Joy Reid’s ‘ReidOut’ Debut Wins Time Slot for MSNBC in Total Viewers, but Loses in Key Demo

CNN’s Erin Burnett is No. 1 among adults 25-54 in 7 p.m. hour

Last Updated: July 21, 2020 @ 3:04 PM

“The ReidOut,” Joy Reid’s new 7 p.m. MSNBC program, topped the time slot in total viewers with its Monday debut. Unfortunately, the new show still settled for a fairly distant third place among adults 25-54, which is the key demographic for companies advertising on news programming.

Erin Burnett on CNN won the demo in the hour, when 384,000 of her 1.332 million total viewers were between the ages of 25 to 54, according to Nielsen estimates.

Reid drew 2.627 million total viewers last night, with 285,000 of those coming from the key demo. That key-demo tally would technically not be last place on cable news if you counted HLN, but this is generally considered a three-horse race.

Reid’s overall audience sum made the “ReidOut” launch the second most-watched regularly scheduled episode in the MSNBC time slot ever. A “Hardball” episode from Sept. 27, 2018 drew 2.77 million total viewers.

On Fox News Channel, “The Story” at 7 received 2.142 million total viewers, with 334,000 of them coming from the key demo. For the most recently completed quarter, Fox News won the hour in both the key demo and among total viewers.

Monday’s “ReidOut” debut featured presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Mayors Keisha Lance Bottoms and Lori Lightfoot. Tuesday’s episode will feature Sen. Kamala Harris and former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

Reid, the host of MSNBC’s weekend morning talk show “AM Joy,” took over at 7 p.m. for Chris Matthews, who resigned from the channel in March after being accused of sexual harassment.

Matthews resigned March 3 following a week of bad press that began when he held a combative interview on Feb. 26 with then-Democratic presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren that was widely criticized as sexist. Among other things, Matthews was criticized for disregarding accusations of sexually inappropriate comments against Mike Bloomberg by a former employee and appearing to chastise Warren for saying she believed the accuser, whose account was corroborated by a coworker.

But things got worse two days later, when journalist Laura Bassett publicly accused Matthews of making repeated sexist comments to her when she appeared on his show in 2016. Matthews apologized on-air to Bassett on the March 2 episode of “Hardball,” then abruptly announced his retirement. In April, he told Vanity Fair “I thought it was very credible and certainly within the person’s rights to write that article, of course. That was highly justified. Basically, as I said, to repeat myself, it’s inappropriate in the workplace to compliment somebody on their appearance, this is in the makeup chair, and I did it.”