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Thanksgiving Holiday Brings Traditional Ratings Dip

An average of 2.35 million viewers checked in to the Maria Bartiromo-hosted program. She spoke with outgoing President Donald Trump in his first interview following the Nov. 3rd election.

Douglas Pucci

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Outside of sports, the Thanksgiving holiday does not usually attract as many households to television viewing compared to normal levels. This was especially exhibited with the depressed ratings of most prime time programs, especially on the cable news front.

With that, combined with a featured special guest, the Sunday Nov. 29 morning edition of Fox News Channel’s “Sunday Morning Futures” became the most-watched cable news telecast during the entire Thanksgiving weekend (Nov. 26-29). An average of 2.35 million viewers checked in to the Maria Bartiromo-hosted program. She spoke with outgoing President Donald Trump in his first interview following the Nov. 3rd election. Trump continued to present unfounded claims of voter fraud amidst the multiple results certifications that confirmed Joe Biden’s victory from various states.

In addition, “Sunday Morning Futures” delivered 382,000 adults 25-54 — the top mark for a cable news program from Nov. 26-29 in the key demographic.

As stated here on BNM last week, for the week ending Nov. 22, the three major cable news networks were separated by just 94,000 viewers, based on their total day viewer averages. For the week ending Nov. 29, 2020, the margin got even narrower: a mere 29,000 viewers. According to total day data (from 6 a.m. to 5:59 a.m. each day), CNN — despite not airing a single telecast that landed in the top-25 most-watched cable news programs for the week — rose back up to the No. 1 cable news network spot with an average of 1.114 million viewers. It is the third week within the past four weeks CNN has led all cable news in total viewers. They also remained the key demos cable news leader (for the fourth consecutive week) with 273,000 adults 25-54; 378,000 adults 25-54 in prime time (8-11 p.m.). CNN came 1,000 total viewers short of topping cable altogether, but the Christmas movie-laden Hallmark Channel earned those top honors.

Fox News Channel led cable news in prime time among total viewers with an average of 2.048 million. Nonetheless, in total day, FNC averaged 1.095 million viewers and 169,000 adults 25-54.

MSNBC, with the Nov. 23 and Nov. 24 editions of “The Rachel Maddow Show” being the top two most-watched cable news telecasts of the holiday week, averaged 1.085 million viewers and 168,000 adults 25-54.

The three cable news networks were three of the top four most-watched networks on cable overall; also, they were three of cable’s top five in prime time behind “Monday Night Football”-enhanced ESPN (3.085 million) and Hallmark Channel (2.53 million). Here are their prime time averages during the Thanksgiving week:

  • Fox News Channel: 2.049 million viewers; 289,000 adults 25-54
  • CNN: 1.43 million viewers; 378,000 adults 25-54
  • MSNBC: 1.635 million viewers; 253,000 adults 25-54

Top 10 most-watched cable news programs (and the top CNN program with associated rank) in total viewers:

1. Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC, Tue. 11/24/2020 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.680 million viewers

2. Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC, Mon. 11/23/2020 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.465 million viewers

3. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Mon. 11/23/2020 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.444 million viewers

4. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Tue. 11/24/2020 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.378 million viewers

5. The Five (FOXNC, Mon. 11/23/2020 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.883 million viewers

6. Hannity Special (FOXNC, Mon. 11/23/2020 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.839 million viewers

7. Tucker Carlson Special (FOXNC, Wed. 11/25/2020 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.814 million viewers

8. The Five (FOXNC, Tue. 11/24/2020 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.715 million viewers

9. Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell (MSNBC, Tue. 11/24/2020 10:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.703 million viewers

10. Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC, Wed. 11/25/2020 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.695 million viewers

26. Erin Burnett Outfront (CNN, Mon. 11/23/2020 7:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.330 million viewers

News Television

CNBC’s Jim Cramer: Disney’s Purchase of Fox ‘One of the Worst’ Ever Seen

“Oh, I’m saying it was one of the worst acquisitions I’ve ever seen, not a mistake. They just got had. It’s ok. Sometimes you just get had.”

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CNBC’s Jim Cramer fired off some early morning tweets Thursday describing Disney’s purchase and takeover of Fox, before going on Squawk Box and calling the acquisition “the worst he’s ever seen”.

Cramer tweeted analysts still viewing Disney could do well in a slowdown were “out of touch” before saying it wasn’t Disney CEO Bob Chapek’s decision to “wreck the balance sheet of the company”. He later joked “Anyone been to the Netflix theme park lately? The Squid Game ride is to die for”.

During his “Cramer’s First Take” appearance on Squawk Box, Cramer didn’t hold back his criticism of former CEO Bob Iger and current analysts.

“Are you arguing against the Fox acquisition? Is that what you’re saying? You think that was a mistake?”, Andrew Ross Sorkin asked.

“Oh, I’m saying it was one of the worst acquisitions I’ve ever seen, not a mistake,” the Mad Money host said. “They just got had. It’s ok. Sometimes you just get had.”

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Shannon Bream Named ‘Fox News Sunday’ Host

“I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to host a Sunday show and look forward to this new role.”

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Shannon Bream will be the new host of Fox News Sunday, the network announced Thursday.

Bream will replace Chris Wallace after the longtime host left the network to join CNN in December.

“Shannon is an outstanding journalist, reporter and anchor who has cultivated a strong and enduring relationship with the Fox News Media audience,” Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott said in a statement.

After joining Fox News in 2007 as Chief Legal Correspondent, Bream also worked as a contributor on the network’s election coverage. She has hosted Fox News @ Night since 2017.

“It has been an honor to cover major news throughout Washington over the last 15 years at Fox News,” Bream said. “I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to host a Sunday show and look forward to this new role.”

Bream, a New York Times bestselling author, will begin hosting on Sunday, September 11th.

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News Television

ABC News Promotes Ian Pannell to Chief Foreign Correspondent

Pannell joined ABC News in June 2017 following a 25-year tenure at the BBC

Eduardo Razo

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Ian Pannell has a new position with ABC News as the company announced the senior foreign correspondent has been promoted to chief foreign correspondent, leading the news division’s on-air foreign coverage.

“Throughout his storied, 30-plus-year career as a journalist, Ian has been on the frontlines covering some of the most important and compelling stories across the world,” ABC News president Kim Godwin wrote in an internal staff memo on Wednesday.

“As Russia invaded Ukraine earlier this year, Ian reported from Kyiv as the first missile strikes hit and has spent months on the ground there documenting the tragic developments and the devastating impact on the people inside the country.”

Pannell joined ABC News in June 2017 following a 25-year tenure at the BBC; since then, he has covered various events for ABC in his five years with the network. 

He has reported on the U.S.’ withdrawal from Afghanistan, the battle against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, the fight to retake Mosul, the killing of U.S. soldiers in Niger, the Covid-19 pandemic in Mexico, and the fight and famine in Yemen.

“Despite difficult and often dangerous situations, Ian continues to deliver powerful reporting, often setting the tone and pace for our international breaking news and ongoing coverage,” Godwin added. 

“I look forward to continued excellence from Ian and the entire foreign news team, led by Katie Den Daas and Kirit Radia.”

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