The year 2019 was another wild one for the television news business. With that in mind, we decided to compile a list of the 10-most-viewed stories on TVNewser from 2019.
Some of the top 10 finishers make sense to you, while others could surprise you.
As you might imagine, a ton of the top posts from 2019 are of the Scoreboard variety, but we have decided to exclude overnight ratings stories from this particular top 10.
The most-read story for 2018 was the Jan. 18, 2018 item: Who Do Americans Believe Is the Most Objective News Source? , which pulled ahead of a story about Brianna Keilar replacing Wolf Blitzer in CNN’s 1 p.m. hour; a story that had been the most-read non-ratings story on TVNewser for 2018.
Blitzer, of course, still anchors CNN, weekdays from 5 – 7 p.m. ET.
Here’s a look, starting at No. 10, all the way down to the most-viewed TVNewser story of the year:
10. Report: Fox Nation Host, Greg Gutfeld Show Panelist Tyrus Accused of Sexual Harassment by Colleague
The story was published June 12, and it was based off a Daily Beast report that Tyrus was taken off of the Fox Nation show he co-hosted with Britt McHenry, Un-PC, after an unspecified personal dispute with her.
The outlet also reported that the dispute centered around McHenry’s contention that Tyrus had, on multiple occasions, sent her unsolicited texts with gross, sexual comments.
The story has continued throughout 2019. On Dec. 10, McHenry filed a lawsuit in New York State Supreme Court today against Tyrus (whose real name, ironically, is George Murdoch). In the lawsuit, McHenry alleges sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and retaliation.
9. Joe Scarborough & Mika Brzezinski Are Apparently Co-Hosting Morning Joe From Florida Without Telling Their Audience
One of the worst-kept secrets in television news is that Scarborough & Brzezinski occasionally co-host Morning Joe from their home in Florida. But the duo hadn’t informed its audience when they had decided to beam in from the south, which seems a bit unfair.
This story, published Jan. 24, was based on a report from WaPo’s Paul Farhi.
We asked, rhetorically, if Joe & Mika’s move to host the show from Florida presented a problem. We found that the answer was complicated. Multiple Morning Joe viewers noticed the duo’s absence from 30 Rock to us, going back to the summer 2018. One rabid Morning Joe viewer who has no connection to the TV news industry told us back in August (and I quote), “It looks like Joe’s in a bunker somewhere. It has a big effect on the live broadcast, in my opinion. The synergy is not there.”
Nevertheless, Morning Joe had its highest-rated year ever (2018), so viewers weren’t necessarily fleeing the show despite a perceived awkwardness.
8. Report: MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle and Under Armour Founder Kevin Plank ‘Have Developed Close Ties In Recent Years’
This story was published on Feb. 21 and is based off a report from the Wall Street Journal.
According to WSJ, Plank and Ruhle “have developed close ties in recent years,” and Plank has been taking Ruhle’s advice regarding the company’s strategy with a bit more seriousness than that of his own management team.
According to the Journal, Plank also used his privately owned plane, which Under Armour leases for company use, to transport the MSNBC news anchor with him to various locations.
MSNBC declined comment on the story.
7. Tucker Carlson: ‘I’m Headed to the Wilderness With My Son’
This story was published on Aug. 8, the night after Carlson said those words in the headline.
Carlson’s pronouncement that he was headed to the wilderness came one night after he claimed on his broadcast that white supremacy is “not a real problem in America,” and also claimed that it a “hoax” that’s being used to divide people.
Hosts on rival cable news networks spent a chunk of their respective shows that day discussing Carlson’s remarks and criticizing them.
Carlson responded to those critics before that night’s broadcast, telling them to “calm down…please, for the sake of the nation.”
He returned to his 8 p.m. show Tucker Carlson Tonight on Aug. 19.
6. CBS News Foreign News Editor Ana Real Dies From Leukemia at Age 60
As CBS News foreign news editor, Real managed teams of journalists around the globe reporting for CBS This Morning, the CBS Evening News, 48 Hours, Face the Nation, CBS Sunday Morning, 60 Minutes, CBSN and all CBS News platforms.
Born and raised in Nicaragua and living in New Jersey, Real joined CBS News in January 2001 and would go on to win two News & Documentary Emmys during her time at the network. She was a critical part in the network’s reporting on such stories as the young survivors of the earthquake in Haiti and the questionable practices of international adoptions.
An awful story coming out of CBS, published March 27.
5. Fox & Friends: ‘We Don’t Say Certain Things Based on Whether the President Is Watching or Not’
Earhardt: Not for me. We all just try to be genuine and be ourselves; report the news and get the facts. We don’t say certain things based on whether the president is watching or not. We just report the facts and let the audience make up their own mind.
Doocy: If the president tweets out something that we’ve said, I generally don’t know about it until after the show. Which means there’s such a burden on us to make sure what we do is accurate, and so that if we say something, it’s right. That’s what you try to do with every show, regardless of who’s watching.
4. President Trump and CNN’s Jim Acosta Clash Yet Again at a Press Conference
It may seem like long ago when the White House press office gave press conferences to the White House press corps, but when they did transpire, they were oftentimes combat. CNN’s chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta was considered public enemy No. 1 by the president, his comms office and his supporters.
This story was published on Feb. 15, the day Pres. Trump was announcing that he was going to sign a government funding bill and also declare a national emergency along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Acosta was in attendance at the presser, and was called on by the president. Needless to say, POTUS didn’t like the questions and as has often been the case over the nearly 3 years, let the CNN correspondent know.
3. During CBS This Morning Appearance, Bret Baier Is Asked to Address Shepard Smith’s Departure
This one is more recent, published Oct. 22. Fox News’ chief political anchor appeared on CTM to promote his new book, but predictably was also asked about Smith, who left Fox News 11 days earlier.
“It was his decision. I’m not going to speak for Shep,” Baier replied, later adding, “He’s concerned about journalistic coverage. I think he was proud of the news division at Fox. There’s obviously an opinion side too, and he made a choice to leave. I’m happy that the show is going to be all news, and we’ll be in the circle.”
2. Bill Shine Has Resigned From the Trump Administration
This story was published on March 8. The White House put out a statement that the former Fox News co-president-turned White House deputy communications director would serve as a senior adviser to Pres. Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign.
Shine, who spent 21 years of his career as a producer and executive at Fox News (1996-2017), joined the Trump administration on July 5, 2018.
And the No. 1 non-ratings TVNewser story of 2019 is:
1. Fox News Has Reportedly Suspended Jeanine Pirro.
This story was published on March 18. The Fox News host was suspended by the network on March 16 of this year, roughly one week after claiming on her top-rated Saturday night opinion show that Minnesota congresswoman Ilhan Omar is “sharia compliant” and disloyal to the U.S. Constitution because she wears a hijab.
Fox News had released a statement earlier in that week condemning Pirro’s remarks, saying “We strongly condemn Jeanine Pirro’s comments about Rep. Ilhan Omar. They do not reflect those of the network and we have addressed the matter with her directly.”
A number of advertisers reportedly left Pirro’s show at the time her comments were made. Her program was off the air for 2 consecutive Saturdays, before returning to Fox News prime time on March 30.