May 2, 2010

The Tattlesnake — Glenn Beck’s Greased Rail Edition

News Item: Glenn Beck Has Lost 1/3 of His TV Audience Since January

A Shame He’ll Miss Out on the Tar and Feathers

Unlike his semi-serious colleagues O’Reilly and Hannity, Beck was always just a babbling flash in the pan; a sideshow freak-out of raving, nearly incoherent right-wing outrage and contradictory conspiracy theories. He had to keep topping himself in craziness or risk boring his audience with deadly repetition. He’s now run out of ideas and gone with the latter, and his viewers are turning him off, so his only hope for a final ratings coup is to go out like a flaming comet with a total on-air screeching psychotic meltdown and then R&R at some luxurious mental rehab facility. But don’t fret for Beck – he’s made many more millions from his strange circus act than most legitimate clowns.

With his ratings dropping, nearly all of his A-line advertisers gone, and his goofy Prof. Irwin Corey and Howard Beal Meet Joe McCarthy routine growing stale, isn’t it high time for Uncle Rupert to show Glenn Beck the door?

“Let’s put Beck’s ratings into context. Yes, in the world of cable news, his numbers are impressive, and virtually any host would be happy to have them. But look how far Glenn Beck has fallen recently. In late January and into February, the program was averaging 3 million viewers each week. And late last year, the show spent month after month flirting with that figure. Today, the viewership is trending around 2 million (Last week it was exactly 2.01 million viewers.) — which means that in a span of just three months, Glenn Beck has lost nearly one-third of its television audience.” […]
“Corporate America (aka the beloved free marketplace) wants nothing to do with Beck. … Today, there are less than a handful of nationally recognized advertisers who appear willing to purchase air time on Glenn Beck. Think about the deep, deep discounts Fox News likely has to offer the remaining advertisers in order to get them to come aboard. (And the show is supposed to be a hit.) Now add to that equation the fact that Glenn Beck has lost 1/3 of its audience since January, and you can see where this is heading for Fox News.
“How soft are Beck’s current ratings? He’s now posting the type of numbers that his show used to get when he was on vacation and somebody less famous stood in for him, like when he took a few days off in late March and his show averaged 1.9 million viewers. Beck’s been back from his March vacation for weeks now, but his ratings are roughly the same as when he wasn’t even there.”
– Eric Boehlert, “Glenn Beck Has Lost 1/3 of Its TV Audience Since January,” Media Matters, April 20, 2010.

Prediction: Beck will be off of Fox News before 2011.


  1. Bold prediction, RS, and I hope you’re correct. Based on what I have read through media matters and color of change, my guess is that Fox is making little or no money on the Beck show, if not taking a loss. The problem is, right-wing fanatics and mega-billionaires like Murdoch can absorb a loss in order to keep drilling their propaganda into their sheeple. Just take a look at the Koch brothers and how much they have spent on financing the teabaggers. It pays off in the long run for these Nazis. Through media in the past 30 years or so, they have managed to shift popular views in this country much farther to the right.

    Comment by Greg in cheeseland — May 2, 2010 @ 9:39 pm

  2. Greg, you’re right about the corporate investment in right-wing propaganda paying off in the long run, but Murdoch is bleeding money at the moment from his other investments — he lost over $6 billion last year — so he’s not as likely to back something that’s not returning short-term profit.

    Aside from that, the Murdoch family seems to have soured on Ailes and his Fox News operation (as evidenced by various comments from the family in the media); Murdoch is said to personally loathe Ailes, Beck and O’Reilly; and Rupert is now marrried to a much more liberal woman than his strict-Catholic ex-wife, who apparently exerts quite an influence over the old boy’s thinking. He also may be smart enough to see the wheel is turning away from the bilge Fox News pumps out — average viewer age is 62 — and tending toward more liberal media outlets like MSNBC with a younger audience.

    It’s worth considering in this context that even though Keith Olbermann is in second place to Bill O’Reilly with about half the audience Billo draws, K.O’s demographic is thick with the advertiser-coveted 18-34 group who has more disposable income and buys all of the latest electronic gizmos and fast food goop. Meanwhile, Loofah Boy’s elderly audience is on a fixed income and doesn’t go in for the latest trends — they have to save their money for the proverbial banana peel and hole in the ground. So, as far as ‘eyes per dollar’ translating into sales, Olbermann is the better deal for advertisers.

    It’s even been rumored, BTW, that Ailes is on his way out at Fox and the channel may take a new direction.

    As the Tea Party movement has proven, the right-wing propaganda is having less effect than it used to, if for no other reason than it’s all gotten pretty stale through repetition.

    If the GOP doesn’t do as well as expected in the 2010 elections — and I don’t think they will — I believe you’ll see some major changes in the right-wing noise machine — they’ll finally have to adjust to the new reality.

    Comment by RS Janes — May 3, 2010 @ 6:24 am

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