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Fox News grabs highest ratings for Trump arraignment

The network edged out MSNBC to grab more total and prime-time viewers on Tuesday.

The network edged out MSNBC to grab more total and prime-time viewers on Tuesday.

More Americans watched the Fox News Channel’s coverage of former U.S. President Donald Trump’s arraignment on federal criminal charges than any other cable news network, according to data released by Nielsen.

Fox News grabbed 1.46 million overall viewers on Tuesday and 2.42 million in prime-time, the data showed, edging out MSNBC’s 1.44 million total day and 2.4 million prime-time viewers. The difference was around 20,000 cable news viewers between the networks.

CNN amassed less than a million viewers during the day with its coverage of the arraignment. An average of 760,000 viewers tuned in during the day, with 948,000 watching CNN’s prime-time coverage.

Of the three networks, Fox News was the only one to carry live, uninterrupted coverage of Trump’s post-arraignment speech at a country club in New Jersey during prime-time hours. NewsNation, the cable news upstart operated by Nexstar Media Group, and Scripps News also carried the speech.

On CNN, host Jake Tapper said the network would not carry the speech over concerns that Trump would offer misinformation about his case and the election during his public address. MSNBC opted to have Rachel Maddow deliver post-arraignment analysis. Both networks aired excerpted clips of Trump’s speech after it concluded.

Trump was arraigned on three dozen criminal charges in a federal courthouse on Tuesday. The charges stem from an investigation into his mishandling of classified documents after losing the 2020 presidential election, and include allegations of conspiracy and violating the Espionage Act. He entered a plea of not guilty at his hearing.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).