Fox News outdraws MSNBC, CNN combined for 10th straight week

Media top headlines October 26

In media news today, a Washington Post columnist knocks CNN over its coverage of Joe Rogan, President Biden jokes to school children about avoiding questions from reporters, and Terry McAuliffe got ‘agitated’ when asked about his panicking campaign by Axios

Fox News Channel has outdrawn liberal networks MSNBC and CNN combined for 10 straight weeks after dominating ratings from October 18-24. 

Fox News averaged 1.4 million viewers, finishing the week as the only network on basic cable to surpass the one-million viewer benchmark. ESPN, TBS, MSNBC and Hallmark Channel rounded out the top five but failed to average one million viewers. It was the 36th straight week that Fox News finished as the most-watched basic cable network. 

Struggling CNN settled for eighth with a dismal average of only 516,000 total viewers. 

"Tucker Carlson Tonight" averaged three million viewers to finish as the most-watched cable news program of the week.
(Fox news)

Fox News averaged 2.3 million viewers between the primetime hours of 8-11 p.m. to thump cable news competition, as MSNBC averaged 1.2 million and CNN’s primetime lineup pulled in only 735,000 nightly viewers. CNN’s poor performance came despite a highly publicized town hall event with President Joe Biden that failed to beat regular programing on Fox News and MSNBC.

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during a town hall about his infrastructure investment proposals with CNN’s Anderson Cooper at the Baltimore Center Stage Pearlstone Theater in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S. October 21, 2021. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

CNN was also hurt by “Anderson Cooper 360” and “Don Lemon Tonight,” as both programs had their smallest average audiences of the year.

“Tucker Carlson Tonight” was the most-watched cable news program of the week, averaging three million viewers. “The Five” finished a smidge below “Tucker” to land in second place, and “Hannity” averaged 2.8 million viewers to finish third. “Special Report with Bret Baier” and “The Ingraham Angle” helped Fox News sweep the top five most-watched programs. 

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during a town hall about his infrastructure investment proposals with CNN’s Anderson Cooper at the Baltimore Center Stage Pearlstone Theater in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S. October 21, 2021. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

“Gutfeld!” averaged 1.8 million viewers to outdraw NBC’s “The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon” and ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” while also defeating everything CNN had to offer during the entire week, including the Biden town hall. 

"Gutfeld!" averaged 1.8 million viewers to outdraw NBC’s "The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon" and ABC’s "Jimmy Kimmel Live."

“FOX & Friends” averaged 1.3 million viewers compared to only 770,000 for MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” while CNN’s “New Day” continued to languish by drawing only 413,000 average viewers. 

Fox News also topped cable news competition among the advertiser-coveted demographic of adults age 25-54, averaging 228,000 compared to 105,000 for CNN and only 78,000 for MSNBC. 

MSNBC was defeated by BET, Paramount, Lifetime, TLC, Syfy, MTV, Nickelodeon and Freeform, among others, in the category that pays the bills. “All in with Chris Hayes,” “Andrea Mitchell Reports” and MTP Daily” all had their smallest audiences since 2015 in the crucial category. 

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