Glenn Beck’s Gloomy Ideas Are Bad for Business

Even conservatives are put off by the talk show host's apocalyptic theories.

By Thoai Lu Mar 10, 2011

Glenn Beck, the Fox News host known for his rants against immigrants and President Obama, might have his contract terminated by the network this December, due to losing a third of his audience. The dip in viewership has been increasing since Beck’s "Restoring Honor" rally last August.

David Carr of New York Times said, "…there has been worrisome erosion — more than one million viewers — especially in the younger demographic."

Others just think the show’s content has been lackluster.

"He used to be a lot funnier," said David Von Drehle of Time magazine, "He was the befuddled everyman and something entirely new, but the longer people have listened to his ranting and raving, the wearier they become."

Carr noted that Mr. Beck is often alone in his studio with his chalkboards and obscure factoids. He said, "What had been a fast and loose assault on all things liberal has grown darker and less entertaining, especially with the growing revolution in the Middle East…"

Joel Cheatwood, a senior vice president of development for Fox, stresses how the show should remain upbeat. He said, "It is really important that no matter how dire he thinks things are or what horrible direction things may be going, from his perspective that the show maintains a sense of hope."

Despite the significant drop in viewers, he still draws about two million watchers each night, a number that any cable news host would envy. Also, as Alex Seitz-Walk at Think Progress pointed out, "Beck ‘could live without Fox News,’ thanks to the multi-platform success of his radio show, books, live stage shows, and web sites."

Just last Friday, Beck warned his colleague Bill O’Reilly that "the Western way of life as we know it" could "collapse in as little as 15 days.

How long is his hate going to sell?