The 2016 primary debates have given a huge boost to cable news.
The top two non-sports cable programs of all time are the first two GOP debates of this cycle: the first on Fox News, the second on CNN. Even the chairman of CBS, Les Moonves, recently acknowledged Trump “may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS.”
After last night’s GOP debate, the front-runner said he’s pretty much done with the debates, but quickly added, he’s “pretty much okay” with a couple more. In a post-debate interview, Chris Cuomo asked Trump, “What happens next?” Here’s his answer:
But this morning in a news conference, in which Trump was endorsed by Dr. Ben Carson, the front-runnner said, “I think it’s time to end the debates.”
As for Trump’s claim in the Cuomo interview that Anderson Cooper “got very, very good ratings” with Trump Wednesday night, he’s right. But in head-to-head competition, and without any GOP candidate interview, Bill O’Reilly beat Cooper in the demo and more than doubled him in total viewers.
Cooper’s Mar-a-Lago sitdown with Trump was up +52 percent in viewers and up +60 percent in the demo over Cooper’s year-to-date average at 8 p.m. O’Reilly was up too Wednesday night: +5 percent and +11 percent, respectively.