CNN’s town hall with President Joe Biden trailed the two other cable news networks in total viewers, drawing 1.46 million viewers.
That’s down significantly from CNN’s town hall with Biden in February, which drew 3.5 million viewers, topping the audience on Fox News and MSNBC.
Fox News topped the 8 PM ET to 9:15 PM ET time frame with Tucker Carlson Tonight and the first part of Hannity, who was having his own town hall event with Ron DeSantis, Marco Rubio, Maria Salazar and Francis Suarez. The network averaged 2.76 million total viewers during that time period. MSNBC averaged 1.47 million with All in with Chris Hayes and The Rachel Maddow Show.
CNN did better in the rankings for the 25-54 demo, with 297,000. That was ahead of MSNBC with 197,000, but well behind Fox News with 475,000.
The early numbers are from Nielsen and were released by Fox News.
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The town hall from Cincinnati was moderated by Don Lemon, and including a number of newsworthy moments, including an instance where Biden commented on Fox News hosts pro-vaccine statements.
Biden suggested that he was “feeling better” because “one of those other networks is not a big fan of mine,” but “if you notice, as they say in the southern part of my state, they have had an altar call, some of those guys. All of the sudden they are out there saying, ‘Let’s get vaccinated. Let’s get vaccinated.’” Speaking to reporters later, Biden thanked the Fox News personalities for doing do.
“I think once the realization occurred that this virus is only killing primarily those who had not been vaccinated, I think it was sort of, as we Catholics say, a bit of an epiphany for them,” Biden said.
Fox News topped the night, with an average of 2.36 million viewers, compared to 1.63 million for MSNBC and 1.28 million for CNN. In the 25-54 demo, Fox News averaged 400,000, compared to 279,000 for CNN and 209,000 for MSNBC.
Cable news audiences in general have fallen significantly since last year, with the unending sensational headlines from the Trump White House, the excitement of a presidential election campaign and the ongoing restrictions and lockdowns because of Covid-19. Audiences also traditionally fall during the summer. But Biden also is not the ratings draw of his predecessor — something that is not altogether surprising. His first address to a joint session of Congress in April drew 26.9 million across multiple networks. By contrast, Trump’s first address to a joint session drew around 48 million.
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