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Fox News Dominates Election Coverage

“Fox News led the way in election night coverage, averaging 4.79 million total viewers and 977,000 in the key 25-54 demo.”

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Election Day in the off-year (the year following a presidential election) from Nov. 2nd highlighted the week in news. Among the key races in the country that evening were for governorships in Virginia and New Jersey and mayoralties in New York City and Boston. In Virginia, Republican Glenn Youngkin defeated Democrat and former Governor Terry McAuliffe in the Virginia gubernatorial race, while the race for New Jersey governor between the incumbent Democrat Phil Murphy and his Republican challenger Jack Ciattarelli was then too close to call (results of Murphy’s win were made official the next day).

Fox News Channel led the way in election night coverage on Nov. 2, averaging a robust 4.79 million total viewers and 977,000 in the key 25-54 demographic in prime time (8-11 p.m.), according to Nielsen Media Research. They were the network’s best off-year election night figures in its history. Fox News was well ahead of their cable news competition. CNN, which soared to No. 1 over during the 2020 presidential election period and the few months after, ranked a distant runner-up among adults 25-54 with 355,000 from 8-11 p.m. MSNBC was close behind with 289,000 in the demo but easily topped CNN in total prime time audience, delivering 1.55 million viewers vs. CNN’s 1.08 million average.

Fox News Channel’s leadership on off-year election nights are nothing new, as the following time window breakdowns of that night attest. But the figures of current reflect the increased drawing power that these cable news networks all experience today, despite the precipitous decline of cable TV households along with a growing amount of options for entertainment.

Early Evening 7-8 p.m. ET (based on total viewers and adults 18-49)

Fox News Channel

Nov. 2, 2021: 3.175 million / 429,000

Nov. 7, 2017; 2.728 million / 284,000

Nov. 5, 2013: 2.005 million / 278,000

MSNBC

Nov. 2, 2021: 1.585 million / 165,000 (6:51-8 p.m.)

Nov. 7, 2017; 1.924 million / 333,000

Nov. 5, 2013: 1.119 million / 136,000

CNN

Nov. 2, 2021: 0.773 million / 159,000

Nov. 7, 2017; 1.144 million / 330,000

Nov. 5, 2013: 0.424 million / 107,000

Prime Time 8-11 p.m. ET (based on total viewers and adults 18-49)

Fox News Channel

Nov. 2, 2021: 4.791 million / 672,000

Nov. 7, 2017; 3.138 million / 462,000

Nov. 5, 2013: 2.724 million / 402,000

MSNBC

Nov. 2, 2021: 1.553 million / 216,000

Nov. 7, 2017; 2.531 million / 490,000

Nov. 5, 2013: 1.035 million / 171,000

CNN

Nov. 2, 2021: 1.078 million / 273,000

Nov. 7, 2017; 1.516 million / 461,000

Nov. 5, 2013: 0.663 million / 173,000

Post-Prime Time 11 p.m.-midnight ET (based on total viewers and adults 18-49)

Fox News Channel

Nov. 2, 2021: 4.041 million / 630,000

Nov. 7, 2017; 1.659 million / 285,000

Nov. 5, 2013: 1.269 million / 297,000

MSNBC

Nov. 2, 2021: 1.151 million / 170,000

Nov. 7, 2017; 1.805 million / 351,000

Nov. 5, 2013: 0.487 million / 72,000

CNN

Nov. 2, 2021: 0.917 million / 244,000

Nov. 7, 2017; 0.979 million / 282,000

Nov. 5, 2013: 0.363 million / 75,000

Late Night midnight-2 a.m. ET (based on total viewers and adults 18-49)

Fox News Channel

Nov. 2, 2021: 2.403 million / 436,000

Nov. 7, 2017; 0.990 million / 169,000

Nov. 5, 2013: 0.827 million / 149,000

MSNBC

Nov. 2, 2021: 0.692 million / 90,000

Nov. 7, 2017; 1.076 million / 229,000

Nov. 5, 2013: 0.357 million / 57,000

CNN

Nov. 2, 2021: 0.605 million / 155,000

Nov. 7, 2017; 0.644 million / 212,000

Nov. 5, 2013: 0.192 million / 42,000

Although MSNBC and CNN declined from four years ago, both performed significantly better than eight years ago even though back then, there were more homes subscribed to a cable service.

The week’s other notable news development was the bipartisan passage of President Biden’s infrastructure plan. Although it was negotiated at one-third of its initial proposal ($1.2 trillion vs. $3 billion), it still represents one of the largest federal investments for infrastructure in U.S. history.

Biden held a press conference on the morning of Saturday, Nov. 6, proclaiming the deal. “We did something that’s long overdue, that long has been talked about in Washington but never actually been done,” he said. The President even referenced some key Democratic losses in the elections from Nov. 2, having stated that voters “want us to deliver[On Friday] night [Nov. 5, 2021], we proved we can. On one big item, we delivered.”

Like Election Night, the rankings of the cable news networks based on their Nielsen ratings were similar for Biden’s Saturday morning press conference. Fox News Channel was tops in the 10-11 a.m. ET hour with 1.535 million viewers and 296,000 adults 25-54. MSNBC, a distant runner-up in total viewers (852,000 from 10-10:32 a.m.) but behind CNN in 25-54 — MSNBC with 108,000 during the 32-minute time frame while CNN averaged 111,000 adults 25-54 (alongside 682,000 total viewers) for the 10-11 a.m. hour.

Cable news averages for November 1-7, 2021. Fox News Channel extended their streaks to 38 weeks as cable’s most-watched network in total viewers..

Total Day (November 1-7 @ 6 a.m.-5:59 a.m.)

  • Fox News Channel: 1.646 million viewers; 278,000 adults 25-54
  • MSNBC: 0.656 million viewers; 79,000 adults 25-54
  • CNN: 0.491 million viewers; 111,000 adults 25-54
  • HLN: 0.188 million viewers; 55,000 adults 25-54
  • Newsmax: 0.149 million viewers; 24,000 adults 25-54
  • CNBC: 0.138 million viewers; 28,000 adults 25-54
  • Fox Business Network: 0.103 million viewers; 12,000 adults 25-54
  • The Weather Channel: 0.101 million viewers; 21,000 adults 25-54

Prime Time (November 1-6 @ 8-11 p.m.; November 7 @ 7-11 p.m.)

  • Fox News Channel: 2.809 million viewers; 453,000 adults 25-54
  • MSNBC: 1.136 million viewers; 160,000 adults 25-54
  • CNN: 0.730 million viewers; 173,000 adults 25-54
  • Newsmax: 0.189 million viewers; 41,000 adults 25-54
  • HLN: 0.188 million viewers; 50,000 adults 25-54
  • CNBC: 0.173 million viewers; 43,000 adults 25-54
  • The Weather Channel: 0.120 million viewers; 27,000 adults 25-54
  • Fox Business Network: 0.048 million viewers; 8,000 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. The Ingraham Angle (FOXNC, Tue. 11/2/2021 10:00 PM, 60 min.) 5.146 million viewers

2. Hannity (FOXNC, Tue. 11/2/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 4.926 million viewers

3. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Tue. 11/2/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 4.303 million viewers

4. Virginia Showdown (FOXNC, Tue. 11/2/2021 11:00 PM, 60 min.) 4.041 million viewers

5. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Wed. 11/3/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.918 million viewers

6. The Five (FOXNC, Wed. 11/3/2021 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.893 million viewers

7. Hannity (FOXNC, Wed. 11/3/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.537 million viewers

8. The Five (FOXNC, Thu. 11/4/2021 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.483 million viewers

9. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Thu. 11/4/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.366 million viewers

10. Special Report with Bret Baier (FOXNC, Wed. 11/3/2021 6:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.329 million viewers

44. Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC, Thu. 11/4/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.005 million viewers

111. Election Night In America “2021” (CNN, Tue. 11/2/2021 10:00 PM, 60 min.) 1.230 million viewers

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

1. The Ingraham Angle (FOXNC, Tue. 11/2/2021 10:00 PM, 60 min.) 1.028 million adults 25-54

2. Hannity (FOXNC, Tue. 11/2/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 1.012 million adults 25-54

3. Virginia Showdown (FOXNC, Tue. 11/2/2021 11:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.904 million adults 25-54

4. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Tue. 11/2/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.890 million adults 25-54

5. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Wed. 11/3/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.758 million adults 25-54

6. Fox News At Night (FOXNC, Tue. 11/2/2021 12:00 AM, 60 min.) 0.690 million adults 25-54

7. Virginia Showdown (FOXNC, Tue. 11/2/2021 7:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.644 million adults 25-54

8. Hannity (FOXNC, Wed. 11/3/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.626 million adults 25-54

9. Special Report with Bret Baier (FOXNC, Wed. 11/3/2021 6:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.538 million adults 25-54

10. The Five (FOXNC, Thu. 11/4/2021 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.529 million adults 25-54

27. Election Night In America “2021” (CNN, Tue. 11/2/2021 10:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.432 million adults 25-54

61. Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC, Thu. 11/4/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.313 million adults 25-54

197. Forensic Files “Naked Justice” (HLN, Sun. 11/7/2021 6:30 AM, 30 min.) 0.133 million adults 25-54

Source: Live+Same Day data, Nielsen Media Research

BNM Writers

CNN’s Marilyn Monroe Special Scores Low Live Numbers Thanks To NFL Playoffs

“The first two hours of “Reframed: Marilyn Monroe” were down 13 percent in total viewers and down 17 percent among adults 25-54.”

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CNN began their 2022 slate of original series back on Jan. 16 with the two-episode premiere of the four-part “Reframed: Marilyn Monroe.”

Narrated by award-winning actress Jessica Chastain, the documentary series retraced Monroe’s story from budding starlet to Hollywood power-broker. Amidst the treacherous casting couch culture of Hollywood, she bravely spoke out about abuse at a time when silence was the norm.

The first episode of “Reframed: Marilyn Monroe” at 9 p.m. Eastern delivered 650,000 viewers that included 84,000 of the key 25-54 demographic, according to Nielsen Media Research. The second episode at 10 p.m. rose to 720,000 viewers and 95,000 adults 25-54. Based on total viewers, Fox News Channel ruled the cable news roost during the two-hour 9-11 p.m. period on Jan. 16 with the pair of “The Next Revolution” (1.147 million viewers/120,000 adults 25-54) and a rerun of “Sunday Night in America” (747,000 viewers/78,000 adults 25-54).

Compared to the first 2-hour installment of the documentary series “Diana” from Oct. 10, the first two hours of “Reframed: Marilyn Monroe” were down 13 percent in total viewers and down 17 percent among adults 25-54. The declines might initially appear alarming, but it’s also important to note its other notable viewing competition. NFL football on NBC aired directly opposite both CNN documentaries but for “Diana”, it faced Bills-Chiefs which drew an audience of 17.5 million; as for “Monroe”, a playoff matchup of Steelers-Chiefs averaged a more potent 28.9 million viewers — a 65-percent, +11.4 million jump from the aforementioned Sunday night telecast.

Also of note, these figures are only based on live plus same day data. Programming of this nature also exhibits value in delayed viewings and multiple repeat airings. A rerun of “Monroe” from midnight to 2 a.m. Eastern averaged 312,000 viewers, roughly the same ratio of percentage declines from the first rerun at midnight of “Diana” from Oct. 10 (349,000 viewers)

Live plus seven day data had not yet been released for “Monroe” at publish time; for “Diana”, its initial Oct. 10 telecast grew 226,000 viewers to a 7-day total of 1.014 million viewers — an increase of 29 percent.

CNN’s top regularly-scheduled Sunday show of 2021, the travel series “Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy” returns on March 13. Its series premiere from Feb. 14, 2021 drew 1.57 million viewers according to live plus same day.

Cable news averages for January 10-16, 2022:

Total Day (January 10-16 @ 6 a.m.-5:59 a.m.)

  • Fox News Channel: 1.452 million viewers; 232,000 adults 25-54
  • MSNBC: 0.690 million viewers; 75$,000 adults 25-54
  • CNN: 0.482 million viewers; 99,000 adults 25-54
  • HLN: 0.195 million viewers; 57,000 adults 25-54
  • The Weather Channel: 0.194 million viewers; 34,000 adults 25-54
  • CNBC: 0.153 million viewers; 35,000 adults 25-54
  • Newsmax: 0.145 million viewers; 24,000 adults 25-54
  • Fox Business Network: 0.103 million viewers; 11,000 adults 25-54

Prime Time (January 10-15 @ 8-11 p.m.; January 16 @ 7-11 p.m.)

  • Fox News Channel: 2.291 million viewers; 346,000 adults 25-54
  • MSNBC: 1.248 million viewers; 142,000 adults 25-54
  • CNN: 0.597 million viewers; 132,000 adults 25-54
  • Newsmax: 0.294 million viewers; 58,000 adults 25-54
  • CNBC: 0.219 million viewers; 65,000 adults 25-54
  • HLN: 0.211 million viewers; 65,000 adults 25-54
  • The Weather Channel: 0.202 million viewers; 40,000 adults 25-54
  • Fox Business Network: 0.058 million viewers; 11,000 adults 25-54

Top 10 most-watched cable news programs (and the top MSNBC, CNN and Weather Channel programs with their respective associated ranks) in total viewers:

1. The Five (FOXNC, Mon. 1/10/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.621 million viewers

2. The Five (FOXNC, Thu. 1/13/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.598 million viewers

3. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Thu. 1/13/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.570 million viewers

4. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Wed. 1/12/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.517 million viewers

5. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Tue. 1/11/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.516 million viewers

6. The Five (FOXNC, Fri. 1/14/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.444 million viewers

7. The Five (FOXNC, Wed. 1/12/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.432 million viewers

8. The Five (FOXNC, Tue. 1/11/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.340 million viewers

9. Hannity (FOXNC, Thu. 1/13/2022 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.125 million viewers

10. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Fri. 1/14/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.117 million viewers

21. Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC, Thu. 1/13/2022 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.355 million viewers

160. Anderson Cooper 360 (CNN, Wed. 1/12/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.882 million viewers

200. Weekend Recharge (TWC, Sun. 1/16/2022 11:00 AM, 60 min.) 0.713 million viewers

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

1. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Tue. 1/11/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.625 million adults 25-54

2. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Thu. 1/13/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.559 million adults 25-54

3. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Wed. 1/12/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.553 million adults 25-54

4. The Five (FOXNC, Thu. 1/13/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.520 million adults 25-54

5. The Five (FOXNC, Mon. 1/10/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.502 million adults 25-54

6. Hannity (FOXNC, Tue. 1/11/2022 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.477 million adults 25-54

7. The Ingraham Angle (FOXNC, Tue. 1/11/2022 10:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.475 million adults 25-54

8. The Five (FOXNC, Tue. 1/11/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.464 million adults 25-54

9. The Five (FOXNC, Fri. 1/14/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.463 million adults 25-54

10. Hannity (FOXNC, Thu. 1/13/2022 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.457 million adults 25-54

33. Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC, Thu. 1/13/2022 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.311 million adults 25-54

106. Anderson Cooper 360 (CNN, Tue. 1/11/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.196 million adults 25-54

165. Weekend Recharge (TWC, Sun. 1/16/2022 11:00 AM, 60 min.) 0.145 million adults 25-54

Source: Live+Same Day data, Nielsen Media Research

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BNM Writers

Entrepreneur Literally Saves The Children

Like so many great American success stories, it started with taking a calculated risk to fill a perceived need.

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Newsday / David Reich-Hale

For most parents, few thoughts evoke the fear and terror of a choking child. Instead, the panic, with time stopping still, each moment pulsing that scary, helpless feeling.

On Friday’s Greg Kelly Show, the radio host took a brief respite from plummeting Presidential poll numbers, skyrocketing inflation, and other news of the day to discuss this type of traumatizing event with a special guest.  

The inventor of the anti-choking device, LifeVac, Arthur Lih, began by explaining how he invented the device in his garage. Like so many great American success stories, it started with taking a calculated risk to fill a perceived need.

“Well, I’m blessed; my Dad was an engineer, worked on the space program. My sister’s a doctor, so I grew up kind of learning and fixing, you know, the old school America,” Lih began. “I had an inkling of how to build things, and I heard of a seven-year-old – my daughter was seven – that choked to death. Procedures didn’t work, and I was scared.”

Lih told Kelly he used this unique engineering and medical background as a foundation once he became aware of choking children’s severe and immediate danger. He felt parents needed something that would be quick and easy to use, especially at the moment when they are paralyzed with fear.

“I pursued to find something super-simple because I knew I’d be scared,” Lih said during the half-conversation, half-advertisement. “I came up with a little plunger with a little valve. You place it; you push it; you pull it and sucks out the obstruction. We’ve saved over 170 kids now.”

The device is very similar to a mini sink plunger. However, the difference is in reverse engineering. When pushed down, the air vents out to create a suction; then, when pulled, it attempts to pop the object out. 

Lih implored Kelly that the secret for parents is being prepared when data shows that one child dies from choking every five days.

Eventually, the discussion during the quasi-infomercial turned to current events, specifically the detrimental effects of the nation’s economic and national condition. Lih told Kelly that the pandemic and the porous border had created conditions for similar “knock-off” products to pour into the country and undercut his business and quality. In addition, he says these after-market replicas may let down parents when they need them the most.

“In a general scope, but an American-made medical product, particularly at this time,” Lih said. “Do your research, buy America. It will be regulated, and it will be safe.”

Kelly and Lih discussed online sellers who hawk non-regulated devices and products, and the pair ultimately urged consumers to buy directly from reputable manufacturers and businesses. 

In wrapping up, the inventor said the greatness of America played a large part in helping him come up with this life-saving device.

“The reason LifeVac lasts forever, the reason it has a ball valve, the reason the vent system is so detailed is because of my Dad,” Lih concluded.

“He was part of the generation that put a man on the moon, that tried to do things we’ve never done. And in many scope, he lives on today with me because I made it last forever. You’re not supposed to do that because you want to sell one every year. I made it for everyone. I made it inexpensive. And I made it in America and today is the one year anniversary of him leaving, and me and you are talking, so that’s pretty cool.”

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BNM Writers

Midterm Election Madness Has Come Early

As we enter 2022, this can likely be the best and most passionate midterm year for the News Talk audience in over a decade.

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CBS News

It’s 2022. It’s a midterm year, which typically provides a lift to News Talk stations around the country. Of course, it will never be a Presidential Year, but it’s a chance to drum up plenty of storylines on the local and federal front to carry through the year.

As we enter 2022, this can likely be the best and most passionate midterm year for the News Talk audience in over a decade. I’d go back to the Tea Party movement of 2010 as the last time a midterm appeared to be shaping up this well for those with conservative values. Instead of playing defense, a la 2018, when Republicans held the White House, Senate, and House leading into those midterms, the party is now on offense. They’re in the minority in the House and Senate, while President Biden continues to see his approval rating fall off a cliff.

This should create an environment for a generally right-of-center audience that will be engaged and excited about what’s to come this fall.

How can your station handle this expected enthusiasm? Lean into it. From U.S. Senate to House races, all the way down to school board races, which will remain hot-button topics throughout the year (look at Exhibit A: Virginia).

From a content perspective, that means trying to capture as much of the news as you can for your audience. Lead the way. Get the candidates to try and make news on your show. Heck, get the candidates to make announcements on your show. For example, on KCMO in Kansas City, in just the last two weeks, we had the privilege of having a candidate for a U.S. House seat in Missouri announced exclusively on our show, while we also had a candidate for a county commissioner chair in the biggest county in Kansas in the KC Metro make his announcement on our program.

These don’t need to be long-form interviews, as the audience isn’t likely wanting to get into the weeds on some of the policy and topics just yet. Still, it will make the show and the station feel “big” that these candidates want to be on your station to make their announcement regardless of what they’re running for.

And not only will it be quality content that becomes appointment listening, if teased correctly. It also creates plenty of opportunities for afterglow with great promos and liners to continue building the station’s brand around the clock.

“Your Home in Missouri and Kansas for the 2022 Midterms!”

“Leading the way on the 2022 Midterms in Kansas City!”

These can work on rejoins, promos, liners, or anything you need from your station’s imaging perspective.

If I may add a caveat here, obsessing over the 2022 midterms in January or February will not carry you until November. But it’s undoubtedly already here and getting plenty of attention.

But don’t let that prevent a show from having great topic variety, local and national, all while still having fun at the same time.

After 2021 that was ho-hum compared to the previous five years, the news cycle is undoubtedly picking back up: Is your station prepared for the re-engagement that is likely set to return from a portion of the listening audience?

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