‘Nation,’ ‘Meet the Press’ in tight Sunday race

Wallace-hosted Fox talker shows double-digit increase

As the race for the White House heats up, so does the competition on the Sunday morning talkshow circuit.

Averaging the last three weeks’ telecasts (Oct. 7-21), CBS’ “Face the Nation” has a very slight edge over NBC’s “Meet the Press,” with each hovering around the 2.9 million mark. Because “Face the Nation” does not telecast its full hour to 100% of the country, however, Nielsen only rates the show for the first 30 minutes compared to an hour of “Meet the Press.”

In the 25-54 demo, which is of most importance to newsies, CBS has a slight advantage with 878,000 vs. 872,000.

The Eye also has an advantage of a much stronger lead-in than NBC. The 90-minute newsmagazine “CBS Sunday Morning,” which segues into “Face the Nation,” is averaging 5 million this year and is especially popular with older auds. NBC offers mostly local news at 7 a.m. leading up to “Meet the Press.”

Over same the three-week period, ABC’s “This Week With George Stephanopoulos” is averaging 2.6 million viewers.

While the Chris Wallace-hosted “Fox News Sunday” is in fourth place in total viewers (1.4 million) and the 25-54 demo (539,000), the show has a seen a 20% and 18% increase from the same three weeks a year ago — highest among the four broadcast nets.

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