Sean Hannity may have become the target for some critics in conservative media circles, but his ratings have rarely been better.
According to October Nielsen Media Group ratings, the longtime Fox News host’s show “Hannity” had the largest ratings boost of any Fox News show all month, jumping 65% in total viewers from the previous month.
October was also one of Hannity’s best month in years: the conservative commentator’s ratings were the highest since October 2013, when the show switched time slots, contributing to the loss of around 500,000 viewers on average per night.
Hannity’s program also topped hosts Megyn Kelly and Bill O’Reilly on several evenings during the month, including shows on October 25, October 26, and October 25. In 2013, “Hannity” was bumped from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m., while Kelly took over his old time slot.
Hannity’s ratings boost coincides with rising ratings overall for cable news networks as interest in the 2016 election has heated up, but also comes at an interesting moment for the longtime political commentator.
The television and radio host has emerged as one of the most high-profile boosters of Donald Trump, while the real-estate mogul has sparred repeatedly with other hosts at the network including Kelly and even occasionally with O’Reilly.
Hannity played a significant role in beating the drum for Trump, even if it occasionally raised eyebrows and garnered criticism from both sides.
Hannity criticised fellow conservative commentators like Glenn Beck for opposing Trump, conducted interviews with conspiracy theorists and discredited Clinton critics, trotted out unscientific polls to demonstrate Trump’s popularity among voters, and earned a shotout from the Republican presidential nominee in front of millions of viewers during a presidential debate.
“Ask Sean Hannity!” Trump bellowed during the first presidential debate, claiming he told Hannity in private about his opposition to the Iraq War.
Hannity acknowledged to Business Insider in an email earlier this year that 2016 had been a “record year” for his show.
Though Hannity’s pro-Trump programming decisions have potentially helped with his ratings boost, some media critics argue that his credibility as a political commentator has been tarnished.
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