CNN’s Donald Trump Town Hall Wins Time Slot With 3.3 Million Viewers — Update

UPDATE: CNN’s town hall with Donald Trump brought in 3.3 million viewers, enough for the network to beat its cable news rivals in the time slot and in primetime.

According to final Nielsen numbers, Fox News delivered 1.45 million viewers, and MSNBC posted 1.4 million.

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Among adults 25-54, CNN averaged 781,000, compared to 160,000 for MSNBC and 140,000 for Fox News.

With live digital streaming factored in, the audience for the town hall rose to 3.41 million, according to CNN.

The network also scored a rare primetime win, drawing an average of 2.29 million viewers, compared to 1.68 million for Fox News and 1.46 million for MSNBC. This was CNN’s best primetime showing since the midterms, when 2.61 million tuned in.

In the 25-54 demo, CNN drew an average of 510,000 viewers in primetime, compared to 189,000 for Fox News and 157,000 for MSNBC.

The viewership was below some expectations. Even though it helped the network win the evening, the town hall’s total viewership was still below six other similar events that have aired on Fox News. CNN said that a town hall with Joe Biden in 2020 drew a slightly larger audience, 3.47 million in 2020.

Kaitlan Collins, who moderated the town hall, plans to anchor CNN’s 9 p.m. ET hour this evening. She is expected to become permanent host in that time slot, according to sources familiar with the plans.

PREVIOUSLY: CNN’s town hall with Donald Trump beat the cable news competition, as expected, with an average of 3.12 million viewers, according to early Nielsen numbers.

Fox News averaged 1.41 million viewers in the 8 p.m. to 9:15 p.m. ET time frame, while MSNBC posted 1.37 million.

In the 25-54 demo, CNN averaged 703,028, while MSNBC posted 154,991 and Fox News averaged 125,266.

RELATED: “Nasty Person”: Trump Insults CNN’s Kaitlan Collins During Live Town Hall; Newser Trolled Over Ex-POTUS’s Falsehoods

On Fox News, the town hall competed against Fox News Tonight, hosted by Kayleigh McEnany this week, and the first part of Hannity. On MSNBC, the town hall’s competition was All in with Chris Hayes, with Rachel Maddow as his guest, and the first part of Alex Wagner Tonight.

CNN is on track to win the evening. It averaged 2.2 million viewers in primetime, compared to 1.65 million for Fox News and 1.43 million for MSNBC. In the 25-54 demo, CNN averaged 472,000, compared to Fox News with 179,000 and MSNBC with 151,000.

CNN said that combined TV and live streaming brought the town hall viewership number to 3.22 million.

CNN drew criticism for giving Trump a platform to spew misinformation during the 70-minute event, but the network’s CEO Chris Licht defended their decision to stage it, noting that it broke news and that Trump was faced with moderator Kaitlan Collins questioning in a way he has not been recently.

Fox News noted that six of its town halls with Trump drew larger audiences, including a 2020 event with Sean Hannity that garnered 5.1 million viewers.

CNN’s event scored much better than other town halls this cycle, including those with former Vice President Mike Pence and Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin. The network said that the Trump town hall ranked second behind all of CNN’s single candidate town halls since 2016, with a September, 2020 event with Joe Biden drawing 3.47 million viewers.

The figures are from Nielsen via CNN and Fox News.

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