February Ratings … and more Glenn Beck news

By Chris Ariens Comment

The Financial Times picks up on the current Glenn Beck meme — how “Prominent US conservatives have begun to distance themselves” from Beck. The story points to recent articles from the conservative commentariat including Bill Kristol, Jennifer Rubin and Peter Wehner.

It has some wondering whether Beck’s recent commentary — whether off the wall or simply uninformed — is done in the name of ratings.

A spokesman for Mr Beck would not comment, but one person close to Mr Beck challenged the notion that the moves were motivated by ratings, noting that he remains the third-biggest US talk radio host after Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, according to Talkers magazine.

Mr Beck’s television audience was down 40 per cent in January, but this reflected a similar decline for the preceding show’s audience and Mr Beck still beat the combined audiences of MSNBC and CNN, the cable rivals to Fox News, this person said.

As we noted earlier, the February ratings are out and year-over-year Beck is down again, the most of any FNC show. He’s dropped -26% in total viewers and down -32% in younger viewers. Of course, last February he had FNC’s second most popular show, after “The O’Reilly Factor.” Last month, he slipped to fourth. And if the “person close to Mr Beck” is trying to claim that his lead-in of “Your World with Neil Cavuto” is to blame (despite the fact that it’s really a different audience anyway) Cavuto is only down -13% in total viewers and down -15% in younger viewers.

No doubt Fox News co-founder and chairman Roger Ailes is none too pleased to read that passage in this morning’s Financial Times given he doesn’t take well to “shooting in the tent, from within the tent.”