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News Television

60 Minutes Lifts CBS to Top Spot in Weekly Ratings

The hour-long candidates’ edition – the fourth such pre-election “60 Minutes” broadcast since 2008 – featured Lesley Stahl’s interviews with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence and interviews with their opponents on the Democratic ticket, former vice president Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), conducted by CBS Evening News anchor Norah O’Donnell.

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On prime time television for the week ending October 25, 2020, there were three NFL games, five MLB World Series games and the final U.S. presidential debate. But none of those telecasts achieved the week’s most viewers for a single prime time program on a single network. Those honors went to the CBS newsmagazine “60 Minutes”. The special Oct. 25th edition drew 17.4 million viewers.

The hour-long candidates’ edition – the fourth such pre-election “60 Minutes” broadcast since 2008 – featured Lesley Stahl’s interviews with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence and interviews with their opponents on the Democratic ticket, former vice president Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), conducted by CBS Evening News anchor Norah O’Donnell.

While “60 Minutes” was certainly assisted by its late Sunday afternoon NFL lead-in (49ers-Patriots or Chiefs-Broncos or Jaguars-Chargers, based on their respective regions), the special had attracted controversy when the petulant Trump, who had openly railed against Stahl and her style of questioning, broke an agreement with CBS News and released his videotaped interview on Facebook before it was broadcast on CBS.

Online, it drew season-high digital traffic levels for a “60 Minutes” program on CBSNews.com, and an excerpt from the segment was the top video on YouTube’s trending list on Monday, Oct. 26th.

Excluding sports and multi-network programming, the Oct. 25th “60 Minutes” attracted the largest audience for any television broadcast since the Academy Awards ceremony on Feb. 9. Additionally, it was the most-watched “60 Minutes” edition since March 25, 2018; that edition was also featured a Trump-related controversy: Anderson Cooper’s interview with Stephanie Clifford, the adult film star known as Stormy Daniels who claimed she had an affair with Donald Trump in 2006.

Sunday’s broadcast saw its best delivery of adults 25-54 (3.6 rating/14 share; equating to 4.33 million viewers within that age range) since the aforementioned date of March 25, 2018.

Over on the cable front, for the second consecutive week, Fox News Channel topped the cable networks in both viewers and adults 25-54. For the week ending Oct. 25, 2020 in total day data (from 6 a.m. to 5:59 a.m. each day), Fox News Channel averaged 2.43 million viewers and 467,000 adults 25-54.

Also like the prior week, MSNBC was the runner-up cable news network in total viewers while CNN was runner-up among adults 25-54. Their averages were, as follows:

  • MSNBC: 1.47 million viewers, 245,000 adults 25-54
  • CNN: 1.33 million viewers, 348,000 adults 25-54

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

1. Presidential Debate (FOXNC, Thu. 10/22/2020 9:03 PM, 94 min.) 15.405 million viewers

2. Presidential Debate Analysis (FOXNC, Thu. 10/22/2020 10:37 PM, 23 min.) 12.143 million viewers

3. Presidential Debate Coverage (FOXNC, Thu. 10/22/2020 8:50 PM, 13 min.) 11.289 million viewers

4. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Thu. 10/22/2020 8:00 PM, 50 min.) 8.152 million viewers

5. Hannity (FOXNC, Thu. 10/22/2020 11:00 PM, 60 min.) 7.533 million viewers

6. Final Presidential Debate (CNN, Thu. 10/22/2020 9:04 PM, 93 min.) 7.508 million viewers

7. Debate (MSNBC, Thu. 10/22/2020 9:03 PM, 94 min.) 6.929 million viewers

8. MSNBC Debate Analysis (MSNBC, Thu. 10/22/2020 10:37 PM, 23 min.) 6.594 million viewers

9. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Wed. 10/21/2020 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 5.330 million viewers

10. Debate Night In America (CNN, Thu. 10/22/2020 10:37 PM, 83 min.) 5.275 million viewers

Top 10 cable news programs among adults 25-54:

1. Presidential Debate (FOXNC, Thu. 10/22/2020 9:03 PM, 94 min.) 4.385 million adults 25-54

2. Presidential Debate Analysis (FOXNC, Thu. 10/22/2020 10:37 PM, 23 min.) 3.495 million adults 25-54

3. Final Presidential Debate (CNN, Thu. 10/22/2020 9:04 PM, 93 min.) 3.019 million adults 25-54

4. Presidential Debate Coverage (FOXNC, Thu. 10/22/2020 8:50 PM, 13 min.) 2.803 million adults 25-54

5. Hannity (FOXNC, Thu. 10/22/2020 11:00 PM, 60 min.) 1.908 million adults 25-54

6. Debate Night In America (CNN, Thu. 10/22/2020 10:37 PM, 83 min.) 1.817 million adults 25-54

7. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Thu. 10/22/2020 8:00 PM, 50 min.) 1.745 million adults 25-54

8. Debate (MSNBC, Thu. 10/22/2020 9:03 PM, 94 min.) 1.584 million adults 25-54

9. MSNBC Debate Analysis (MSNBC, Thu. 10/22/2020 10:37 PM, 23 min.) 1.469 million adults 25-54

10. Debate Night In America (CNN, Thu. 10/22/2020 8:00 PM, 64 min.) 1.230 million adults 25-54

News Television

Records Tell Chris Cuomo Had Greater Role in Helping Andrew Cuomo

Cuomo asked Melissa DeRosa, the top aide to his brother, to assist the team in developing the former governor’s response to accusations of improper conduct made against him late last year.  

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CNN host Chris Cuomo continues to find himself when it comes to his brother, former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who resigned from the position following numerous allegations of sexual misconduct. 

Records released Monday by the New York Attorney General’s office revealed that the CNN anchor was more involved in his brother’s situation. 

The communication via emails and text where Cuomo asked Melissa DeRosa, the top aide to his brother, to assist the team in developing the former governor’s response to accusations of improper conduct made against him late last year.  

“Please let me help with the prep,” Cuomo wrote to DeRosa in a text message on March 3. Then on March 7, DeRosa sent Cuomo a text stating, “Rumor going around from politico 1-2 more ppl coming out tomorrow.”

Cuomo didn’t discuss these documents released by New York’s attorney general showing how involved he was in advising his brother. However, a CNN spokesperson did provide comment on the matter as Deadline relayed the remarks. 

“The thousands of pages of additional transcripts and exhibits that were released today by the NY Attorney General deserve a thorough review and consideration,” a spokesperson said. 

“We will be having conversations and seeking additional clarity about their significance as they relate to CNN over the next several days.”

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News Television

Joe Scarborough Calls Out Rep. Ronny Jackson Over Omicron Tweet

“The stupidity is remarkable,” Scarborough said.

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The Omicron COVID-19 variant is the latest to mutate and make its way to various countries. 

Nonetheless, as with the original virus and Delta variant, the Omicron has already become a political talking point despite recently surfacing in South Africa. 

This past weekend, Republican Rep. Ronny Jackson tweeted out a conspiracy of a Democratic plot to “cheat” in the midterm elections. 

“Here comes the MEV – the Midterm Election Variant!” Jackson tweeted

“They NEED a reason to push unsolicited nationwide mail-in ballots. Democrats will do anything to CHEAT during an election – but we’re not going to let them!”

MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough addressed these remarks made by Jackson on “Morning Joe.” 

“The stupidity is remarkable,” Scarborough said. “I guess you have to lay the stupidity at the feet of the people who actually would believe the stupid lies because it’s all out there.”

Scarborough went on to question whether Jackson’s constituents could fall for these claims made by the politician. “It’s just absolute, complete stupidity,” the “Morning Joe” co-host would add.

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News Television

KMBC, KCWE President & General Manager Sarah Smith Retires

Smith’s career spans nearly four decades

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KMBC-TV and KCWE-TV in Kansas City, Missouri, announced that they are saying goodbye to its president and general manager, Sarah Smith; she will be retiring after a decade run with the two stations. 

Smith’s career spans nearly four decades, making stops at various stations such as president and general manager at KETV, the company’s Omaha ABC affiliate. 

“I’ve been blessed to work with so many great people,” Smith said in a statement. “Their creativity and commitment have been crucial to the ongoing success of KMBC/KCWE, as well as KETV, and I have had the wonderful support of the nurturing culture of Hearst Television.”

During her tenure, KMBC received recognition for six straight years as the top television newsgroup in the Kansas and Missouri market by the Radio Television Digital News Association. 

Furthermore, their news coverages earned three regional Edward R. Murrow awards, including the Overall Excellence Award and Best Newscast.

“Throughout her impressive career, Sarah has tirelessly advocated for the power of local television in our communities,” Hearst Television President Jordan Wertlieb said in a statement. 

“She did an outstanding job leading and growing three important properties, including two of the highest-rated ABC affiliates in the country. She has been an important voice in our company and leaves a tremendous legacy that will continue to be felt in the years ahead. We wish her great success in her well-deserved next chapter.”

The stations don’t have an immediate replacement to take for Smith as the announcement of an eventual successor will be shared at a later date. 

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