Beck by the Numbers

Glenn Beck’s inability to get more than 700 people in an auditorium that seats 8,000 is just one indicator that he’s more of a media phenomenon than a real one.  With two million or so viewers, Beck is the second most-watched show on cable news, but that’s like being number two in the tallest midget contest.  He has less than half the viewership of SpongeBob SquarePants, and the top-rated cable show (the Saints/49ers game), had seven times as many people watching.  Compared to broadcast TV, even the 25th-ranked show last week (Undercover Boss) had 6 times the viewership (10 million more people) than Beck’s most-watched broadcast.

Like number one Bill O’Reilly and the rest of cable news, Beck’s viewership is skewed to an older demographic.  No wonder most of the ads are for low-rent stuff like Goldine or hip replacement litigation.

23 replies
  1. 1
    roshan says:

    Then how do you explain the 5 million people who showed up for the Honor rally?

  2. 2
    Taiko says:

    Like one commenter at your link says, it just goes to show you how much extra space old people on scooters with racist signs take up.

  3. 3
    agrippa says:

    Beck is not the huge draw that some people think that he is.

  4. 4
    jwb says:

    @roshan: See the wingnut multiplier is on its way to eleventy billion.

  5. 5
    MattF says:

    The narrative on Beck seems to be shifting– from ‘crazy’ to ‘menace’ to ‘kinda like a televangelist’ to ‘amusing, in a way’. Problem is, he somehow escapes any attempt to examine what he actually says. It’s a gift, I guess.

  6. 6
    WereBear says:

    I dunno; I was kinda resigned to him, but the crap covered on Countdown about slavery being messed up by big government; he won’t stop on his own.

    Something will have to make him.

  7. 7
    Glen Tomkins says:

    SpongeBob for President!

    Hey, he’s got twice the viewership of Beck, who we’re told is way powerful.

    I think the yellow poriferine guy would clean up at the polls. Personally, I owe him a huge debt of gratitude for making the living space around three kids growing up in the aughts actually livable, where the on-air competition would regularly leave me climbing the walls. There’s tons of people like me out there.

    Even without the gratitude factor, he’s way more credible on public policy questions than Palin.

  8. 8
    WereBear says:

    @Glen Tomkins: And Absorbent and Yellow and Porous is He!

  9. 9
    MTiffany says:

    “hip replacement litigation”

    And don’t let the guvm’nt touch our Medicare!

  10. 10
    lacp says:

    SpongeBob is a wingnut?

  11. 11
    James E. Powell says:

    Like number one Bill O’Reilly and the rest of cable news, Beck’s viewership is skewed to an older demographic.

    Unfortunately, their demographics also include, apparently, every elected official and staff person in America. An additional problem is that the audience believes that what they see on these shows is reality.

  12. 12
    evinfuilt says:

    One of his best friends is a scientist, but from Texas. So it’s really hard to tell. No doubt Patrick is a Wingnut, just look at the drool running down his cheek. Mr. Krabs of course is true Galtian hero. He has no problem showing off his superior abilities, such as stealing lollipops and taking money just because he deserves it.

    The only true Liberal there is Squidwart, which is why he’s the butt of all jokes (and being spineless most likely will one day become Senate Majority leader.)

  13. 13
    chrismealy says:

    Fox has a big enough audience to blow a safe pickup in Delaware.

  14. 14
    Bella Q says:

    I hate to say it, but the Disk Whisperer is actually making some good points about the Mormon cable fearmonger-in-chief. I’ll most likely actually read his book, though I won’t buy it.

  15. 15
    Dr. Squid says:

    Put it this way – more people (3X) see Shirtless Gibby than Glenn Beck.

  16. 16

    To be fair to Beck, I’m not sure how he could possibly compete with the intense and complicated drama embodied in Plankton’s repeated failed attempts to obtain the secret formula. An almost Melvillian quest.

  17. 17
    KevinNYC says:

    Beck has low rent ads because there’s an advertiser boycott going on ever since he called Obama a racist.

  18. 18

    If the rumors about Glenn Beck being empty calories are true I wonder how long he’ll stay on the air. One can hope for a long, long time so that News Corpse ends up in the same financial situation as Clear Channel.

  19. 19
    Jewish Steel says:

    I remember hearing that Beck in particular and Fox news in general attract a particular type of viewer. Not just old, but the type of person who has the tv on all day. And that viewer is valuable to advertisers.

  20. 20
    Mouse Tolliver says:


    I dunno; I was kinda resigned to him, but the crap covered on Countdown about slavery being messed up by big government; he won’t stop on his own.

    Give him a few years. His audience will die off all on its own — from old age or complications from diabetes. Sort of like the rage zombies in “28 Days.”

  21. 21
    Sue says:

    Maybe his target demographic has finally – finally! – figured out that they can get the product for free just by parking their butts in front of the TV every day. Remember, this is the “fixed income” crowd – they can’t pay more taxes, tip waitresses or give the grandkids more than a fiver for a birthday gift because they’re on a fixed income, unlike the rest of us who apparently are drowning in money in spite of not having a raise in three years, etc.
    Maybe Glenn’s jumped the senior citizen shark.

  22. 22
    RL Harrington says:

    On the TV machine he doesn’t have to compete with the senior special at Luby’s.

  23. 23
    driftglass says:

    For a mere $9.95 he will share with you a map to the site of the Lost Gold Hips of Spongebob.

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