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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.



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

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News Television

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.



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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News Television

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.



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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News Television

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.



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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