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60 Minutes Lifts CBS to Top Spot in Weekly Ratings

The hour-long candidates’ edition – the fourth such pre-election “60 Minutes” broadcast since 2008 – featured Lesley Stahl’s interviews with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence and interviews with their opponents on the Democratic ticket, former vice president Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), conducted by CBS Evening News anchor Norah O’Donnell.

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On prime time television for the week ending October 25, 2020, there were three NFL games, five MLB World Series games and the final U.S. presidential debate. But none of those telecasts achieved the week’s most viewers for a single prime time program on a single network. Those honors went to the CBS newsmagazine “60 Minutes”. The special Oct. 25th edition drew 17.4 million viewers.

The hour-long candidates’ edition – the fourth such pre-election “60 Minutes” broadcast since 2008 – featured Lesley Stahl’s interviews with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence and interviews with their opponents on the Democratic ticket, former vice president Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), conducted by CBS Evening News anchor Norah O’Donnell.

While “60 Minutes” was certainly assisted by its late Sunday afternoon NFL lead-in (49ers-Patriots or Chiefs-Broncos or Jaguars-Chargers, based on their respective regions), the special had attracted controversy when the petulant Trump, who had openly railed against Stahl and her style of questioning, broke an agreement with CBS News and released his videotaped interview on Facebook before it was broadcast on CBS.

Online, it drew season-high digital traffic levels for a “60 Minutes” program on CBSNews.com, and an excerpt from the segment was the top video on YouTube’s trending list on Monday, Oct. 26th.

Excluding sports and multi-network programming, the Oct. 25th “60 Minutes” attracted the largest audience for any television broadcast since the Academy Awards ceremony on Feb. 9. Additionally, it was the most-watched “60 Minutes” edition since March 25, 2018; that edition was also featured a Trump-related controversy: Anderson Cooper’s interview with Stephanie Clifford, the adult film star known as Stormy Daniels who claimed she had an affair with Donald Trump in 2006.

Sunday’s broadcast saw its best delivery of adults 25-54 (3.6 rating/14 share; equating to 4.33 million viewers within that age range) since the aforementioned date of March 25, 2018.

Over on the cable front, for the second consecutive week, Fox News Channel topped the cable networks in both viewers and adults 25-54. For the week ending Oct. 25, 2020 in total day data (from 6 a.m. to 5:59 a.m. each day), Fox News Channel averaged 2.43 million viewers and 467,000 adults 25-54.

Also like the prior week, MSNBC was the runner-up cable news network in total viewers while CNN was runner-up among adults 25-54. Their averages were, as follows:

  • MSNBC: 1.47 million viewers, 245,000 adults 25-54
  • CNN: 1.33 million viewers, 348,000 adults 25-54

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

1. Presidential Debate (FOXNC, Thu. 10/22/2020 9:03 PM, 94 min.) 15.405 million viewers

2. Presidential Debate Analysis (FOXNC, Thu. 10/22/2020 10:37 PM, 23 min.) 12.143 million viewers

3. Presidential Debate Coverage (FOXNC, Thu. 10/22/2020 8:50 PM, 13 min.) 11.289 million viewers

4. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Thu. 10/22/2020 8:00 PM, 50 min.) 8.152 million viewers

5. Hannity (FOXNC, Thu. 10/22/2020 11:00 PM, 60 min.) 7.533 million viewers

6. Final Presidential Debate (CNN, Thu. 10/22/2020 9:04 PM, 93 min.) 7.508 million viewers

7. Debate (MSNBC, Thu. 10/22/2020 9:03 PM, 94 min.) 6.929 million viewers

8. MSNBC Debate Analysis (MSNBC, Thu. 10/22/2020 10:37 PM, 23 min.) 6.594 million viewers

9. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Wed. 10/21/2020 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 5.330 million viewers

10. Debate Night In America (CNN, Thu. 10/22/2020 10:37 PM, 83 min.) 5.275 million viewers

Top 10 cable news programs among adults 25-54:

1. Presidential Debate (FOXNC, Thu. 10/22/2020 9:03 PM, 94 min.) 4.385 million adults 25-54

2. Presidential Debate Analysis (FOXNC, Thu. 10/22/2020 10:37 PM, 23 min.) 3.495 million adults 25-54

3. Final Presidential Debate (CNN, Thu. 10/22/2020 9:04 PM, 93 min.) 3.019 million adults 25-54

4. Presidential Debate Coverage (FOXNC, Thu. 10/22/2020 8:50 PM, 13 min.) 2.803 million adults 25-54

5. Hannity (FOXNC, Thu. 10/22/2020 11:00 PM, 60 min.) 1.908 million adults 25-54

6. Debate Night In America (CNN, Thu. 10/22/2020 10:37 PM, 83 min.) 1.817 million adults 25-54

7. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Thu. 10/22/2020 8:00 PM, 50 min.) 1.745 million adults 25-54

8. Debate (MSNBC, Thu. 10/22/2020 9:03 PM, 94 min.) 1.584 million adults 25-54

9. MSNBC Debate Analysis (MSNBC, Thu. 10/22/2020 10:37 PM, 23 min.) 1.469 million adults 25-54

10. Debate Night In America (CNN, Thu. 10/22/2020 8:00 PM, 64 min.) 1.230 million adults 25-54

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FOX News Employees Upset Over Network’s Shift From Center-Right to Hard Right

After ratings took a plunge, Fox News seems to be shifting towards the right.

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Fox News is trying to find its place in the post-Trump new media in the United States. The network has stated its intent in moving towards the center-right. However, The Daily Beast reports that this shift is far from accurate.

After ratings took a plunge, Fox News seems to be shifting towards the right. The media outlet provides the program Outnumbered as an example since they speculate that the network has benched its two key liberal regulars in Marie Harf and Jessica Tarlov.

“Ratings went down the tank, and they want more right-wing voices,” one current Fox News staffer told The Daily Beast.

Another Fox News employee was not pleased with this shift from center-right to right only. Furthermore, the employee stated their displeasure over adding Tomi Lahren as a panelist for prominent afternoon and evening programs like Outnumbered or The Five.

It’s an absolute joke and further proof that the show shouldn’t be taken seriously,” said one current Fox employee, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals from management. “When I was hired, I was told that [Lahren] would never be on legitimate shows like Outnumbered or The Five, that she was only Fox Nation. I’m just as confused as everyone else. Tomi has no credibility, no résumé of experience other than screaming derogatory things on the internet.”

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Former CNN Producer Claims Double Standard With Cuomo Allegations

Former Cuomo aide Lindsey Boylan accused her former boss of asking her to play strip poker.

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A former CNN producer believes his former network is ignoring claims of sexual harassment leveled against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Steve Krakauer, who now serves as an editor for Fourth Watch media newsletter, told Fox News it’s clear there is a double standard.

“We’ve seen countless incidents when it comes to allegations against Donald Trump,” said Krakauer.

“When it comes to allegations against Brett Kavanaugh, when the allegations come from one direction, they are reported immediately, and in many cases, wall to wall before any further reporting is presented.”

Former Cuomo aide Lindsey Boylan accused her former boss of asking her to play strip poker. “My boss soon informed me that the Governor [Cuomo] had a ‘crush’ on me,” Boylan wrote in an essay. “Governor Andrew Cuomo has created a culture within his administration where sexual harassment and bullying is so pervasive that it is not only condoned but expected.”

Krakauer said media outlets should tread lightly when reporting on cases that involve sexual harassment, but he also said the mainstream media seems to run rampant with speculation and little facts when it comes to an accusation against a Republican.

“So, the issue is the hypocrisy and the double standard, not so much the lack of reporting in and of itself.”

When CNN finally covered the story Thursday with a story leading with Cuomo’s denial, critics were quick to point out that Kavanaugh did not receive the same treatment.

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Tucker Carlson and AT&T Clash Over China Telecom

AT&T wants to prevent China Telecom, a state government-owned firm, from being added to a U.S. Commerce Department’s Entity List.

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Telecommunications company AT&T and Tucker Carlson are clashing over the information provided that the Fox News host presented where he called out the company for lobbying against possible U.S. government sanctions on a Chinese telecom partner.

AT&T wants to prevent China Telecom, a state government-owned firm, from being added to a U.S. Commerce Department’s Entity List. The Chinese telecommunications company’s potential inclusion in the list will severely limit the trade relationships and blocks certain technology transfers between foreign entities and U.S. firms.

In the past, the Trump administration accused China Telecom of having Chinese military backing and aiding the ethnic cleansing of Uighur minorities in southern China. The telecommunications company also faces accusations of undermining U.S. national security interests in the region.

Using this information, Carlson accused AT&T and its CEO, John Stankey, of prioritizing “foreign interests over American interests” due to them lobbying against China Telecom’s inclusion on the Entity List.

“We were told China Telecom was set to be sanctioned because of its alleged support of human rights abuses by China’s government, and there are very many of those,” Carlson said.

“AT&T is a proud partner of China Telecom, has a joint venture with China Telecom. In a statement provided to this show, AT&T admitted that it does not want China Telecom on the entities list, citing ‘potential unintended consequences.'”

After the show aired, AT&T released a statement where they stated that the information presented by Carlson is misleading.

“Without a relationship with a licensed Chinese communications company, no non-Chinese provider can serve U.S. companies operating in China,” the AT&T statement noted. “In the absence of that, such support would be provided by a Chinese state-owned enterprise instead of AT&T or any other American company.” “We and other companies explained this to the Commerce Department and other government officials to inform their policy decision about potential unintended consequences of placing China Telecom on the entities list.”

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