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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

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News Television

Sean Spicer: The President’s Best Moments Came Later in the Debate

Spicer, a former White House press secretary during the Trump administration and now a Newsmax TV host of Spicer & Co has long stressed the early moments are the most impactful.

Ryan Hedrick

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Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer said President Trump’s best points in the debate came later and therefore were less impactful.

“Unfortunately, a lot of his really good points came toward the latter end of the debate,” Spicer said in the Newsmax TV debate recap. “His point on taxes, his point on his record, he hit him really hard.

By all accounts, the second and final presidential debate moderated by Kristin Welker, was a little calmer than the first one that featured Trump and Biden name-calling and talking over each other.

Spicer, a former White House press secretary during the Trump administration and now a Newsmax TV host of Spicer & Co has long stressed the early moments are the most impactful.

Spicer said Trump landed some big blows as the debate wore on. “I just wonder how many people stayed through that part of the debate. “I think once the fireworks weren’t there, how many of them stayed through?” Spicer noted.

The Hunter Biden story that the New York Post broke last week did not dominate the debate like many though it would. Mr. Biden deflected the issue by declaring that Trump did not want to talk about substantive issues.

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News Television

MSNBC Host Cuts Interview With Trump Campaign Spokesman

With the 2020 Presidential Election days away, what was likely supposed to be an interview to spotlight Trump, turned into an argument and allegations of widespread voter fraud.

Eduardo Razo

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Hogan Gidley is a campaign spokesman for President Trump, who made an appearance on MSNBC with host Hallie Jackson. 

With the 2020 Presidential Election days away, what was likely supposed to be an interview to spotlight Trump, turned into an argument and allegations of widespread voter fraud. 

Jackson began the back and forth debate when she brought up a statement from FBI Director Christopher Wray.

“Director Wray talked specifically about the idea that — essentially I’m paraphrasing here —  there is no widespread evidence of voter fraud, that the American people should feel confident in the way that voting procedures are being conducted,” Jackson said.

The MSNBC host then added whether the president is spreading misinformation over voting security.

“Given this new information from Director Wray and the comments he’s now reiterating, will the president back off on making those claims?” Jackson asked. “Is that a conversation that you and the campaign are having with him?”

Gidley did respond to Jackson’s claims and questions.

“You can’t deny what you’ve seen on television and all these local markets,” Gidley said.

The Trump campaign spokesman also added that Americans want a free and fair election, which is what Trump is pushing for when discussing voter fraud.

Both Jackson and Gidley continued the back and forth discussion, which ultimately led to Jackson cutting the interview.

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News Television

Martin Bashir ‘Seriously Unwell’ in the Hospital Battling COVID-19

Bashir currently works as a religion editor for BBC News. He joined the network following stints at ABC and MSNBC.

Ryan Hedrick

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Reporter Martin Bashir is extremely sick with COVID-19. Bashir currently works as a religion editor for BBC News. He joined the network following stints at ABC and MSNBC.

Bashir resigned at MSNBC in 2013 after he referred to former U.S. vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin as a “world-class idiot” suggesting on-air that someone might defecate in her mouth.

“We are sorry to say that Martin is seriously unwell with Covid-19 related complications,” the Network said. “Everyone at the BBC is wishing him a full recovery. We’d ask that his privacy, and that of his family, is respected at this time.” 

He joined BBC News in 2016 after hosting anchoring ABC’s Nightline show. In 1995 he got Princess Dianna to admit to an affair during an explosive interview.  

He also made the 2003 ITV/ABC documentary Living with Michael Jackson, in which Martin Bashir interviewed Michael Jackson over a span of eight months, from May 2002 to January 2003, about different aspects of his life.

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