The Republican Party’s fourth debate, broadcasted on NewsNation and the CW network, garnered significant viewership numbers. With a total of 4.1 million and 852,000 viewers in the key 25-54 age demographic, the event proved successful for the centrist cable news channel.
NewsNation, owned by Nexstar Media Group, accounted for 1.6 million total viewers and 350,000 viewers in the targeted age group. The CW network contributed 2.5 million total viewers and 500,000 viewers in the demographic, showcasing the combined reach of both platforms.
Hosted by Eliana Johnson, editor-in-chief of the Washington Free Beacon, Megyn Kelly, and Elizabeth Vargas of NewsNation, the debate received praise for its unique format and diverse panel.
Cherie Grzech, NewsNation’s senior vice president of news and politics, expressed her excitement about reaching a wider audience. She believed that the debate would allow viewers to experience the network’s programming and understand its mission fully. This strategy paid off, as the event marked NewsNation’s highest viewership.
Despite the success of this debate, NewsNation experienced a decline in viewership compared to previous primary debates. The third debate, hosted by NBC in November, attracted 6.86 million total viewers and 1.3 million viewers in the key demographic. The first debate, held by Fox News in late August, drew a staggering 12.8 million total viewers and 2.8 million viewers in the targeted age group. The second debate, hosted by Fox Business Network in September, garnered 9.3 million total viewers and 1.89 million viewers in the demographic.
Last week’s highly anticipated debate between California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R), moderated by Sean Hannity, also garnered impressive viewership numbers. With 4.75 million total viewers and 1.05 million viewers in the critical demographic during its West Coast repeat, the debate captured the attention of a broad audience.
Fox continued to attract viewers with Hannity’s Trump town hall, which received 3.2 million viewers and 375,000 viewers in the demographic. This event, which sparked discussions around Trump’s leadership style, outperformed MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow’s interview with Liz Cheney. Maddow’s interview secured 3.15 million viewers and 249,000 viewers in the key demographic, contributing to MSNBC’s primetime lead on Monday.
Hannity’s Trump town hall propelled Fox to an average of 2.6 million viewers for Tuesday night’s primetime, surpassing MSNBC’s 1.4 million total viewers and CNN’s 620,000 viewers. The network’s success in attracting viewers during major political events indicates its continued relevance in the cable news landscape.