For much of the nation, hell, for even a good portion of the Republican Party, Donald Trump is bad news. For starters, he’s one of the most controversial politicians to have ever graced the White House steps. I mean, there is no real middle ground with him. You either love or hate him.
While politics and religion have been the most “don’t talk about” topics in recent decades, Trump has become an even more off-limits topic. At the mere mention of his name, fights seem to break out, arguments commence, and people are immediately riled up.
Again, it’s because you either love or hate him, with very little in between emotions.
And since he supposedly lost the 2020 presidential election, making him into a possible one-time wonder and has-been, he’s been securely placed into the “don’t touch” box. This means that people are more and more apt to purposely leave him out of conversations, even if he might still be relevant and newsworthy.
The same goes for media outlets.
For the last couple of years, major outlets like Fox and CNN have done about everything they can to intentionally leave the former president out of the conversation as if he’s completely bad for business.
However, as recent ratings are beginning to show, the very opposite is actually true.
If you haven’t heard, Donald Trump has recently announced another official run for the White House, hoping to replace failing Joe Biden as president. The news was made known on November 15 during a speech from his resort in Palm Beach, Florida, just as he had promised.
Naturally, such a promise caused quite a stir, with people from all over nearly salivating at the mouth to learn just what his decision on a 2024 run would be. Would he try to reclaim his lost title? Or would he graciously bow out, leaving the seat for others who might do an even better job than he?
And so it’s no real surprise that a few big networks had reporters on hand during the speech to cover the news. Likewise, it’s not surprising that those same networks made sure to air the speech live at 9 p.m.
Neither should it be shocking that ratings soared during that hour for those networks.
Fox News was one such outlet that covered the event. Despite apparent and public clashes with Trump in the past, Fox still seems to know the value of a good story.
CNN was another. Now, as you likely know, this outlet has never been a fan of Trump. However, their recent leadership changes may have decided that like him or not, this was a story that just couldn’t be missed.
Looking back, I’m sure both networks are happy that they didn’t miss it, as both received substantial bumps to their viewership during the short time Trump was on the air.
According to rating reports acquired by Mediaite, both networks actually had through-the-roof ratings they hadn’t seen in years.
For Fox, which aired “Tucker Carlson Tonight” at 8 p.m. and then Trump’s big announcement at 9, viewership jumped from 3.7 million to 5.2 million viewers.
Similarly, CNN had about 1.7 viewers during Anderson Cooper’s two-hour time block and then a much larger 2.4 million viewers during the Trump airing.
Compare this to MSNBC’s viewership, which did not report on the Trump announcement for the same period. The network saw about 1.8 million viewers at 8 with “All In with Chris Hayes,” and starting at 9, when “Alex Wagner Tonight” and not Trump aired, viewership was noted to be at 1.83 million.
Not much of a bump, huh?
As my friends at the Western Journal said, “No Trump, no bump.”
It’s important to point out that viewership doesn’t usually go up this much just for this hour of TV time. By the time the 10 p.m. slot arrived, viewership was back to around the same numbers as before Trump’s announcement. This drop can be seen most in one demographic in particular: 25- to 54-year-olds.
For Fox, viewership for that demographic sat around 573,000 at 8 p.m. it jumped to 929,000 at nine for the announcement and then dropped back down to about 637,000 at 10.
CNN saw similar numbers. At 8, about 416,000 25–54-year-olds watched. At 9, there were 656,000; by 10, it was back down to around 358,000.
So what does all this mean?
Well, it seems Trump is good for business after all, even if he isn’t liked.