Fox News' Klobuchar Town Hall draws 1.6 million viewers as CNN dip continues

Fox News Channel topped cable news rivals on Thursday night during its Town Hall event with Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., as CNN continues to settle for third place, according to Nielsen Media Research.

Fox News averaged 1.6 million viewers from 6:30-7:30 p.m. ET during the Klobuchar town hall, which was hosted by Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum. During the same time period, MSNBC averaged 1.5 million viewers and CNN just 759,000.

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Klobuchar was also featured on a CNN town hall last month, but her appearance on the struggling network didn’t help its ratings. According to TVNewser, Klobuchar’s CNN event on April 22 averaged only 869,000 viewers – well behind both Fox News and MSNBC viewership during the timeslot. Fox News’ audience for Klobuchar was 85 percent larger in total viewers and 28 percent higher among the key demo compared to her appearance on CNN.

Klobuchar's appearance on Fox News apparently helped the network top rivals for the remainder of the night.

During the prime-time hours of 8-11 p.m., Fox News averaged three million total viewers compared to 2.4 million for MSNBC and 944,000 for CNN. Fox News also attracted more viewers from the key demo of adults ages 25-54, averaging 536,000 viewers in that category compared to 406,000 for MSNBC and only 245,000 for CNN.

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During her appearance on Fox News, Klobuchar said progressives should support her bid for the presidency in 2020 because she is a “proven progressive.”

Many view Klobuchar as a more moderate Democratic presidential candidate among the nearly two dozen hopefuls in the race. During the town hall, that distinction formed the underpinnings of one question from an audience member, who asked why progressives should support the senator and noted her “unwillingness to support” Medicare for all or free college for all.

“Progressives should support me because I'm a proven progressive. The last time I checked, if you want to be a progressive and support progressives, then you are supposed to make progress. All right? And that is what I have done. That it is what I've done my whole life,” Klobuchar told the Wisconsin audience.

Meanwhile, at the ratings-challenged CNN, more than 100 employees accepted a voluntary buyout as the company looks to pare its head count as it moves into a luxurious new headquarters in the Hudson Yards area on the West Side of Manhattan.

Fox News’ Victor Garcia contributed to this report.