Glenn Beck As Face Of Fox News? Maybe

It's not about whether Fox News' "Glenn Beck" show has lost some 200 advertisers for his outrageous remarks -- not when there are potentially 2,000 TV advertisers out there.

It's not about whether "Beck" is a news program. It's not about whether Beck thinks the Democrats are out to destroy America. It's not about whether he also has issues with some Republicans as well.

It's about the viewership. If viewers are informed -- or maybe just entertained -- that's enough. Television is that kind of business democracy.

The real question is about marketing value. If Glenn Beck becomes the face of the channel -- perhaps usurping Bill O'Reilly, still the viewership leader -- then there may be business concerns to consider. For some people, a move to embrace Beck would put Fox News into a fringe area.

Fox News has already carved out a niche, and is looking to grow into new areas of general TV viewing like USA Network and TNT pull in. But it also doesn't want to lose any of its hard-earned viewer base.



There is opinion -- but there is also news coverage. According to theWashington Post, some Fox journalists believe Beck "uses distorted or inflammatory rhetoric that undermines their credibility." But this is only a problem if viewers think it's a problem.

Many news organizations look to get attention. Columnists, opinion-makers, are part of the formula -- but just a part. In the end, it's all about information and theater. Concerning Beck, the Post says "some staffers say they have watched [his] rehearsals." Rehearsals? As in Broadway? Yes, there's theater.

The good news: Those 200 advertisers -- the big TV marketers who supposedly won't buy the Beck show -- have no problem with other Fox News shows. Beck's show is only one show on a network that runs 24 hours a day.

But, I can assure you, there would be bigger issues if any of those big TV advertisers made similar moves against other prime-time Fox News shows. And, of course, it's double-trouble should viewers tire of Beck.

Right now, all this works perfectly. Beck keeps bringing viewers into the big tent, maintaining a high audience flow relative to other Fox News prime-time shows. Fox's "The O'Reilly Factor" still has the biggest ratings.

Beck as a face of the network? From a television business point of view, that would work just fine -- as long as everything else stays the same.

15 comments about "Glenn Beck As Face Of Fox News? Maybe ".
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  1. Howie Goldfarb from Blue Star Strategic Marketing, March 31, 2010 at 1:33 p.m.

    I will not be political in the work environ. The fact is Rupert Murdoch doesn't have to compete with the other Cable News channels because they are the only one that is right wing in slant. So they own that wing. Plus we are only talking for full day ratings 0.7% of the US watching the channel with the other 3 outlets combined (msnbc, cnn, headline news) reaching 0.75%. Fact is no one is watching cable news. But Rupert does have the WSJ and NY Post also 2 right wing mouth pieces to offer more complete coverage for that side of the political spectrum.

    Why does Rupert pursue this strategy? Money. There was an article from a few months back covering Rupert, secession (some of his kids and their partners are more moderate to lefty in views), and one of Murdoch's close friends who has been in business with the guy for many years said if he could make more money having progressive/lefty slants he would switch format and coverage faster than your heart can beat.

    So its a pure money play and people should be aware of that. Give the people what they want (old Kinks song) says it all.

  2. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, March 31, 2010 at 1:43 p.m.

    I'll admit that Glenn Beck acts "nutty" a lot, but so, too, to a greater degree in my opinion, does Keith Olbermann. If Beck is on the fringe, then Olbermann is a stark raving lunatic. Yet, media sources ignore any listing of advertisers afraid of Olbermann. I'm guessing it's because there is no organized economic resistance to Olbermann,. The right has its enemies on the left, but it seldom tries to eviscerate them (maybe because it sense the water-carrying media would ignore their complaints). Every other day I read about how Palin or Beck is bad for America, how civility is lacking, but nothing about Olbermann, or even less about Obama's old pals on the left-wing fringe, now tossed under the bus.

  3. Kelly Parker from WWMT, March 31, 2010 at 1:43 p.m.

    Wayne why beat beat around the bush? Why don't you just say you are in LALA land Glenn Beck does not make outrageuos just don't like to hear the truth. 65% of Americans do not want Obamacare, congress approval ratings are in the toilet along with Obama . This is America and we cannot sustain this socialist agenda. We are saying NO. So why don't you end your articles with Wayne Friedman is LEFT Coast Editor of MediaPost

  4. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, March 31, 2010 at 2:09 p.m.

    Yes, Pied Pipers.

  5. Dave O'Mara from Logan Marketing Communications, March 31, 2010 at 3:35 p.m.

    There's nothing outrageous about Glenn Beck's commentary.

  6. Mike Ventura from Ventura & Co., March 31, 2010 at 5:26 p.m.

    Kelly - You are getting your (incorrect")"facts" from FAUX News.

    Actually, slightly more than half of Americans approved of the Obama Helath Care plan. When asked about the specific "big" issues in the plan (coverage for an additional 30 million Americans, no rejection for pre-existing conditions, etc) each one of those individual issues was approved by over 70% of ALL Americans.

    Here's a REAL socialist agenda: Person with no health care gets sick. With no health care, goes to emergency room because they have to accept him/her. When cured, can't pay bill, so gov't picks up the tab. It doesn't get more "socialist" than that.

    I'm embarrassed for you if you are in the marketing biz and really consider that FOX is a legitimate news source!

    Re: Glen Beck - there are literally dozens of web sites that debunk his drivel with basic facts. Check one out sometime. Beck and Palin play with the truth - or, as close to it as they care to come.

  7. Hywel Ap rees from, March 31, 2010 at 5:33 p.m.

    Glen Beck is the ultimate political poster boy - if he were in Berlin in 1939.

  8. Todd Koerner from e-merge Media, March 31, 2010 at 5:41 p.m.

    Glenn Beck is good for business if your business is getting viewers without losing advertisers. I don't watch him or subscribe to his views, but in a strictly financial viewpoint, he's gold.

    No one would touch SOUTH PARK until Comedy Central took a chance and scored big. Like Jerry Springer or The 700 Club, it's not for everyone, but if you can make a buck off it, more power to you.

    What that says about the nature of political discourse in our country is another thing, but that's freedom for you.

  9. Chris Fredericks from Media Makers, March 31, 2010 at 7:26 p.m.

    I have bought FOX NEWS for years well before Beck. The audience has the highest response rate and are very loyal to brands. I don't understand how Beck could have lost 200 advertisers while only in his first year while his ratings continue to skyrocket? Anyway, why reference the washington compost a political rag in your advertising article? The reality is Beck ratings are through the roof and he's is not even in prime time. Glenn's show gets higher ratings than cnn and msnbc combined.

  10. Chris Fredericks from Media Makers, March 31, 2010 at 7:40 p.m.

    @ Mike Ventura you are intellectually dishonest attacking Kelly regarding Fox not being a legitimate source of news. Some of Fox News programs are openly opinion shows while others such as Shelp Smith are hard news. Fox News provides a conservative news perspective and people with liberal view points obviously hate freedom of speech when it opposes their point of view. It's you Mark Venture whos a marble-mouth that's an embarrasment to our industry because if you have any sense you would be running spots on Fox News if you cared about your clients cost per call.

  11. Rich Foro from RF Marketing & Communications, LLC, April 1, 2010 at 8:34 a.m.

    I have a degree in Journalism and Marketing and have had a 25-year career in media - what Beck does combines both disciplines - as well as alot of feature and editorial material. Nothing wrong with that - he busts his ass, is well prepared and does more research than the majority of the headline chasers networks try to sell off as journalists these days. Face it - the day of the evening newscast is obsolete in our up-to-the minute internet world and there are no journalistic controls and boundaries any more...when ignorant people actually watch the View to get their real life information - we as an intellectual society are in deep deep trouble! The networks just repeat stuff from the internet for the most part. Local TV and radio news is even worse. There are a few good magazine format shows left on network television, but other than that - people are being fed un-reality shows and entertainment over informative journalism everywhere on the spectrum. Our society as an intellectual society is sinking rapidly in our media appetite - or - as FOX shows - are we?

  12. David Thurman from Aussie Rescue of Illinois, April 1, 2010 at 8:54 a.m.

    Mental note, don't use Ventura & Co., seems to want to like to spin things while attacking the same spinners...

    I agree with Doug, we never hear the loud left getting dropped or making falsehoods, or how Tea Party folks are attacked all day, but Code Pink is considered sane. I am still trying to figure out where we get a fair and balanced report, without a Fox News channel, at least I can watch CNN/MSNBC and Fox, then decide, seems all we hear is that we shouldn't listen to other views but the ones we are told too by the left.

  13. Robert Smith from VNA, April 1, 2010 at 9:19 a.m.

    Fox is not a news channel. It's theater, much like professional wrestling. Roger Ailes is the Vince McMahon of the Fox "entertainment network" and Glenn Beck is doing a Rowdy Roddy Piper routine. The WWE fills stadiums and has huge television ratings. Although there are some who still haven't figured out that pro wrestling isn't legitimate sports competition, most understand it's entertainment, like Fox.

  14. Jerry Foster from Energraphics, April 2, 2010 at 3:42 a.m.

    I agree with Howie that Murdoch and his kids are only marketing what they consider right wing material (what they want people to believe is right wing material) because they seem to miraculously own the niche and there is too much money to be made off that. IMHO, the journalism field primarily attracts liberals because it pays so little almost all the time and most alpha males need money and status early in their lives to socialize and date and marry the way they want to. Men who spend their 20s and 30s willingly making peanuts to "pay their dues" aren't going to be popular with too many women (divorce rates are high for them) and the guys who do this are not only clueless about how their low paid profession hurts them on the romance marketplace, they tend to suck up to feminists in a vain attempt to get at least some female admiration. This is one big reason why you won't find many real conservative men in that field.

    Having come from this stock, both Bill O'Reilly and Glenn Beck are more "populist" than conservative. They are scared of criticizing both the more radical "Christian" evangelists and the most radical feminists, mistakenly believing that most women identify with one or the other. They are thus scared to connect with the vast male community and male vote. Then again, a lot of sponsors think men don't exist or don't count.

    Look at the way Fox News ridiculed Ron Paul, ignoring about 8% of mostly young males who don't identify with either the GOP or the Democrats.

    Look at the way Fox News seems to support the 2 party oligopoly (if Beck has been condemning that recently, then good for him).

    As Internet-TV gets big, it will bring Fox News down (make it just another video micro-blogging account) along with the rest of the field of paid liberal journalism.

  15. Jerry Foster from Energraphics, April 2, 2010 at 4:01 a.m.

    Regarding the TV Market: Ron Paul's support was (and probably still is) about 8% of the US population and the predominant market for his views was young males. If he hadn't harped on the Iraq War being some kind of mistake (no different from a left wing view), he would have had a chance at being nominated for President (as it was, his supporters voted for Barr and not McCain) and, thus, a TV Network with his views (minus the "5000 died in Iraq for nothing" rhetoric) could have been successful. Glenn Beck's popularity also benefits from that audience but they tend to see him as a populist, groaning as much as agreeing with him.

    Fox News should give the editors of Reason Magazine a show, along with Phyllis Schafly of the Eagle Forum and Glenn Sacks of Fathers & Families. These people would capture a huge audience currently not being spoken to.

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