- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 20, 2016

The third and final presidential debate pulled in 67.4 million viewers, according to early numbers from Nielsen Media Research. The Wednesday night bout between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton has turned into a record-breaker.

The final audience numbers surged past the 1992 match between George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Ross Perot, which garnered 66.9 million — the most-watched third debate of all time.

Among all networks, Fox News was the grand winner with an audience of 11.3 million, compared to CNN with 8.7 million and MSNBC with 5.5 million. Even the “big three” broadcasters could not top Fox News — ABC delivered 10.9 million, CBS 10.1 million and NBC 10.3 million.

The Fox Business Network also had a good night, with an audience of 714,000; rival CNBC delivered 547,000.

Fox News anchor Chris Wallace served as the sole moderator of the event, a first for the network. Mr. Wallace received accolades for his wide-ranging questions and a firm but civilized authority that kept the debate on track.

“Mr. Wallace elevated the tone of the third presidential debate, mixing humor with scolding and persistence with patience,” noted The New York Times in the aftermath.

Politico referred to the veteran newsman as the “moderate moderator.”

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