Nov 22, 2019

Axios PM

Good afternoon: Today's PM — edited by Justin Green — is 355 words, a 1.5 minute read.

1 big thing: The most viral impeachment hearings
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Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

TV ratings for the impeachment hearings peaked on the first day of testimony from Bill Taylor and George Kent, but none drew as much online attention as Marie Yovanovitch, according to data from NewsWhip.

Why it matters: Democrats hoped to sway public opinion with revelations about a smoking gun of Trump's involvement in a quid pro quo, but the numbers highlight the power of an emotional appeal, writes Axios' Neal Rothschild.

  • The former ambassador to Ukraine became a sympathetic figure to many over perceptions that she was wrongfully removed from her post.
  • Yes, but: Since she had been removed from her post by May, Yovanovitch couldn't speak to central details around the impeachment inquiry focusing on events in July.

The big picture: TV viewer interest steadily declined over the course of the 5 days of hearings.

Go deeper: Comparison to past TV events, along with the most viral impeachment stories

Bonus: Pic du jour
Photo: Paula Bronstein/Getty Images

Pope Francis walks out from Assumption Cathedral in Bangkok.

  • An embroidered special silk robe was made in appreciation for his visit to Thailand.
  • This is the first visit to the country by a pope since John Paul II back in 1984.
2. What you missed
  1. Michael Bloomberg kicked off a massive TV ad campaign ahead of an anticipated announcement to enter the 2020 Democratic primary race. Go deeper.
  2. President Trump spent 53 minutes of his morning on the phone with the hosts of "Fox & Friends." Highlights.
  3. Airbnb COO Belinda Johnson is stepping down from the position and joining the board of directors.
  4. Former White House national security adviser John Bolton returned to Twitter Friday with a series of cryptic posts and a claim that the White House refused to grant him access to his personal Twitter account. Go deeper.
  5. Hillary Clinton asked if congressional Republicans will hold Trump to account at the close of two weeks of public impeachment hearings. Go deeper.
3. 1 fun thing

Bono performs at the Apollo Theater in New York. Photo: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

U2 has been the top touring act in the world over the past 10 years, the trade publication Pollstar reports.

  • Per the AP: Pollstar says U2 grossed $1.03 billion in ticket sales from November 2009 to November 2019.
  • U2 was followed by The Rolling Stones ($929 million), Ed Sheeran ($922 million), Taylor Swift (an estimated $900 million), and Beyoncé ($857 million).