The interview with Duck Dynasty’s Willie and Korie Robertson on Fox News Channel appears to have given a welcome jolt to the network’s New Year’s Eve coverage.
All-American New Year’s Eve on Tuesday put Fox News ahead of CNN’s rival New Year’s Eve Live in total viewers, in the period from 11 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.
This included Bill Hemmer and Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s interview with Willie and Korie Robertson, which helped FNC gain considerable boosts over the previous year.
The special aired from 9 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. and averaged 1.7 million total viewers, compared to the 1.4 million that the CNN offering, co-hosted by Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin, averaged.
In the key news demo, however, CNN’s New Year’s Eve offering still came out on top, averaging 584,000 viewers to the 329,000 that Fox’s offering averaged.
The interview with Willie and Korie Robertson on Fox News Channel appears to have given a welcome jolt to the network’s New Year’s Eve coverage
The 11 p.m. to midnight period that included Willie and Korie Robertson’s interview, meanwhile, averaged 1.97 million total viewers, compared to CNN’s 1.73 million.
Again, CNN won the demo in that time period, averaging 742,000 viewers 25-54 compared to 401,000 for Fox.
In the demo, All-American New Year’s Eve averaged 413,000 total viewers during that time period, a 19% boost over the previous year.
Even so, CNN bested Fox in that time period, averaging 2.095 million total viewers and 906,000 in the demo – though those numbers were down 11% and 4%, respectively, from the previous year.
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Fox News has apologized for showing a man fatally shooting himself in the head on live television.
Fox News on Friday was covering a high-speed chase that began in Phoenix, Arizona, using a live helicopter shot.
After driving for dozens of miles into the desert, the motorist stopped and ran on to a dirt road. He then put a handgun to his head and fired.
TV anchor Shepard Smith later apologized to viewers for not cutting away.
“We really messed up,” he said.
Phoenix police say the chase may have started with a car-jacking.
Fox News on Friday was covering a high-speed chase that began in Phoenix, Arizona, using a live helicopter shot
Police spokesman Sgt. Tommy Thompson said the man was alleged to have stolen the car from a couple at gunpoint outside a restaurant just before 11:00 local time.
Police tracked down the car and began pursuit. The driver fired several shots at the police car, but no officers were hurt.
The car travelled west on Interstate highway 10, before turning on to a dirt road about 70 miles (113 km) to 80 miles from the state border with California.
“He got out of the car and shot himself,” Sgt. Tommy Thompson said.
“Efforts to revive him were not successful and he was dead at the scene. We don’t have an ID yet.”
“We’re all very sorry,” said Shepard Smith after the incident.
“That didn’t belong on TV.”
Michael Clemente, executive vice-president of news editorial at Fox News, said the channel had taken pains to avoid distressing viewers but had failed.
“We took every precaution to avoid any such live incident by putting the helicopter pictures on a five-second delay,” he said.
“Unfortunately, this mistake was the result of a severe human error and we apologize for what viewers ultimately saw on the screen.”
Fox News Channel has a reputation for picking up car chases from its local affiliates and airing them live.
Making for gripping television, such footage often provides a short-term ratings boost as viewers tune in to see how they end, the Associated Press news agency notes.
It is not the first time that a suicide has been inadvertently broadcast live on American television.
Christine Chubbuck shot herself dead on Florida’s WXLT-TV channel (now WWSB) in 1974 while presenting a news programme.
It is common practice for broadcasters to delay live material by a few seconds as a control mechanism.