Glenn Beck, Ratings, CNN - Headline News
Beck's TV Ratings Trend Not Promising
Has CNN's decision to hire "conservative" host Glenn Beck for the Headline News Channel proven to be a disaster? Based on recent ratings data, the answer appears to be a big yes.
According to TVNewser, a left- leaning cable news blog, the numbers don't look good:
When he premiered in May, he averaged 81,000 demo and 167,000 total viewers. In June, he sagged a bit, averaging 76,000 demo and 163,000 total viewers.
Now his show airs several times a night -- at 7, 9, and midnight -- so Headline News will point out that he actually gets three times as many viewers. But let's look at his individual time slots. At 7pm, Beck averaged 79,000 demo viewers in June. Showbiz Tonight averaged just a few thousand less last June. And he's actually down 19 percent among total viewers for the hour.
At 9pm, Beck is losing viewers for Headline News. In June 2005, Prime News Tonight averaged 110,000 demo and 317,000 total viewers. In June 2006, Beck averaged 82,000 demo and 196,000 total viewers -- declines of 25 and 38 percent respectively. Maybe Beck's premiere poll, "When Will the TV Show Get Cancelled," wasn't a joke...
From the beginning, the Radio Equalizer has questioned CNN's motives in hiring the cartoonish Beck, who has a history of making foolish statements that damage the conservative cause. We've argued that the right shouldn't be held accountable for either his crazy statements or professional failings.
Beck also lacks a history of working with the right on important issues in a constructive manner. In fact, even now, many Republicans have still likely never heard of him. So where's his built-in cable audience base?
While his radio show does perform well in certain cities, Beck is largely the creation of a particular corporate radio executive. As a result, when it comes to this syndicated talker, we're in the awkward and rare position of agreement with several lefty websites.
Why does Beck so frequently provide fodder for leftist critics? We have no idea, but here's the latest example, from Media Matters:
From the June 28 broadcast of Premiere Radio Networks' The Glenn Beck Program:
BECK: Everybody always thinks if you're in the press, you just -- you have to believe that the government is evil, don't you think? I think that's the first thing in Journalism 101 they teach you -- the government is evil and you must take them down at all costs. Or, how is it that they all have that attitude? That's what I'd like to know. That's, you know -- that's the number-one thing on the declaration of principles that I would like to see The New York Times print. Because, you know, we're always saying, "Aw, they don't understand us." Well, I don't understand them. I don't know who these people are.
How can you be fighting for the same things that Al Qaeda wants, you know? Can you imagine -- can you imagine The New York Times coming out and saying "Hey, the ovens aren't so bad," back in World War II? Can you imagine that? I don't know; sure, there are some Jews in there, but I bet they might make some good pizzas in there too. What are you -- what? The New York Times is just -- I don't get it. I don't understand it. Except that I really truly believe that they believe that we're a bad nation, or at least our government is bad and has always been bad. "You know, we've been passing out those smallpox blankets to Indians."
With this sort of irresponsible language, why does Beck consistently sabotage otherwise sound viewpoints? We have no idea, but it couldn't be more harmful to the cause, if it's one he actually subscribes to.
UPDATE: sure enough, Beck is providing fodder for the likes of Olbermann tonight. This situation stinks.
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Some images: GlennBeck.com