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Biden Town Hall Leads ABC to Ratings Win This week

Despite three networks showing Trump, it was Joe Biden’s ABC town hall that drew more viewers

Douglas Pucci

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The night of Thursday, Oct. 15 was supposed to feature a presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden in Miami, Fla. But after Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis on Sep. 30, the Commission on Presidential Debates offered the candidates to hold the debate virtually online, to which Trump declined. As a result, Biden instead scheduled a two-hour town hall from Philadelphia for the ABC network. Trump countered with his own one-hour town hall from Miami, Fla. hosted by “Today” anchor Savannah Guthrie on the networks of NBC, MSNBC and CNBC.

Despite three networks showing Trump, it was Joe Biden’s ABC town hall that drew more viewers — 14.13 million viewers vs. the combined 13.46 million (NBC 10.91 million, MSNBC 1.83 million, CNBC 0.72 million). Biden also won in the key demo battle of adults 25-54: 4.64 million vs. 3.74 million.

Here were the half-hour breakdowns of both town halls where Biden even topped Trump head-to-head in the 8-9 p.m. ET hour:

8:00-8:30 p.m. ET

ABC — The Vice President and the People: A Special Edition of 20/20 (Joe Biden Town Hall)

Viewers: 13.51 million, Adults 25-54: 4.13 million

NBC/MSNBC/CNBC — Trump Town Hall

Viewers: 12.79 million, Adults 25-54: 3.39 million

8:30-9:00 p.m. ET

ABC — The Vice President and the People: A Special Edition of 20/20 (Joe Biden Town Hall)

Viewers: 15.15 million, Adults 25-54: 4.97 million

NBC/MSNBC/CNBC — Trump Town Hall

Viewers: 14.13 million, Adults 25-54: 4.09 million

9:00-9:30 p.m. ET

ABC — The Vice President and the People: A Special Edition of 20/20 (Joe Biden Town Hall)

Viewers: 16.70 million, Adults 25-54: 5.67 million

9:30-10:00 p.m. ET

ABC — The Vice President and the People: A Special Edition of 20/20 (Joe Biden Town Hall)

Viewers: 11.18 million, Adults 25-54: 3.78 million

Biden’s town hall peaked in its third half-hour (9-9:30 p.m. ET), presumably due to some of those who had switched over to ABC after Trump’s town hall had concluded.

For the week ending Oct. 11, 2020 in total day data (from 6 a.m. to 5:59 a.m. each day), Fox News Channel and CNN shared top honors among the cable news networks: FNC in viewers (2.07 million); CNN in adults 25-54 (390,000: edging out FNC’s 382,000). MSNBC (1.54 million) surpassed CNN (1.47 million) in total viewers but lagged behind both cable news stations in the key demo (249,000 adults 25-54).

Top 10 most-watched cable news programs in total viewers:

1. VP Debate (FOXNC, Wed. 10/7/2020 9:03 PM, 91 min.) 11.898 million viewers

2. VP Debate Analysis (FOXNC, Wed. 10/7/2020 10:34 PM, 26 min.) 9.162 million viewers

3. VP Debate Coverage (FOXNC, Wed. 10/7/2020 8:50 PM, 13 min.) 8.399 million viewers

4. Vice Presidential Debate (CNN, Wed. 10/7/2020 9:04 PM, 89 min.) 7.705 million viewers

5. Debate (MSNBC, Wed. 10/7/2020 9:03 PM, 92 min.) 6.918 million viewers

6. MSNBC Debate Analysis (MSNBC, Wed. 10/7/2020 10:35 PM, 25 min.) 6.635 million viewers

7. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Wed. 10/7/2020 8:00 PM, 50 min.) 6.122 million viewers

8. Debate Night In America (CNN, Wed. 10/7/2020 10:33 PM, 87 min.) 5.372 million viewers

9. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Tue. 10/6/2020 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 5.297 million viewers

10. Hannity (FOXNC, Wed. 10/7/2020 11:00 PM, 60 min.) 5.276 million viewers

Top 10 cable news programs among adults 25-54:

1. VP Debate (FOXNC, Wed. 10/7/2020 9:03 PM, 91 min.) 3.097 million adults 25-54

2. Vice Presidential Debate (CNN, Wed. 10/7/2020 9:04 PM, 89 min.) 2.924 million adults 25-54

3. VP Debate Analysis (FOXNC, Wed. 10/7/2020 10:34 PM, 26 min.) 2.333 million adults 25-54

4. Debate Night In America (CNN, Wed. 10/7/2020 10:33 PM, 87 min.) 1.948 million adults 25-54

5. VP Debate Coverage(FOXNC, Wed. 10/7/2020 8:50 PM, 13 min.) 1.876 million adults 25-54

6. Debate (MSNBC, Wed. 10/7/2020 9:03 PM, 92 min.) 1.480 million adults 25-54

7. MSNBC Debate Analysis (MSNBC, Wed. 10/7/2020 10:35 PM, 25 min.) 1.430 million adults 25-54

8. Hannity (FOXNC, Wed. 10/7/2020 11:00 PM, 60 min.) 1.351 million adults 25-54

9. Debate Night In America (CNN, Wed. 10/7/2020 8:00 PM, 64 min.) 1.243 million adults 25-54

10. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Wed. 10/7/2020 8:00 PM, 50 min.) 1.209 million adults 25-54

News Television

Chris Wallace: Democrats Would Like Another Nominee in 2024

Wallace said Democrats don’t want Biden to run again in 2024 because of his age. 

Ryan Hedrick

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Chris Wallace joined CNN’s “At This Hour” to discuss a New York Times article suggesting that President Joe Biden shouldn’t run again. 

According to a transcript published on Breitbart, Wallace said Democrats don’t want Biden to run again in 2024 because of his age. 

“I think 75%of Democrats say they would like to see another Democratic nominee for president in 2024,” said Biden. 

Wallace said he’s witnessed farewells plenty of times, especially in the media, which he referred to as the gold watch sent off. 

“Look; obviously, the success after a lot of stalemate, the success of the last month or so by Joe Biden is impressive, and it will change the narrative,” Wallace said. “We will be talking about everything he has accomplished.” 

‘You know what, I’m excited by the idea of a guy who on next inauguration day would be 82 running for election again,’ I’m not so sure about that,” he added.

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News Television

News Media Reacts to FBI Searching Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Resort

CNN reports that the former President corroborated the information that FBI agents were at Mar-a-Lago and stated, “they even broke into my safe.”

Eduardo Razo

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On Monday, news broke that the FBI executed a search warrant at former U.S. President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida. 

The search warrant is part of the inquiry into the handling of presidential documents, including classified documents, that Trump may have been brought there. 

CNN reports that the former President corroborated the information that FBI agents were at Mar-a-Lago and stated, “they even broke into my safe.” He was at Trump Tower in New York when the search warrant occurred in Florida. 

There’s plenty of reaction from both sides of the news media aisle, here’s what some had to say: 

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News Television

John Oliver Takes Dig at Parent Owner Warner Bros. Discovery

Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav was also a leading force in canceling CNN’s venture into the streaming wars

Eduardo Razo

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Warner Bros. Discovery has made recent headlines for its decisions regarding HBO Max and canceling in-production films, including DC’s “Batgirl,” to get future tax write-offs.

During a segment discussing Monkeypox on Sunday, HBO’s “Last Week Tonight” host John Oliver decided to take a shot at their new parent company for its recent decisions.

“We let the vaccine sit unused on a shelf in our reserves like an expired Chobani or a $90 million movie on HBO Max,” Oliver said, referring to the “Batgirl” film. 

“By the way, hi there, new business daddy! Seems like you’re doing a really great job. I do get the vague sense that you’re burning down my network for the insurance money, but I’m sure that will all pass.”

Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav was also a leading force in canceling CNN’s venture into the streaming wars, pulling the plug on CNN+ less than a month after the service launched. 

“On CNN+, there was no message it was a business decision,” Zaslav told CNBC in May. “We looked at it and we looked at the data, the number of users they had spent an enormous amount of money trying to sell an independent product. 

“The subscribers weren’t there, the users weren’t there. We looked at it together. We had a chance to look at all the data and when we looked at the data, it was, the business wasn’t there.”

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