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And Don't Let the Door Hit Ya Dept.: Glenn Beck's Fox News Exit, By The Numbers

 
 
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This post originally appeared on County Fair, the blog of Media Matters for America.

Overview

Following a series of increasingly hostile public exchanges between Fox News and Glenn Beck's camp, Beck's "transition" off of Fox was announced on April 6. Fox recently confirmed that Beck's final show will take place on June 30.

Glenn Beck's Fox News exit is the result of a decline in revenue, ratings and relevance.

Revenue

More than 300 advertisers excluded their ads from Glenn Beck's Fox News program since late July 2009 when he called President Obama a "racist" who has a "deep-seated hatred for white people." In February 2010, the UK broadcast of Glenn Beck's show began running without any commercials due to advertiser losses abroad.

Subsequent to news of Beck's departure, The New York Times reported that Fox News saw "the refusal of hundreds Fox advertisers" to place ads on Beck as an issue. This issue was recently highlighted when a Fox News spokeswoman, commenting on Fox's decision to preempt Beck's show for a sex scandal special, reportedly quipped that "at least we will be able to sell the special."

A financial analysis of Glenn Beck's advertiser losses illustrates two points:

  • The number of paid advertisements running on Glenn Beck's show dramatically declined since advertisers began boycotting his show.
  • According to industry data, key advertisements running on Beck's show cost an estimated one-third to one-sixthof what they cost on other comparable Fox News programs.

The number of paid advertisements on Glenn Beck's Fox News show dramatically declined once advertisers began boycotting it in August 2009. Sustained pressure on advertisers ensured that Beck's show never recovered. Consequently, Glenn Beck's show consistently fell short of other comparable Fox News shows as well as shows of direct competitors:

Source: Industry data obtained from CMAG and analyzed by Media Matters.

Further, based on estimated costs from industry experts CMAG, a Media Matters analysis revealed that the same ad from the same advertiser cost substantially less on Glenn Beck than it does on other comparable Fox News shows:

Source:Industry data obtained from CMAG and analyzed by Media Matters.

Ratings

Glenn Beck's ratings decline was sharp, significant and sustained.

  • In the first quarter of 2011, Beck's total audience dropped by 27% and his target demo audience was down 34% compared to the same period in 2010.

Glenn Beck's total audience peaked in 2010, sharply fell and continued to wane:

Source: Data compiled from TVByTheNumbers & mediabistro.com and analyzed by Media Matters.

Similarly, Beck's viewership among the target demo of adults between the ages of 25-54 peaked in 2010 and then faded:

Source: Data compiled from TVByTheNumbers & mediabistro.com and analyzed by Media Matters.

Relevance

In addition to declining ratings and decreases in the ability to generate revenue for Fox News, Glenn Beck also lost relevance:

Since the beginning of 2011, eight radio stations dropped Glenn Beck's radio show. 

  • Buckley radio dropped Beck from five of its stations - WOR in New York City and four in Connecticut. Philadelphia's WPHT, Madison's WTDY and Milwaukee's WISN replaced Beck. Further, Kansas City's KMBZ moved Glenn Beck from his coveted morning slot to a significantly less desirable late-evening slot.

In 2011, conservative leaders began publicly criticizing and marginalizing Glenn Beck:

  • Mike Huckabee chided Glenn Beck for having "a massive global conspiracy for pretty much everything" and wrote that "Beck needs to stick to conspiracies that can't be so easily de-bunked by facts."
  • Bill Kristol, Fox News contributor and editor of The Weekly Standard, wrote that Beck is "marginalizing himself" with his "hysteria" over Egypt.
  • In the conservative Commentary magazine, Peter Wehner warned that Beck "has become the most disturbing personality on cable television."
  • Other conservative voices publicly criticized Glenn Beck, including Joe Scarborough and Jennifer Rubin.

Just a year prior, the backlash from Beck's fans would have been too fierce for other conservative voices to publicly challenge him.  Yet, due in part to Beck's declining relevance, these conservatives were able to step up and publicly challenge him.

Notes on graphs

Number Paid Ads Per Month:

  • Calculations are based on the primary airing of the broadcast and do not include repeats.
  • Situation Room airs 3 hours a day. This data only accounts for the 5-6PM hour, which competes directly with Glenn Beck's Fox News show.
  • Data for MSNBC's Hardball from February 2010 was unavailable.

Ad Rates (Goldline, Beck vs. Baier, Beck vs. Hannity & O'Reilly):

  • Calculations are based on estimated ad costs during the period of January 1 through March 7, 2011.
  • In order to ensure the fairest and most direct comparisons as well as relevant results, only data from the show's primary broadcast was included in the calculations.

Glenn Beck's Median Monthly Fox News Audience:

  • Calculations are based on ratings for Glenn Beck's Fox News show between January 19, 2009 and June 22, 2011.
  • Data for the following individual days was not included in the tally due to unreliability or unavailability: 1/28/11 and 3/11/11. This absence is not statistically signifcant.

Glenn Beck's Median Monthly Audience, Adults 25-54:

  • Calculations are based on ratings for Glenn Beck's Fox News show between January 19, 2009 and June 22, 2011.
  • Data for the following individual days was not included in the tally due to unreliability or unavailability: 1/28/09, 2/4/09, 2/24/09, 3/5/09, 1/28/11, and 3/11/11. This absence is not statistically significant.

 

County Fair/Media Matters For America / By Angelo Carusone

Posted at June 30, 2011, 10:49am