Glenn Beck’s new online video network made its debut today. Currently, subscribers must pay $4.95 monthly; GBTV Plus, the deluxe package, will cost $9.95 after Sept. 12. Do you think people are willing to pay for Glenn Beck?
Every few months or so, when Glenn Beck’s truly impressive ratings soften, critics of Fox’s most controversial conservative start writing and re-writing his obituary. Most recently, it’s the New York Times, which speculates that the honeymoon may finally be coming to a close when Beck’s contract expires at the end of the year. True, Beck’s shed about a million viewers per night in the past year, but it’s worth noting that he still draws a bigger audience then all his timeslot rivals — combined. Lost in the debate over whether Beck is informed, credible, (or sane?) is the undeniable fact that he’s more popular at his particular job than just about anyone else in the entertainment industry is at theirs. So the question has to be asked: Why exactly would Fox be eager to part ways with the man who draws about two million viewers every day at 5 p.m., while Chris Matthews and Wolf Blitzer are scrambling for about a third of that figure?