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A giant sucking sound: What caused such a rapid decline of Glenn Beck’s ratings ?
03.04.2011
08:09 pm
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The ratings for Glenn Beck’s nightly Fox News conspiracy theory rants are still taking a Nielsen nosedive. I’m not going to go out on a limb again and say Beck’s “over” because he rallied the very next day after I did it the last time and I just had to take it all back. So I’ll simply point out what James Downie wrote in The New Republic:

Beck, says [biographer Alexander] Zaitchik, was caught “in a vicious circle”: To keep viewers coming back, he had to keep creating new, more intricate theories. Last November, in a two-part special that indirectly invoked anti-Semitism, he accused liberal Jewish financier George Soros of orchestrating the fall of foreign governments for financial gain. During the Egyptian Revolution, Beck sided with Hosni Mubarak, alleging that his fall was “controlled by the socialist communists and the Muslim Brotherhood.” Beck is now warning viewers not to use Google, accusing the search-engine giant of “being deep in bed with the government.” In recent months, it seems, Beck’s theories became so outlandish that even conservatives—both viewers and media personalities—were having a hard time stomaching them. Now, each new idea appears to be costing Beck both eyeballs and credibility. “At some point,” says Boehlert, “it doesn’t add up any more.”

Yep, at this point even the very dumbest people watching Beck’s show have probably realized that Van Jones and obscure magazine articles written in 1965 don’t have shit to do with anything.

“It’s hard to gain a million viewers,” says Eric Boehlert, of Media Matters, in the article, “but it’s really hard to lose a million viewers.”

Worse still, for Beck’s, uh, fortunes, as Adam Weinsten points out on the Mother Jones blog today (quoting “The Wrap” an entertainment trade blog):

In January, [Beck’s] FNC show averaged 1.76 million total viewers during the 5 p.m. hour, according to Nielsen estimates—down 39 percent compared to January 2010.

And he scored just 397,000 viewers in the coveted 25-to-54-year-old demographic, a 48 percent slide.

February did not show much improvement. Through Feb. 27 his Fox show is down 26 percent in total viewers for the year (2.06 million compared to 2.89 million last year) and off 30 percent in the demo, averaging 501,000 25-to-54-year-olds vs. 760,000 last year.

But dig what this implies about the, er, vintage of his viewers:

Here’s the salient fact: Less than one-quarter of Beck’s viewers are ages 25 to 54. Assuming the number of youngs who watch him is negligible—a pretty safe assumption, I think—that means that dang near to 80 percent of his viewership is in or around senior-citizen territory. Perhaps it’s no surprise that the olds like Beck. But it gets me wondering: Who exactly makes up that 25 to 54 demographic?

Asexual trolls who still live with their mothers” would be my first guess. Hey, there are a lot of ‘em, we just never see them, except for when they’re commenting on blogs.

Posted by Richard Metzger
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03.04.2011
08:09 pm
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