Get the latest market trends in your inbox

Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with the Axios Markets newsletter. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Minneapolis-St. Paul

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa-St. Petersburg news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa-St. Petersburg

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

State Department official George Kent and acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor. Photo: Joshua Roberts/ Pool/Getty Images

The first televised impeachment hearing drew a sizable audience of about 13 million live viewers, according to early Nielsen ratings released by Fox News on Thursday.

Yes, but: Those numbers, while big, are smaller than the viewership of other major Trump-era political hearings. About 19.5 million people tuned in live to James Comey's testimony in June 2017, and about 20 million watched the Brett Kavanaugh hearing in Sept. 2018.

By the numbers: Fox News led the cable networks in total live viewers from 10 am to 4 pm with nearly 2.9 million viewers tuning into testimony from State Department official George Kent and acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor. MSNBC followed close behind with nearly 2.7 million viewers. CNN trailed in third place for the cable networks with around 1.8 million viewers.

  • All the major broadcast networks veered away from their regularly scheduled programs to air the hearing. ABC drew the most viewers with a little more than 2 million, and CBS followed with almost 2 million viewers. NBC had around 1.7 million viewers.
  • Many other people likely watched the testimony and questioning via streaming platforms, but to-date there is no way of measuring those live views precisely.

Our thought bubble: An impeachment hearing, one might think, would be a must-see event for Americans. But several factors may have resulted in fewer people watching this hearing than other Trump-era hearings.

  • It's also possible that Americans have started to tune out impeachment content as the saga has dragged on.
  • The release of the July 25 Ukraine call transcripts ahead of the hearings could have driven viewers to think that they would glean minimal new information from the hearings.
  • It also seems unlikely, at this point, that the hearings will sway the minds of loyal Senate Republicans. Some Americans might have made the hearings a low priority, given that the Senate is expected to clear the president.

What's next: The second televised hearing will occur Friday morning.

Go deeper

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Rahm Emanuel floated for Transportation secretary

Rahm Emanuel. Photo: Joshua Lott for The Washington Post via Getty Images

President-elect Biden is strongly considering Rahm Emanuel to run the Department of Transportation, weighing the former Chicago mayor’s experience on infrastructure spending against concerns from progressives over his policing record.

Why it matters: The DOT could effectively become the new Commerce Department, as infrastructure spending, smart cities construction and the rollout of drone-delivery programs take on increasing economic weight.

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden turns to experienced hands for White House economic team

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Joe Biden plans to announce Cecilia Rouse and Brian Deese as part of his economic team and Neera Tanden to head the Office of Management and Budget, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: These are experienced hands. Unveiling a diverse group of advisers also may draw attention away from a selection of Deese to run the National Economic Council. Some progressives have criticized his work at BlackRock, the world's largest asset management firm.

Biden taps former Obama communications director for press secretary

Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Jen Psaki, who previously served as Obama's communications director, will serve as President-elect Joe Biden's press secretary, the transition team announced Sunday.

The big picture: All of the top aides in Biden's communication staff will be women, per the Washington Post, which first reported Psaki's appointment.