Bush draws 32.7 million

April 30, 2005|By David Zurawik

An audience of 32.7 million viewers watched President Bush's Thursday night news conference, according to Nielsen Media Research.

Though some networks initially balked at airing the 8 p.m. conference because it would pre-empt an hour of prime-time programming on the first night of the May sweeps ratings period, it was carried live on eight networks and cable channels -- ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News Channel and CNBC. (The 32.7 million figure is the combined total.)

The conference was initially scheduled for 8:30 p.m., but when several networks hesitated to interrupt their hourlong programs, the White House rescheduled the president's appearance.

Afterward, an audience of 33.63 million viewers tuned in for Survivor: Palau and The Apprentice airing on CBS and NBC, respectively, from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. Both were delayed an hour from their normal start times by the news conference. (The audience for Survivor was 21.21 million, while The Apprentice was seen by 12.42 million Thursday night.)

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