CNN’s town hall is the most-watched forum in history

Last night’s CNN Iowa Democratic Candidates Town Hall (9-11pm) was the most watched primary candidates’ cable news event (excluding debates) on record. Hosted by Chris Cuomo, the Iowa Town Hall was #1 in cable news last night among total viewers, 25-54 and 18-34. The CNN Town Hall averaged 3.201 million total viewers, Fox News followed with 2.134 million and MSNBC trailed with 850k.

Among 25-54, CNN was top rated (944k) and outperformed the combined delivery of Fox News (407k) and MSNBC (205k). Among the younger demo 18-34, CNN ranked #1 with 404k, Fox News lagged far behind with 51k and MSNBC had 40k.

CNN posted a triple digit advantage (+127%) and more than doubled MSNBC’s recent First in the South Democratic Presidential Forum (11/6/15) in the demo (944k vs. MSNBC 416k) and did +38% better in total viewers (3.201m vs. MSNBC’s 2.325m).

The post-program, CNN Tonight with Don Lemon (11p-1a) also ranked #1 among total viewers and the demo 25-54 last night. In total viewers, CNN had 1.275 million, Fox News registered 1.136 million and MSNBC posted 407k. In the demo, CNN averaged 423k, Fox News followed with 314k and MSNBC had 117k.


CNN’s Democratic Town Hall Coverage

Tonight at CNN’s Democratic town hall, which will air from 9pm to 11pm ET, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont will appear first, followed by ex-Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and then former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, CNN announced Monday. Each will have 30 minutes onstage at Drake University’s Sheslow Auditorium and will face questions from audience members as well as CNN Anchor Chris Cuomo.

The Iowa Democratic Party and Drake University invited the audience, which will also include some CNN guests.

The Town Hall will also be live-streamed online and across mobile devices via CNNgo. CNN International and CNN en Espanol will also simulcast the Town Hall.

Immediately following the town hall, CNN Tonight anchored by Don Lemon will air.


Chris Cuomo to host Democratic town hall, one week before Iowa caucus

CNN’s New Day anchor Chris Cuomo will host a Democratic town hall in primetime one week before the Iowa caucus, the network announced this morning.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders will field questions from Iowa Democrats in this prime-time event hosted by the Iowa Democratic Party and Drake University.

“We are honored to partner with CNN on their town hall with our three fantastic Democratic candidates,” said Dr. Andy McGuire, chair of the Iowa Democratic Party. “With this event airing just one week before the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses, it’s an incredible opportunity for Iowans to see our candidates detail their plans to move our country forward and their vision for Iowa and the nation.”

It will air on Monday from 9pm-11pm, and a spokesperson for the network said it will make the town hall available to its Iowa affiliates to air live.

This comes as just this week, the RNC gave CNN the Republican debate that NBC News was originally slated to host.


Jeff Zucker apologizes to staff for Freddie Gray story; “Son of an illiterate heroin addict”

During a town hall on Tuesday, CNN president Jeff Zucker apologized to staffers for a controversial story on Freddie Gray, referring to him as “the son of an illiterate heroin addict.”

As the Baltimore Sun notes, CNN has removed that description, and instead has added an editor’s note. “A reference to Freddie Gray’s mother was removed from this story because it appeared out of context.”

But an insider told TheWrap Zucker said the “intent of the story was to show that Freddie came from a tough environment but it came out wrong and was updated on the digital end” and he apologized for that.


AC360: Police Under Fire

Tonight at 9pm ET, Anderson Cooper will host a town hall, branded as Police Under Fire: AC360. A description for the show says “Examining questions about race, justice and tensions between communities and the people who police them.”

Those who got tickets for the event were to be present at Columbus Circle by 11am, and the special report will be taped at 1pm ET today.