By LYNN ELBER, AP TV Writer
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Viewers will find nearly all primetime coverage of a Thursday congressional hearing on the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, with the exception of Fox News Channel.
Fox News will cover the first in a series of House Select Committee public hearings as “topical warrants,” it said in a statement, leaving its regular lineup otherwise intact, including “Tucker Carlson Tonight “. Fox Business Network, Fox News Digital and other corporate siblings will carry the audience, with Fox News’ Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum serving as co-anchors.
On the broadcast side, Fox-affiliated stations and those owned by Fox Corp. will have the option but not the obligation to carry the hearing, the company said. With Fox News out of the planned mix — aside from an after-hearing special at 11 p.m. EDT — the most-watched cable network won’t be adding its weight to the coverage.
While Fox Business is among the top-rated business channels, its peak audience is during the day, where it recently averaged 227,000 viewers. By comparison, Fox News averaged 2 million prime-time viewers last week and 1.3 million for the full day.
When asked why Fox News Channel was forgoing full coverage of the hearing, a Fox spokesperson referenced a statement that said viewers can find the proceedings on multiple cables and digital platforms from Fox News Media.
The hearing will reenact the events leading up to the 2021 riot, including then-President Donald Trump’s refusal to concede the 2020 election based on false allegations of voter fraud and the effort orchestrated to undo Joe Biden’s victory.
Fox News’ approach stands in stark contrast to other major broadcast networks and cable news channels, which will cover the entire audience from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. EDT. Fox News will air a two-hour special after the hearing, hosted by Fox News chief legal correspondent Shannon Bream, joined by Baier and MacCallum.
CNN coverage will begin at 7 p.m. EDT, anchored by Jake Tapper and Anderson Cooper, and resume with post-hearing analysis and other reporting anchored by Don Lemon beginning at 11 p.m. EDT.
On MSNBC, Rachel Maddow, Nicolle Wallace and Joy Reid are in charge of the coverage which begins at 7 p.m. EDT and will continue after the hearings with a special edition of “The 11th Hour” with Stephanie Ruhle.
The broadcast networks give their nightly news anchors the prime position, with David Muir anchoring for ABC, Lester Holt for NBC and Norah O’Donnell for CBS, each starting at or near 8 p.m. EDT.
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