Last week Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace told America’s Newsroom that his upcoming interview with Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump would be “huuuuge,” and it turns out he was right on the money.
According to Nielsen, the October 18 interview attracted 1,618,000 viewers easily beating the show’s previous high set on February 15, 2009.
In the key demo, Fox News Sunday averaged 471,000 viewers, which was up 23 percent from the October 19, 2014 show.
Even though Trump has had a love-hate relationship with Fox News ever since the August 6 Republican debate—he seems to love everyone but Megyn Kelly—he knows that the network gives him the widest reach for his message and, better yet, it doesn’t cost him anything.
For Fox, the benefits are clear—huge ratings—despite the difficulties in dealing with Trump’s large ego.
The August GOP debate, which was moderated by Fox News’ Megyn Kelly, attracted a record 24 million viewers and will be the standard against which subsequent debates will be measured in terms of ratings during this election cycle.
Trump may be urging a boycott of Kelly’s show, but he is more than happy to appear on other Fox News shows, which is just fine with the network as long as he keeps bringing in huge ratings.
If Trump fails in his quest for the presidency, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes try and land the billionaire businessman for a regular gig somewhere on the network.