Apr 29, 2020 - Economy

Cable news soars to record ratings during coronavirus pandemic

Fox News host Tucker Carlson

Screenshot via Fox News

The cable-news hosts Tucker Carlson, Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, Chris Cuomo, Bret Baier, Nicolle Wallace, and Anderson Cooper each recorded their most-watched month ever in April, AP Media Writer David Bauder reports.

The state of play: Fox News prime time had the most viewers ever in April, MSNBC's full-day schedule had the largest audience in network history, and CNN's all-day audience was the highest since 2005, when Hurricane Katrina struck.

  • Nielsen numbers also show Baier's 6 p.m. ET "Special Report" on Fox was the highest-rated in cable news for the first time, primarily because it often coincided with President Trump's daily briefing.

While hosting from his Hampton basement because he had COVID-19, CNN's Cuomo beat MSNBC's Rachel Maddow among younger viewers for the first time.

  • During weekday prime time, Fox News averaged 4.14 million viewers, MSNBC had 2.47 million and CNN had 2.16 million.

Among the broadcast nets, ABC's "World News Tonight" topped the evening newscasts with an average of 10.2 million viewers. NBC's "Nightly News" had 9.6 million and the "CBS Evening News" had 6.7 million.

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