Top media headlines on August 31st
Critics surfaced in the media today on Biden’s ABC interview in which he promised to stay in Afghanistan until every American is rescued, Blinken is beaten for dodging questions after an Afghan retreat speech, and Biden repeatedly implies that he is not responsible for when he can take press questions
Americans relied on Fox News for intelligence and analysis during the news-heavy August that unveiled the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and devastating Hurricane Ida.
Fox News together outpaced CNN and MSNBC in both viewer and prime time, snapping 94 of the 100 most-watched cable news shows of the month. But Fox News not only dominated liberal CNN and MSNBC, it also became the most watched network in all of basic cable.
Fox News averaged 2.5 million viewers during prime time from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET, compared with 1.2 million on MSNBC and just 819,000 on CNN. Fox News’ prime-time lineup averaged 394,000 viewers among the main adult demographic, ages 25-54, while CNN settled for just 191,000 and MSNBC managed just 163,000 average viewers in the crucial category.
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“Tucker Carlson Tonight” averaged 3.3 million viewers and ended the month as the most watched cable news show.
Fox News averaged 1.4 million viewers per day, compared to 732,000 for MSNBC and just 621,000 for CNN. FNC beat CNN by more than 200 percent in prime-time viewers and more than 100 percent in prime-time.
“Tucker Carlson Tonight” averaged 3.3 million viewers and ended the month as the most watched cable news show, while Fox News hit the top five.
“The Five” averaged 3.1 million viewers to finish second despite airing at 5pm ET, while “Hannity” averaged 3 million to finish third. “The Ingraham Angle” and “Special Report with Bret Baier” rounded off the top 5 and exceeded everything MSNBC or CNN had to offer.
MSNBC’s Most Watched Show, “The Rachel Maddow Show,” ranked sixth and was the only non-Fox news channel among the 14 most watched cable news shows of the news-heavy month.
The most popular show on CNN was “Cuomo Prime Time”, which landed at number 22 overall and did not crack the benchmark of one million viewers. Contested host Chris Cuomo, who embarrassed CNN over his role in former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s sexual harassment scandal, averaged just 930,000 viewers, which ended up behind 14 different Fox News shows and seven MSNBC programs.
CNN’s primetime series, starring Cuomo, Anderson Cooper and Don Lemon, ended the month with the station’s worst turnout since June 2019. MSNBC had the worst month in both daytime and primetime viewers since January 2017 and the worst Month for the most important demos since December 2015.
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Fox News also dominated among the major 25-54 demographic, such as “Tucker”, “Hannity”, “The Five”, “Ingraham”, “Special Report”, “Fox News Primetime”, Gutfeld! “,” Your World with Neil Cavuto ”and“ The Story with Martha MacCallum ”all outperformed everything on MSNBC or CNN in the advertiser’s coveted category.
Fox News outperformed both CNN and MSNBC every single hour of the day in both total viewers and the demo. It was the fourth straight month that Fox News brought CNN and MSNBC to the demo. August also marked the first time Fox News had combined outperforming CNN and MSNBC among the adult demographic, ages 18-49, since August 2015, when a GOP primary debate was the most-watched television show in cable news history.
“The Faulkner Focus” with Harris Faulkner, “America Reports” with Sandra Smith and John Roberts and “Gutfeld!” all had their most watched months since their release, while America’s Newsroom with Bill Hemmer and Dana Perino, The Five, FOX & Friends, Outnumbered and Your World with Neil Cavuto had their best months in 2021.
Meanwhile, CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” and “New Day” each had their worst months since July 2019.
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MSNBC’s “The 11th Hour with Brian Williams” ended in the worst month ever among major demos, and “All In with Chris Hayes” had its worst demo performance since December 2015. “Deadline: White House” had the worst month among total viewers since June 2018, “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” and “MTP Daily” had the worst viewership since December 2016, and “Maddow” had the lowest monthly viewership since January 2017.
Americans turned to Fox News for the biggest news of the month, with 4.1 million prime-time viewers watching the Taliban take over Afghanistan and covering the deadly terrorist attack that killed 13 US soldiers were watching.
All data courtesy of Nielsen Media Research.
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