Since we last checked on the viewership totals for Glenn Beck’s Fox News show viewers have continued to flee his program. Last Friday, Beck hit a new all time low of 1.743 million viewers. The new twist of Beck’s plummet is that he is now being beaten in the ratings by such Fox News heavyweights as Bret Baier and Greta Van Susteren. Even Shep Smith beat him once.
Previously I discussed a pattern in Beck’s weekly ratings. He tends to start out strong on Monday, but he loses viewers every day of the week afterwards, but a new trend is also emerging. Each Monday, Beck is either losing viewers, or maintaining the previous low. According to Neilson Media Research, on Monday, May 17, Beck pulled in 2.208 million viewers. On the following Monday, May 24, Beck had 2.096 million viewers. (May 31 was Memorial Day so it isn’t counted). On Monday, June 7, Beck has 1.976 million viewers, and this past Monday, June 14, Beck has his second lowest day of 2.079 million viewers.
As Media Matters’ Eric Boehlert pointed out, “How soft were last week’s numbers? On only one of the five weekdays, June 9, did Glenn Beck draw more than 2 million viewers. In other words, for most of 2010 it’s been unusual for Glenn Beck to fall below the 2 million-viewer mark. It had only happened a handful of times all year. But last week, it happened on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.”
Just how bad have things gotten for Beck in terms of total viewers? On June 11, Beck’s show was defeated by Bret Baier, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, and Greta Van Susteren in the ratings. The only Fox News show he beat was Shep Smith’s. Things got even worse for Beck on Tuesday June 15 as his program drew the fewest number of viewers of anybody in evening/primetime. Shep Smith got his revenge by outdrawing Beck, 1.857 to 1.808. In a desperate attempt to lure back viewers Beck has been pushing his show even more to the right, but this only appears to result in more viewers leaving.
Glenn Beck is quickly becoming the weak link in the Fox News lineup. The network still has to discount ads for Beck’s program, and is losing money when advertisers moved their ads to other FNC shows because according to BNET, “While advertisers’ money may have moved elsewhere on the network, it is unlikely that Fox is seeing higher prices on other shows as former Beck advertisers increase demand for alternate times.”
Beck is decreasing advertising revenue at the network because he is taking ad space away from other shows, while generating virtually no revenue for Fox News with his own program. The network could live with this as long Beck was still pulling in viewers, but without big ratings, Beck is a liability on the bottom line, whose ratings have slipped so far that even if his replacement was an average FNC program, the network would make more money. The writing is on the wall and it clear that Glenn Beck has no idea how to recapture the viewers who have moved away from his program.