Controversy continues to become Bill O’Reilly, ratings-wise.
The Fox News Channel host last night logged his biggest audience of 2015 to date – 3.3 million viewers. He also averaged 590,000 viewers in the news demo. That’s 166% bigger than the crowd he clocked same night last year, and 100% better in the demo viewers.
O’Reilly’s ratings appears to be inversely related to the pelting he’s undergone about claims he made regarding his involvement covering major news events in the past.
Last week, for instance, was his first full week since Mother Jones first reported discrepancies between his description of his role in covering various news events, most particularly his reporting on the Falklands War from Buenos Aires, with the headline Bill O’Reilly Has His Own Brian Williams Problem. Since then, Mother Jones and Media Matters traded off breaking stories about his claims on other major news events he covered as a news reporter.
For that first full week, The O’Reilly Factor averaged 3.381 million viewers, and 590,000 in the demo – a 25% jump and 41% demo pop.
Meanwhile, Anderson Cooper’s numbers at CNN for the week – 530,000 viewers and 209,000 demo viewers – are up a lesser 16% and 6%, respectively. And Chris Hayes’ MSNBC crowd for the week in the timeslot – 767,000 and 168,000 respectively – are down, a slight 2% in total viewers, but a noticeable 28% in the news demo. Which helps explain why reports were surfacing late last week that Haye’s show might be scrubbed or moved – not his FNC timeslot competitor who’s at the center of this latest credibility kerfuffle.
O’Reilly’s Talking Point segment last night was about the speech delivered to Congress earlier in the day by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The speech aired at 11 AM and some Reporters Who Cover Television decried the fact that the broadcast networks did not interrupt their lineups in order to carry, leaving their viewers watching programs such as The View and The Price is Right and Access Hollywood. Meanwhile, those wanting to see the speech were left with only about six networks from which to choose, including Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, C-Span and Al Jazeera America, as well as livestreams on CBS and ABC web sites, among other outlets.
FNC and CNN were rewarded in ratings. FNC clocked a primetime-ish 3.328 million viewers from 11 AM to noon – up 166% compared to same day last year. Similar story in demos: 558,000 – up 100%. FNC beat CNN, MSNBC and HLN combined by 112% with overall audience, and 44% with in the demo.
CNN’s audience jumped 124% ,and 61% in the news demo, with Netanyahu’s speech. MSNBC did not fare so well: it averaged 352,000 viewers, which was up slightly compared to last year’s 265,000 in the timeslot. But, in the news demo, MSNBC plunged to 26,000 viewers compared to last year’s 101,000 – a 74% dive.