On his radio show today, Glenn Beck first claimed that his ratings aren’t declining, but then blamed the weather for his loss of one million Fox News viewers. Beck’s excuse, “It’s called the spring and summer. It’s a cycle.” The problem is that Beck’s viewership numbers have been dropping since January, which is in the winter, when people are usually inside their homes watching television.
Here is the audio courtesy of Media Matters:
On the subject of his ratings, Beck said, “There’s this great story going around that my ratings have gone down 30%. Are you out of you mind? I was number one every day last week on cable. I was number one on all cable news. Now granted, O’Reilly on vacation, and Bill you can take more time if you like. You know who wrote that story that’s now being picked everywhere? Media Matters and George Soros, it’s called let’s compare apples to apples. You want to write a story about my ratings? Let’s write a story about MSNBC in the same time frame. Let’s look at everyone. It’s called the spring and summer. It’s a cycle. It’s unbelievable, unbelievable.”
As is becoming the norm, let’s take a moment to separate the fact from fiction. Glenn claims that he was number one in all of cable news last week in terms of ratings. This is true, but what he doesn’t tell you is that the Media Matters story points out that Beck has lost one third of his audience, not one third of his ratings share. Talk about comparing apples and oranges. His ratings share of the is a percentage of televisions tuned to his show, but his total viewers, which is what Media Matters was talking about is the actual number of people watching his program. It is possible to have a decline in total viewers, but still have a high ratings share. American Idol still has a high ratings share even those they have been losing viewers for years.
Second, Media Matters is not owned by George Soros, and the numbers came from Neilson, not Media Matters. Third, Beck compares himself to MSNBC, but he neglects to mention that Fox News is available in twice as many homes as MSNBC, and that no MSNBC program on CNN program for that matter has lost as many total viewers as Beck has since January. Lastly, Beck is trying to blame the spring and summer when his decline started in January, and has gone through the winter and into the spring.
Since Beck brought it up let’s look at his numbers for last week. He had over 2.4 million viewers last Monday. On Tuesday, he slipped to 2.3 million viewers. By Wednesday he was down to 2.2 million viewers, and by Thursday, he was at 2.1 million viewers. Do you see the pattern? Beck starts strong but loses viewers as the week goes on. The point of the piece I wrote about Beck losing 1 million viewers since January is accurate. He used to have 3.4 million viewers, but even on his best day last week, he was one million viewers under that number.
It seems that Mr. Beck does not want to accept the reality that his show is in decline. He can’t blame the weather, because his decline started in winter. He is trying to confuse the issue by blaming MSNBC and George Soros, when the truth is that viewers seem to have grown bored with Beck. His defense of his ratings rings more than a little hollow, because he has been trying all sorts of gimmicks lately to lure his audience back. Beck has lost almost a third of his audience in four months, and he is in complete denial about his slide.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association