- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Sen. Bernie Sanders was criticized by fellow progressives for appearing in a town hall Monday, broadcast live on Fox News and moderated by co-anchors Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum.

The viewing public, however, tuned in for the event, which drew 2.6 million viewers, according to early ratings numbers from Nielsen Media Research. That is a very respectable audience for a Monday broadcast which aired at 6:30 p.m., rather than primetime. It also proved to be the highest rated town hall broadcast this year, representing an audience increase of 24 percent when compared to a typical Nielsen rating for that time slot on the network.

The Fox News event also bested CNN’s town hall with Mr. Sanders on Feb. 25, which drew 1.3 million viewers.

Meanwhile, the town hall season has gotten off to a very early start. CNN has been hosting town halls for Democrats and independents for months, so far offering broadcast time to 15 candidates since January. On Monday, the network will air five town halls in a row, back-to-back — and all in one night.

The audience numbers for these events have ranged from a low of 314,000 for an appearance by author Marianne Williamson on Sunday, to a high of 1.9 million for a town hall featuring Sen. Kamala Harris on Jan 28.

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