Fox News Channel tonight took the unusual step of pre-empting The O’Reilly Factor to continue covering the shooting at Fort Hood. It marked the first time since the network unveiled the Fox News Deck in October that Shep Smith and his Deck took over the entire 8 PM hour for the breaking news in the network’s heavily watched 8 PM ET time slot. In the early days of CNN’s coverage of missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, CNN’s Anderson Cooper had beat Bill O’Reilly in the news demo more than once. When the ratings tonight are issued by Nielsen it will determine whether this programming move thwarted another timeslot win in the news demo by CNN, which tends to score bigger than usual ratings when major, catastrophic news breaks.
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Any time CNN beats Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly it’s news — Anderson Cooper did it last night in the news demo. His Anderson Cooper 360 logged 431,000 demo viewers at 8 PM; The O’Reilly Factor clocked an average of 386,000 in the 25-54 age bracket. In overall audience O’Reilly continued to dominate with 2.81 million viewers — laps ahead of AC360′s 972,000. And, in primetime overall, FNC maintained its first-place demo status with 360,000 viewers, to CNN’s 309,000.
CNN has been garnering some stronger-than-usual numbers the past couple days as the mystery of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 grips viewers. Last night’s AC360 demo results were its best since October 16, 2013 when Cooper posted 466,000 demo viewers during the Senate vote to end the government shutdown.
Related: Fox News Beats Rivals In Ratings With Harlem Building Blast Coverage
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Deadline Hollywood has learned that popular Fox News Channel anchor Megyn Kelly will make her return from maternity leave on Monday Aug. 8. That is exactly four months after Kelly’s last broadcast on April 8. She gave birth to her second child, a girl, the following week, on April 14. When contacted, Fox News spokeswoman Irena Briganti confirmed Kelly’s return date.
Despite speculation that Kelly may take over the 5 PM slot vacated by the departure of Glenn Beck, she will resume her duties as solo anchor of her program, America Live with Megyn Kelly, which airs from 1-3 PM ET, while The Five, which has been airing in the 5 PM hour, is expected to continue its run through the summer as originally planned. Several FNC anchors rotated in filling in for Kelly during her maternity leave: Martha MacCallum, Alisyn Camerota, Shannon Bream and Gretchen Carlson. Kelly, a former corporate litigator, has been a rising star since joining FNC in 2004. The anchor, who also has a weekly segment on the network’s top-rated program The O’Reilly Factor, has become a pop culture fixture, listed as one of TV’s hottest anchors by Maxim and appearing in a sexy spread in GQ magazine.
The Daily Show host Jon Stewart will appear on Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor on Monday to debate about rapper Common’s invitation to perform at a White House event. O’Reilly issued the challenge Thursday on his show. The two hosts have differing opinions on the rapper, who performed at a poetry event this week at the White House. Reilly questioned Common’s invitation, saying the rapper has defended cop killers in his songs. Stewart countered, more against O’Reilly’s views than about Common, triggering O’Reilly’s challenge.
As they say, when one door closes, another opens. A day after NPR terminated news analyst Juan Williams over remarks about muslims he made on Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor on Monday, Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes said the news channel has signed a new multi-year deal with Williams who will now have an expanded on-air role. First off, Williams will host The O’Reilly Factor tomorrow night and will appear with O’Reilly on the show Thursday night. “Juan has been a staunch defender of liberal viewpoints since his tenure began at Fox News in 1997,” Ailes said. “He’s an honest man whose freedom of speech is protected by Fox News on a daily basis.”
Both Joy Behar and Bill O’Reilly have primetime talk shows and used them last night to comment on the heated exchange during O’Reilly’s visit to The View yesterday that resulted in co-hosts Behar and Whoopi Goldberg walking off the stage. Behar stayed on a war path, saying that O’Reilly “had a real pinhead moment” and attacking his position on the Ground Zero mosque in an interview with Jesse Ventura on her eponymous HLN show. Meanwhile, O’Reilly was surprisingly subdued on Fox News’ O’Reilly Factor, playing a long clip from The View followed by a short statement that ended with “I loved that exposition today. Didn’t you?” There will be more dissection of the incident on Monday’s edition of The View, ABC just announced. Why, this couldn’t be a ratings ploy, could it? (Today’s edition of the chat show was pre-taped): Read More »