Political Fridays: New TV Day For Trump Firings

During NBC's “The Apprentice” heyday, Donald Trump fired people every week on Thursday night.

Now, as President Trump, firings are mostly on Fridays. The most recently booted — White House chief strategist Steve Bannon (August 18). Press Secretary Sean Spicer (July 21) and Chief of Staff Reince Preibus (July 28) were also shown the door on Fridays.

(Communications director Anthony Scaramucci was let go on July 31, a Monday. Guess that firing was a bit more urgent than waiting until the end of the week.)

Bannon wasn’t all that good for the stock market, or business in general, according to analysts, mostly due to his push for tariffs on many imports.

Just as the news broke on CNBC of Bannon’s departure last Friday, a big cheer went up on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange -- and the market rose. Still, by the end of the day, the Dow Jones Industrial Index was slightly down on Friday, around 70 points.



By way of comparison, the markets were more worried that Gary Cohn -- Trump's chief economic adviser and Director of the National Economic Council -- was leaving. The stock market doldrums in recent weeks were mainly due to speculation of his departure.

Some believe Cohn is worth 2,000 positive points on the Dow. The assumption is that he will push for tax reform and be better for business overall.

From a business and TV perspective, it has been a rough week for Trump. Three different business advisory councils were either disbanded by him or stopped before they were started. Growing departures of senior business executives from these councils occurred after Trump's "both sides" defense of white supremacists in the aftermath of the deadly street battles in Charlottesville, Virginia.

TV’s reaction? Viewership on cable news networks soared. In particular, MSNBC continued its rocketing rise. On Wednesday -- for the first time in its history -- the network was the No. 1 cable network in Nielsen total day and prime time among all viewers and key in the 25-54 news demographic.

Don’t count out Fox News Channel and CNN. Both continue to score high results. In July, Fox topped all of cable for the 13th consecutive month in total day viewing (1.3 million Nielsen viewers), and five of seven months in prime time (2.1 million viewers).

But while Fox and others are gaining from political coverage -- as well as higher ad revenues -- there were other social and public issues to consider.

James Murdoch, CEO of 21st Century Fox, ripped Trump for his controversial, flip-flopping response to the events in Charlottesville. "I can't even believe I have to write this: Standing up to Nazis is essential; there are no good Nazis. Or Klansmen, or terrorists.”

No cheering here -- on TV or elsewhere.

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