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ABC News Leads Coverage on Jan. 6th Hearings

ABC was the most-watched network in coverage, with a little over 5.21 million total viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research.

Douglas Pucci

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Credit: REUTERS

The most notable news event of the week ending June 12th took place in prime time on Thursday, June 9th: the congressional hearings about the January 6th, 2021 insurrection at the Capitol.

Among the hearing’s highlights on its opening night was some of the evidence presented by the investigation committee’s vice chair Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney: Trump had “placed no call to any element of the US government to instruct that the Capitol be defended”; and, relayed that Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) and “multiple other Republican congressmen… sought Presidential Pardons for their roles in attempting to overturn the 2020 election.”

Rep. Cheney, one of the few Republicans to counter Trump’s election claims, had warned: “I say this to my Republican colleagues who are defending the indefensible: There will come a day when Donald Trump is gone, but your dishonor will remain.”

In addition, during a clip montage recapping the events of January 6th and what led up to them, Donald’s daughter Ivanka Trump was seen in sworn video testimony admitting she was swayed by then-Attorney General Bill Barr’s dismissal of her father’s fraud claims.

Live at the hearing, Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards testified she “was slipping in people’s blood” has described the entire scene as “carnage” and “chaos.”

On this “night unlike any other in American history” (as tweeted by former CBS News anchor Dan Rather), an estimated 19.7 million across seven networks tuned in to these hearings. ABC was the most-watched network in coverage, with a little over 5.21 million total viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research. Based on adults 25-54, ABC also led with approximately 1.1 million viewers.

Cable news outlet MSNBC was runner-up, drawing an average of 4.3 million from 8–10 PM — +600,000 more than its broadcast network partner NBC.

CBS (3.49 million) ranked fourth. While CNN (2.74 million) was in fifth place in the total audience, it was in a virtual tie for third with CBS among the key 25-54 demographic with 747,000 viewers of the specified age range (NBC was in second, with about 850,000).

CNN’s demo figure led all the cable news outlets in prime time, topping MSNBC (616,000 from 8–10 PM) and usual nightly leader Fox News Channel (546,000 from 8–10 PM).

On the lesser-viewed news outlets for hearings coverage, CNBC averaged 177,000 viewers, and NewsNation drew 61,000 viewers.

FNC did not televise the first night of the Capitol attack hearings, for as their 8 PM host Tucker Carlson described them as “propaganda.” Instead, the June 9th edition of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” had aired commercial-free for its entire hour in an effort to disincentivize its audience from flipping to those hearings. “Carlson” (3.32 million total viewers) and “Hannity” (2.8 million) both drew audiences on par with their respective weeknight performances.

Cable news averages for June 6-12, 2022:

Total Day (June 6-12 @ 6 a.m.-5:59 a.m.)

  • Fox News Channel: 1.451 million viewers; 225,000 adults 25-54
  • MSNBC: 0.754 million viewers; 83,000 adults 25-54
  • CNN: 0.499 million viewers; 113,000 adults 25-54
  • HLN: 0.172 million viewers; 48,000 adults 25-54
  • CNBC: 0.132 million viewers; 32,000 adults 25-54
  • Fox Business Network: 0.118 million viewers; 15,000 adults 25-54
  • The Weather Channel: 0.107 million viewers; 20,000 adults 25-54
  • Newsmax: 0.106 million viewers; 15,000 adults 25-54

Prime Time (June 6-11 @ 8-11 p.m.; June 12 @ 7-11 p.m.)

  • Fox News Channel: 2.268 million viewers; 359,000 adults 25-54
  • MSNBC: 1.444 million viewers; 161,000 adults 25-54
  • CNN: 0.851 million viewers; 217,000 adults 25-54
  • HLN: 0.211 million viewers; 54,000 adults 25-54
  • CNBC: 0.190 million viewers; 63,000 adults 25-54
  • The Weather Channel: 0.142 million viewers; 19,000 adults 25-54
  • Newsmax: 0.129 million viewers; 20,000 adults 25-54
  • Fox Business Network: 0.057 million viewers; 10,000 adults 25-54
  • NewsNation: 0.045 million viewers; 9,000 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. January 6th Hearings “Night One Hearings” (MSNBC, Thu. 6/9/2022 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 4.420 million viewers

2. January 6th Hearings “Night One Hearings” (MSNBC, Thu. 6/9/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 4.187 million viewers

3. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Mon. 6/6/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.447 million viewers

4. The Five (FOXNC, Wed. 6/8/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.404 million viewers

5. The Five (FOXNC, Tue. 6/7/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.345 million viewers

6. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Thu. 6/9/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.324 million viewers

7. January 6th Hearings “Night One Analysis” (MSNBC, Thu. 6/9/2022 10:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.233 million viewers

8. The Five (FOXNC, Mon. 6/6/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.151 million viewers

9. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Wed. 6/8/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.145 million viewers

10. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Fri. 6/10/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.135 million viewers

16. Attack On Democracy “Jan 6th Hearings” (CNN, Thu. 6/9/2022 8:02 PM, 113 min.) 2.739 million viewers

189. Real Time With Bill Maher “Episode 603” (HBO, Fri. 6/10/2022 10:00 PM, 56 min.) 0.754 million viewers

363. Last Week Tonight (HBO, Sun. 6/12/2022 11:00 PM, 35 min.) 0.423 million viewers

384. The Daily Show (CMDY, Thu. 6/9/2022 11:00 PM, 31 min.) 0.379 million viewers

391. Very Scary People “The Back To School Killer: Pt2” (HLN, Sun. 6/12/2022 10:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.368 million viewers

420. Full Frontal with Samantha Bee “Episode 7216” (TBS, Thu. 6/9/2022 10:00 PM, 30 min.) 0.319 million viewers

415. Kudlow (FBN, Tue. 6/7/2022 4:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.326 million viewers

481. Shark Tank (CNBC, Tue. 6/7/2022 10:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.268 million viewers

541. The Earth Unlocked” (106) What Lies Beneath” (TWC, Sun. 6/12/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.234 million viewers

670. Newsnation: Rush Hour (NWSN, Thu. 6/9/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.181 million viewers

Top 10 cable news programs (and the top programs of other outlets with their respective associated ranks) among adults 25-54

1. Attack On Democracy “Jan 6th Hearings” (CNN, Thu. 6/9/2022 8:02 PM, 113 min.) 0.747 million adults 25-54

2. Attack On Democracy “January 6th Hearings Post Analysis” (CNN, Thu. 6/9/2022 9:55 PM, 65 min.) 0.709 million adults 25-54

3. January 6th Hearings “Night One Hearings” (MSNBC, Thu. 6/9/2022 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.656 million adults 25-54

4. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Thu. 6/9/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.586 million adults 25-54

5. January 6th Hearings “Night One Hearings” (MSNBC, Thu. 6/9/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.576 million adults 25-54

6. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Mon. 6/6/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.542 million adults 25-54

7. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Tue. 6/7/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.526 million adults 25-54

8. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Wed. 6/8/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.525 million adults 25-54

9. The Ingraham Angle (FOXNC, Thu. 6/9/2022 10:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.518 million adults 25-54

10. Hannity (FOXNC, Thu. 6/9/2022 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.506 million adults 25-54

114. The Daily Show (CMDY, Mon. 6/6/2022 11:00 PM, 31 min.) 0.186 million adults 25-54

182. Forensic Files II “Buried Secrets” (HLN, late Fri. 6/10/2022 2:00 AM, 30 min.) 0.136 million adults 25-54

204. Real Time With Bill Maher “603” (HBOM, Fri. 6/10/2022 10:00 PM, 56 min.) 0.127 million adults 25-54

215. Last Week Tonight (HBO, Sun. 6/12/2022 11:00 PM, 35 min.) 0.125 million adults 25-54

248. Shark Tank (CNBC, Tue. 6/7/2022 10:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.112 million adults 25-54

263. Full Frontal with Samantha Bee “Episode 7216” (TBS, Thu. 6/9/2022 10:00 PM, 30 min.) 0.108 million adults 25-54

596. Kudlow (FBN, Fri. 6/10/2022 4:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.045 million adults 25-54

510. Weather Gone Viral “(607) Music City Tornado” (TWC, Mon. 6/6/2022 11:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.056 million adults 25-54

725. Newsnation: Rush Hour (NWSN, Wed. 6/8/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.033 million adults 25-54

Source: Live+Same Day data, Nielsen Media Research

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BNM Writers

Airing The Tyre Nichols Video Was A Necessity

There were hard moments to watch in those videos, hard sounds to hear. But they aired.

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Far be it for me not to address this outrageous and embarrassing instance in humanity. After the videos of Memphis police brutally beating Tyre Nichols were shown on television there really seemed to be more outrage emerging from society this time than from the media, for a change. One would think that’s how we wish things to be.

In instances like this, where the video and audio images are far from brief but are instead chaptered as they unfold, there are few options other than to let them run their course. Clocks — breaks hard and soft — are out the window, just as in live coverage.

Because that’s what this was, only the live this time was us, and as we all absorbed and reacted to actions disapprovingly familiar yet somehow foreign at the same time, the impact was still becoming apparent even though we already knew the outcome.

It’s happened before.

Not always like this but we’ve seen it before, police encounters shown on the news overtakes and become the news.

It takes effect as the sights and sounds are digested, dissected, and discussed, often before their potential impact could really be imagined.

In 1991, when the Handycam footage crossed screens for the first time and we learned Rodney King’s name, we didn’t know then but we had a feeling.

We were on the right track, though as newsrooms evolved and street reporting incorporated a different type of storytelling.

I was a cop in 1991. Changes came. Some.

It’s 2023, I’m no longer a cop. Changes will come again. Some.

Turning points — or the overused watershed moments — mean just as much to the news media as they do to law enforcement.

The “why’s” that make this a turning point are more society and community based this time around than they were in 1991.

At least I think so. And I don’t think it makes a bit of difference who’s involved this time.

There were hard moments to watch in those videos, and hard sounds to hear. But they aired. Where they couldn’t air, they were described in great detail; descriptions sometimes can be worse than the real thing. Sometimes, not this time.

And they should air, they shouldn’t stop airing. This is what happened and this is what people need to see and hear and this is exactly why we are here.

Warn them, provide them with a heads up that they’re not going to like what happens next. It’s life and we show life, and we show what some of us do with it when it’s someone else’s.

Overall, I would say the news platforms held their composure, even after the videos were released. I saw, read, and heard some refreshingly neutral coverage, even from outlets where I expected hard turns into the lanes on either side of the road.

Legitimate questions were asked by anchors and reporters and much of the time, the off-balance issues were raised more by those on the sidewalks and those on the other side of the cameras and microphones.

As much as I find myself in disagreement with what I often see on the cable networks — all the cable networks — I did find a sense of symmetry watching CNN’s Don Lemon speak with Memphis City Council Chair Martavius Jones in the hours after the videos were released.

Regular protocols be damned, Lemon and producers lingered patiently as Jones, visibly overcome by emotion, struggled to regain breath and composure enough to be able to speak. Rather than cut away or move to other elements, they stood fast and it became an example of what often requires no words.

There were fewer punches pulled on other platforms as well.

The sounds of the screams, the impacts, and the hate-filled commands were broadcast through car radios.

As were Tyre Nichol’s calls for his mom. They aired. They had to.

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BNM Writers

Does the Republican Establishment Get It?

For many it seemed that the Republican establishment stood idly by as Democrats changed the rules and worked behind the scenes to alter elections.

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In a move that seemed to go against the wishes of the patriotic American grassroots, the Republican party on Friday re-elected RNC Chairperson Ronna McDaniel. 

The media immediately took notice, as many on television and radio are now wondering why the party would re-elect a chairperson who has been so unpopular with the base of its party. 

Grant Stinchfield discussed this issue Friday night on his program, Stinchfield Tonight, which airs on Real America’s Voice network.

“Ronna McDaniel holds on to her chairmanship of the Republican Party. By a whopping total of — what were the numbers– 111 to 54. Harmeet Dhillon only received 54 votes. Mike Lindell 4 votes. This is proof to me that the Republican establishment is dug in,” Stinchfield — formerly of Newsmax — said. “Don’t tell me they’re out of touch. See, you tell me they’re out of touch, that implies ignorance. They’re not ignorant about anything.”

As sentiment for Dhillon grew in the days leading up to Friday’s vote, many influential politicians and party donors publicly offered her their support and endorsement. These included Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), as well as donors Mike Rydin, Dick Uihlein, and Bernie Marcus.

Also on board were musician and outspoken conservative John Rich, along with the state GOP of Nebraska and Washington State. Countless journalists and media personalities, such as Charlie Kirk, Miranda Divine, and Lou Dobbs, also came out publicly in support of Dhillon. Former President Donald Trump remained neutral, not making a public choice of either of the three candidates.

For many of Dhillon’s supporters, the deciding factor was public sentiment across the party’s base.

“They’re reading the same chat boards. They’re getting the same emails I’m reading. I will literally post something about this race when I was supporting Harmeet Dhillon. There was not one comment – not one – that supported Ronna McDaniel. Everyone wanted change,” Stinchfield said, noting that the party elite saw the same groundswell of support for change.

“Now, nobody has an issue as Ronna McDaniel is some evil kind of person. I don’t believe she is. I believe, though, that she is part of the establishment. She’s been around too long as far as the establishment goes. And she’s been ingrained in doing business as usual. It’s not working.”

In making their choices known, many Dhillon supporters simply pointed to the scoreboard during McDaniel’s reign.

“Think about where we are. 2018, we lost the House. 2020, we lost everything. 2022, we won the House, but we should have really steamrolled the House and we should have taken back the Senate, which we didn’t do,” Stinchfield said. “That means we’re on a real losing track since she took over. I don’t like being on a losing track. I like being on a winning track.

“Something has got to change when you talk about all of this. So how does Ronna McDaniel get 111 votes and Harmeet Dhillon only get 54 votes, when everyone, every Republican voter I talk to said it was time for change?” pondered Stinchfield.

And even more than the losses, for many it seemed that the Republican establishment stood idly by as Democrats changed the rules and worked behind the scenes to alter elections. The most recent example of which came in Arizona, where presumptive gubernatorial favorite, Kari Lake, was “defeated” when countless voting irregularities occurred in some of the state’s most deep-red areas.

“Under her watch, Democrats instituted a mail-in ballot scheme. That may be even worse than losing, when you talk about the House and the Senate and all these things. The fact that we now have a junk mail-in ballot scheme across the country under Ronna McDaniel’s watch is serious trouble. Very serious trouble,” Stinchfield said on Friday. “And so the reason it is is because the Democrats are rigging the system.”

For years – until Donald Trump descended the golden escalator and took the world by storm – the Republican party had the reputation of being the party of the rich. Rush Limbaugh used to refer to this wing of Republicans as “the country club crowd.” President Donald Trump flipped the narrative completely, offering a clear vision of hope and patriotism to working-class America.

Reputable polling — such as Richard Baris’ Big Data Poll — consistently showed Trump running well ahead of almost every Republican candidate during the 2022 mid-term election cycle. In other words, Trump still maintains considerably more support across the country than most of the individual Senate or House candidates experienced.

Many experts believe this is because voters still view Trump as an outsider, while they view the Republican party much less favorably.

“Let’s tell you how out of touch they are, how elitist they are,” Stinchfield said, calling out the GOP establishment. “This meeting that went on, do you know where it is? It’s at the Waldorf Astoria Monarch in California. One of the most expensive resorts in America. You’re lucky if you get a room for a thousand dollars a night down there on Dana Point. Now, it’s a beautiful hotel, but why is the Republican Party holding an event there? Then I went back and I looked at what RedState did. RedState went back and looked at some of the expenses that the Republican Party under Ronna McDaniel’s leadership was spending money on.

“Take a look at this. $3.1 million on private jets. $1.3 million on limousine and chauffeur services. $17.1 million on donor mementos. $750,000 on floral arrangements. Now you compare this to the Democrats. The Democrats spent $35,000 on private airfare. A thousand dollars on floral arrangements. A thousand. Not $750,000. A thousand. And the $17.1 million they spent on donor mementos, the Democrats spent $1.5 million.

“Democrats know where to put the money. It’s not giving donors gifts. Donors shouldn’t want gifts. If you give money, give money. You don’t need the fancy pin to put on your lapel.”

Following her loss, Dhillon warned her party that it must listen to the base, saying, “if we ignore this message, I think it’s at our peril. It’s at our peril personally, as party leaders and it’s at our peril for our party in general.”

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BNM Writers

The State of the Radio Industry and Technology

“As the industry continues to evolve, radio broadcasters must find new ways to monetize their digital offerings and adapt to changing listener habits.”

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After writing some three-dozen columns for Barrett Media, I often hear that I don’t provide a balanced view of the radio industry. Therefore, this week, I will write about the strengths and weaknesses of the radio industry. It may be a little simplistic, but it will make sense at the end. I promise.

The radio broadcasting business continues to evolve in the digital age, with strengths and challenges to consider. One of the most significant strengths of radio is its ability to reach a broad audience. Radio waves can travel long distances, allowing local stations to reach listeners beyond their immediate area. This makes radio a powerful tool for both local and national advertisers. Radio also reaches audiences in their cars, at work, and at home, providing advertisers with multiple touchpoints. According to the Radio Advertising Bureau, radio reaches 93% of adults in the United States each week, making it one of the most widely consumed mediums. Furthermore, radio is a cost-effective form of advertising, with lower ad rates than other media forms. This allows small businesses to reach a large audience without breaking the bank.

Another strength of radio is its role in emergency communication. In times of crisis, radio can provide important information to listeners quickly and efficiently. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requires all radio stations to have emergency alert systems, allowing them to disseminate critical information to the public promptly. Radio can be a lifeline for communities during natural disasters, power outages, or other emergencies, providing updates on road closures, evacuation orders, and other important information. Radio can reach remote areas where other forms of communication may not be as reliable. This makes radio a vital tool for emergency responders, who rely on it to coordinate responses and disseminate information.

Despite these strengths, the radio industry faces several challenges in the digital age. One of the biggest challenges is competition from other media outlets, such as streaming services and podcasts. The rise of these digital platforms has led to a decline in traditional radio listening, which is likely to continue. 

According to a Nielsen report, traditional radio listening among adults aged 18-34 has dropped by 20% over the last decade. Additionally, many radio stations are struggling to monetize their digital offerings, which has led to a decline in revenue. However, radio has been able to adapt by incorporating streaming services, podcasts, and other digital platforms, which allows them to reach a wider audience and cater to changing listening habits.

Another challenge is the consolidation of the radio industry. In recent years, there has been a significant amount of it, with a small number of companies owning multiple stations. This has led to less programming diversity and less market competition. This can lead to a homogenization of content, with less local flavor and less opportunity for new voices in the industry. However, many smaller independent stations have survived by providing unique and localized content catering to the needs of their community.

Despite these challenges, the radio industry continues to generate significant revenue. The Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) says that radio advertising revenue in the United States reached $18.9 billion in 2019. The radio industry has been able to adapt to the changing market, with many stations now offering a combination of traditional and digital programming. The industry has also been able to monetize digital offerings by incorporating targeted advertising, sponsorships, and other revenue streams.In conclusion, the radio broadcasting business is facing challenges in the digital age, but it continues to have an enormous audience reach and role in emergency communication. 

Additionally, the industry continues to generate significant revenue. As the industry continues to evolve, radio broadcasters must find new ways to monetize their digital offerings and adapt to changing listener habits.

If my analysis seems a little simplistic or this column doesn’t seem like my typical style, it’s because I didn’t write it. The column was written using artificial intelligence (AI). More specifically, by the hottest tech trend these days, ChatGPT.

How hot? Here are a couple of data points from a report in Axios.

  • In June, generative AI was covered in only 152 articles. Just six months later, the topic has generated roughly 12,000 news stories, according to MuckRack data.
  • At this year’s CES trade show, 579 exhibitors were listed under the show’s “Artificial Intelligence” category — more than double of those categorized as “Metaverse” (176), “Cryptocurrency” (19), and “Blockchain” (55) combined.

ChatGPT is AI technology that allows you to have regular conversations with a chatbot that can answer questions and help with tasks such as writing columns. 

ChatGPT is what Siri wants to be when she grows up.

ChatGPT is currently open and free while it’s in its research and feedback collection phase. If it’s not perfect, it’s certainly a lot of fun. It is also quite helpful when researching a topic (as long as the information you need is pre-2021). It is much more efficient and precise than Google, any other search engine, or Siri. I find myself obsessed with seeing what it knows and can do. If you try it, you probably will be too.

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