Trump dings CNN, 'Morning Joe' ratings as Tucker Carlson sets record
President Trump slammed CNN and MSNBC's "Morning Joe" for their ratings during the second quarter, which was dominated by Fox News, even though both cable news networks enjoyed strong viewership in April, May and June with coverage of the coronavirus pandemic and mass protests and unrest following George Floyd's death.
"Can’t believe how badly @CNN has done in the newly released TV ratings. They are so far below @FoxNews (thank you President Trump!) that you can barely find them. Fredo should be given a big pay cut! MSDNC also did poorly," Trump wrote to his 82.6 million followers. "As I have long said, Fake News does not pay!!!"
Fredo is a reference to a fictional character in "The Godfather" that the president has used before to refer to CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, who finished the quarter as the network's most-watched personality with an average of 2.21 million viewers.
Cuomo still finished third in total viewers in his time slot behind MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, who averaged 3.2 million viewers, and Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity, who delivered 4.31 million viewers for his highest numbers on record, according to Nielsen Media Research.
Overall, Fox News averaged 3.6 million total viewers in prime time ahead of MSNBC, which was second with nearly 2 million. CNN, Home and Garden TV and TLC rounded out the top five cable networks.
"Tucker Carlson Tonight" finished the quarter as the highest-rated program in cable news history, tallying an average of 4.33 million viewers. "Hannity" was a close second, with 4.31 million, followed by three other Fox programs: "The Five," with 3.9 million; "Special Report with Bret Baier," with 3.66 million; and "The Ingraham Angle" with Laura Ingraham, with 3.62 million.
The president also congratulated "Fox & Friends" for its win over MSNBC's "Morning Joe" and CNN's "New Day."
"Congratulations to @foxandfriends on completely dominating the just released morning TV Ratings. Morning Joke, staring Psycho Joe Scarborough on MSDNC, a Concast Company, was a disaster. Even worse was the barely registering @CNN mess!"
The president often lauds "Fox & Friends" and regularly tweets commentary and reaction to segments or discussions featured on the program. Overall, the show averaged 1.6 million total viewers in topping "Morning Joe" and "New Day." The Fox program has won its time slot for 74 consecutive quarters.
CNN still had its biggest audience in the network's 40-year history in the second quarter, averaging 1.824 million viewers in prime time and 1.124 million in Total Day, which runs from 6 a.m. to 6 a.m.
MSNBC also shattered its own ratings record for the quarter while experiencing considerable growth, with an increase in total viewers of 34 percent when compared to the same quarter of last year.
NBC's "Meet the Press with Chuck Todd" posted its 10th consecutive quarter as the most-watched Sunday morning political affairs program, averaging 3.814 million total viewers. The quarter marks the show's highest viewership since the first quarter of 2017, when Trump was sworn into office. In terms of growth, "Meet the Press" was up 24 percent among total viewers when compared to the same quarter in 2019.
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