Well, well, well…
A pair of networks that seem incredibly eager to move on from all things Donald Trump may want to reconsider that directive.
That’s because both Fox News and CNN enjoyed surging viewership as Trump formally announced his candidacy for president in 2024.
CNN? It’s still very much a haven for anti-Trump lunacy.
And yet, a curious thing happened when CNN and Fox both covered Trump’s big announcement on Tuesday — their ratings shot through the roof.
According to Mediaite, both CNN and Fox saw substantial bumps in their viewership when it came time to broadcast Trump at 9 p.m.
Fox, which broadcasts “Tucker Carlson Tonight” at 8 p.m., went from 3.7 million viewers to 5.2 million.
CNN, meanwhile, broadcasts a two-hour block for Anderson Cooper. The first hour drew approximately 1.7 million viewers before jumping to 2.4 million viewers for the Trump announcement.
Look at what happened to MSNBC, which opted not to air Trump’s announcement. The network went from 1.8 million viewers for “All In with Chris Hayes” at 8 p.m. to 1.83 million viewers for the 9 p.m. airing of “Alex Wagner Tonight.”
No Trump, no bump.
And if you need any more proof that Trump was the main attraction, ratings fell across the board moving into the 10 p.m. time slot. While ratings can certainly dip going into the 10 p.m. hour, the drop on Tuesday was substantial compared to other days. Ironically, MSNBC actually saw a small bump at 10 p.m.
If you take a closer look at Mediaite’s numbers, this “Trump bump” is even more pronounced when you focus on the much-coveted 25 to 54 age demographic.
Fox went from 573,000 viewers in that demographic to 929,000 for the Trump announcement. That number fell to 637,000 for the 10 p.m. slot.
CNN saw a similar bell curve. The network drew 416,000 viewers at 8 p.m., which ballooned to 656,000 during the 9 p.m. time slot before settling back down to 358,000 at 10 p.m.
At the end of the day, Fox and CNN can kick and scream about Trump as much as they want. But deep down inside, they simply have to know the truth: Love him or hate him, Trump equals ratings.
There’s an old adage in pro wrestling — Trump is a WWE Hall of Famer, after all — that the most important thing you can do as a performer is elicit a reaction, regardless of whether it’s vociferous booing or wild cheering.
Trump embodies that adage to a tee, whether the major cable news networks want to admit it or not.
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