot. CNN perked up to the runner-up cable position with 1.18 million viewers and 243,000 adults 25-54, passing MSNBC (1.07 million viewers/128,000 adults 25-54).

FNC had double and triple digit percent advantages over CNN and MSNBC in both viewers and demo.

It was the second space trip by a billionaire passenger within a ten-day span; Virgin’s Richard Branson made his venture in to space back on July 11.

On the following evening (July 21), CNN hosted a town hall event with President Joe Biden, which took place at the six-month mark of his presidency. Moderated by Don Lemon from Cincinnati, Ohio, Biden addressed the concerns of the spread of conspiracy theories and disinformation when it comes to the handling of the pandemic. In a subtle reference to Fox News, he stated, “One of those other networks is not a big fan of mine… but if you notice, as they say in the southern part of my state, they’ve had an altar call, some of those guys. All of a sudden they’re out there saying, ‘Let’s get vaccinated. Let’s get vaccinated.’ The very people who before this were saying… but that.

The 80-minute town hall posted 1.563 million viewers and 343,000 in the 25-54 demo, making it CNN’s most-watched program since their live July 4th music and fireworks special.

Meanwhile, airing on Fox News Channel directly opposite the event was one of Biden’s and the vaccine’s major detractors, host Tucker Carlson. His program that night outdrew the town hall: 2.87 million viewers and 491,000 adults 25-54.

Here are the cable news averages for July 19-25, 2021 — Fox News Channel extended their streak to 23 weeks being cable’s top network in total viewers based on total day data.

Total Day (July 19-25 @ 6 a.m.-5:59 a.m.)

  • Fox News Channel: 1.192 million viewers; 201,000 adults 25-54 
  • MSNBC: 0.737 million viewers; 104,000 adults 25-54
  • CNN: 0.548 million viewers; 114,000 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. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Tue. 7/20/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.108 million viewers

2. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Mon. 7/19/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.073 million viewers

3. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Wed. 7/21/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.870 million viewers

4. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Thu. 7/22/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.822 million viewers

5. Hannity (FOXNC, Tue. 7/20/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.786 million viewers

6. The Five (FOXNC, Tue. 7/20/2021 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.631 million viewers

7. The Five (FOXNC, Mon. 7/19/2021 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.628 million viewers

8. Hannity (FOXNC, Thu. 7/22/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.593 million viewers

9. Hannity (FOXNC, Mon. 7/19/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.582 million viewers

10. The Five (FOXNC, Wed. 7/21/2021 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.572 million viewers

13. Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC, Thu. 7/22/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.452 million viewers

37. CNN Pres Town Hall “Joe Biden 7/21/21” (CNN, Wed. 7/21/2021 8:00 PM, 80 min.) 1.563 million viewers

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

1. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Mon. 7/19/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.536 million adults 25-54

2. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Thu. 7/22/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.524 million adults 25-54

3. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Tue. 7/20/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.510 million adults 25-54

4. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Wed. 7/21/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.491 million adults 25-54

5. Hannity (FOXNC, Thu. 7/22/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.463 million adults 25-54

6. Hannity (FOXNC, Wed. 7/21/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.425 million adults 25-54

7. Hannity (FOXNC, Tue. 7/20/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.404 million adults 25-54

8. Hannity (FOXNC, Mon. 7/19/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.396 million adults 25-54

9. The Ingraham Angle (FOXNC, Thu. 7/22/2021 10:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.388 million adults 25-54

10. The Five (FOXNC, Thu. 7/22/2021 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.374 million adults 25-54

13. Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC, Tue. 7/20/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.354 million adults 25-54

17. CNN Pres Town Hall “Joe Biden 7/21/21” (CNN, Wed. 7/21/2021 8:00 PM, 80 min.) 0.343 million adults 25-54

114. Summer Olympic Prime (CNBC, Sat. 7/24/2021 8:00 PM, 240 min.) 0.185 million adults 25-54

128. Forensic Files II “Ten Of Hearts” (HLN, Tue. 7/20/2021 1:30 AM, 30 min.) 0.177 million adults 25-54

Source: Live+Same Day data, Nielsen Media Research

BNM Writers

Seth Leibsohn Expected to Move to Phoenix, Didn’t Expect Radio Show

“There wasn’t a huge demand for a white male teaching Aristotle’s teachings. I kind of like the idea I can still teach on the air.

Jim Cryns

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We’re all made up of a unique genetic recipe. Take a graduate student of political philosophy, add a pinch of love of contemporary politics, a dash of popular culture, maybe a trumpet, and you have Seth Leibsohn.

“I was a good trumpet player in high school,” Leibsohn said. Still, that alone wasn’t enough for him to pursue it as a career, even though his parents were fine with him chasing something he enjoyed, even supportive. “Some parents try to push you into a career, but my parents never did. I thought I might be able to play the trumpet as a career, but ultimately decided I wasn’t as good as my trumpet heroes. I’ve heard golfers have hung it up in a similar way.”

Quoting Del Griffith in Planes, Trains and Automobiles, ‘The finest line a man’ll walk is between success at work and success at home.’ To be truly happy you’ve got to have both. Seth Leibsohn couldn’t agree more.

“I don’t know many people who are thrilled with what they do for a living,” Leibsohn continued. “I believe you work to pay bills, not for life satisfaction. Billy Joel said there is no magic secret and everybody has happiness within themselves. If you’re truly happy with what you do, you have it all beat.”

The Seth Leibsohn Show airs live on KKNT 960 The Patriot in Phoenix from 3:00-6:00 PM weekdays. Then the show is replayed as a podcast. “The podcast is essentially the show I do,” Leibsohn said. “It’s fun. I never thought I’d be on the radio. I started in D.C. with a national show with Bill Bennett, The Bill Bennett Show, as co-host and guest host.”

You may recall Bennett was appointed the drug czar in 1989 under President George H.W. Bush.  Bennett still does a podcast and Leibsohn appears as a guest about once a month. He was Bennett’s chief of staff for many years.

Leibsohn decided to move back to Phoenix in 2011 to take care of his parents.

“After I arrived I was approached to host my own show,” he said. “I like that it doesn’t have to be relegated to a local audience. I get calls from Texas, Chicago, Ukraine. Leibsohn describes himself as a ‘different’ radio host, “I started in academia,” he explained. “There wasn’t a huge demand for a white male teaching Aristotle’s teachings. I kind of like the idea I can still teach on the air. The show is a vital seminar, with a bigger classroom.”

Leibsohn works hard on the show as he doesn’t have a producer. “I have to find my own guests, which I average about one each day. Television show hosts don’t have to track down and book their own guests. I start reading from the moment I wake up, searching for something interesting, a guest that can provide some insight to a topic.”

He’s long been a staunch advocate against the legalization of marijuana. He headed the group ‘Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy’, which was instrumental in preventing the legalization of marijuana in Arizona. He has co-authored several articles with Bennett regarding the dangers of marijuana, which was picked up by numerous newspapers including the Los Angeles Times and The Tampa Tribune.

Doing whatever he can to rid the streets of drugs and the pollution of our children is essentially what make’s Libsohn tick. It may be more accurate to say it drives him.

When talking about ridding streets of drugs throughout the country, I was impressed that Leibsohn wasn’t hypocritical. He said he wasn’t above having a good time with friends in college, but recognized there was a time to stop.

“I partied with the best of them,” he said. “Then I saw four of my best friends, who were both far smarter than me academically, ultimately fail in their lives. They just couldn’t give up the partying and substances and succumbed to a lot of drug use.”

Another bolt of realization about the destruction of drugs for Leibsohn stems from his sister struggling with substances her entire life. “I guess I had more of a vector about what it could do to you. Drugs cause so many problems in our society. It’s an ongoing battle to protect our children.”

Working on reducing substance abuse in America has long been a passion for Leibsohn. Working with Bennett helped fuel that desire. Leibsohn spent time working for the Higher America initiative with Jeane Kirkpatrick.

Never a fan of Hilary Clinton, Leibsohn said he agrees with the former First Lady on one thing.

“Hilary said Mexico is a problem regarding illegal drugs, but if the citizens of America didn’t want the drugs, it would be a problem. People want this crud. Since we lost the anti-drug messaging system in America, the problems have spiraled out of control.”

Remember the old ad, ‘This is your brains on drugs?’ That’s the messaging Leibsohn is talking about. Leibsohn said when Bennett was drug czar, 10,000 Americans were dying each year. Since then the death toll has increased 1,000 percent.

“We reduced drug use by 65 percent in 1992,” Leibsohn said. “I attribute that to the messaging. It was hugely important. We embedded the anti-drug message at the movies, in schools, there was a Hollywood sobriety chic. We did for drugs what mothers did for drunk driving.”

Leibsohn cites Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. when he wrote, ‘Human desires increase with their means of gratification.’

“The narration in the television show Narco opens with the narrator talking about cocaine. He said they had a supply problem keeping up with the demand for the drug in Miami.”

Leibsohn intended to run for Congress in 2018, but his staff screwed-the-pooch.

“My campaign management didn’t get enough signatures,” Leibsohn said. “I made sure everyone who contributed to my campaign got their money back.” He said he has no biting need to run for office again.

Our conversation swerved into another contentious topic–immigration from Mexico. Leibsohn said our immigration problem is currently out of control.

“There are a lot of reasons for the problem,” he said. “I don’t think there’s one single answer or solution. I do know we’re giving billions of dollars annually to illegal immigrants. When the monthly numbers come out regarding the prison population in Arizona, the illegal immigrants count for a huge portion of those criminals.”

He said there have been good examples of cleaning up cities, like New York. “There are things that work,” Leibsohn explained. “We have to replicate those efforts and dump the things that don’t work. Indianapolis is another city that turned things around. There are theories that work when applied.”

Leibsohn spoke of disparate impact, when policies and rules have a disproportionate impact on a particular group.

“I think a lot of Left-wing prosecutors abhor statistics of racial minorities. In effect they turn a blind eye, a deaf ear when it comes to crime. I had hoped by now we could get beyond race, see policies enacted in my lifetime.”

We also talked about what constitutes American conservatism, which is delineated by low taxes, free markets, deregulation, privatization, and reduced government spending and government debt. Leibsohn thinks the definition of American Conservatism is more nebulous than that.

“I think American Conservatism has never had a good definition,” he said. “Perhaps the most prominent recent conservative was William F. Buckley Jr. He never wrote a book on American Conservatism as he said it was too diverse.”

Regarding pinpointing what American Conservatism actually is, Leibsohn said it’s really clay in the hands of those you ask. “Some say it’s a group that believes in limited government,” he explained. “There are some who will fold religious beliefs into that, some may add sociology.”

He said throughout his life, he’s always been in search of discovering the meaning.

“In Buckleys’ National Review Magazine, he debated this all the time,” Leibsohn explained. “He had always been in search of the meaning. In his magazine, Buckley debated this all the time. In my own view it should be a movement based on America’s founding fathers ethos–equity and liberty. There’s not a lot of agreement on these things today.”

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BNM Writers

Producers Podcast: Andrew Marsh, 101 ESPN

Brady Farkas

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Andrew Marsh of 101 ESPN in St. Louis details the unorthodox background that has helped him thrive in the producer’s chair for The Fast Lane.

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BNM Writers

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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