President Trump took a moment during his interview with Fox’s Sean Hannity to praise the host for his recent ratings rise since moving into the 9 p.m. timeslot to directly challenge MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow.
“I will say this, you have been so great,” Trump said to Hannity during their Wednesday interview from Middletown, Pa. “I’m very proud of you.”
Hannity, a staunch supporter of Trump, has taken over the top spot as the most-watched host in cable news since making the move from 10 p.m. to 9 p.m. ET.
“The Rachel Maddow Show” finished the third quarter as the highest-rated program in cable news. The ranking marks the first time any MSNBC show has finished as the No. 1 program in cable news.
Hannity has won comfortably in the ratings during both of his first two weeks matched up against the progressive Maddow — with whom the conservative host contrasts not just in ideology but in style — both in total viewers and in the key 25-54 demographic most coveted by advertisers.
“I am a ratings person. Has anyone seen his ratings? What you are doing to your competition is incredible,” Trump said to Hannity.
“Number one, and I am very proud of you. An honor to be on your show.”
Hannity has booked several high-profile guests in addition to the president since moving his show a hour earlier, including former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon.
According to Nielsen Media Research, Hannity is averaging 3.2 million in total viewers and 729,000 viewers in the key 25-54 younger demographic that advertisers covet most since returning to the 9:00 p.m. ET timeslot. T
The program is up 16 percent overall in total viewers and 39 percent in the demo compared to the same time last year, when Megyn Kelly’s “The Kelly File” aired in the same timeslot. Kelly jumped from Fox to NBC in January.