Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Glenn Beck Television

Glenn Beck by David Shankbone 2010 NYCphoto © 2010 David Shankbone | more info (via: Wylio)

Like many of you, I celebrated a little when it was announced that Beck's show would no longer be on FOX.  Someone who regularly expresses the kind of hatred that he does, should not have access to such a large platform.  It is even more disturbing when you consider that FOX news has so skewed basic facts, that some Americans are actually in doubt as to where the 9/11 hijackers originated from.  There is conservative, and then there is FOX News, which basically makes it up as it goes along.

Thanks to the efforts of millions, advertisers were refusing to spend money to advertise their products during Beck's show, and as we all know, advertising pays to keep everything on the air. It seems that Beck has decided to create his own online empire, to avoid the headaches he experienced with FOX.  I suppose Oprah getting her own network was too much for him, and he decided to settle for the next best option - GBTV.  Yes, an entire  network built entirely around him.  Heaven help us all.
On Tuesday, Mr. Beck will announce a first-of-its-kind effort to take a popular — but also  fiercely polarizing — television show and turn it into its own subscription enterprise. It is an adaptation of the business models of both HBO and Netflix for one man’s personal brand — and a huge risk, as he and his staff members acknowledged in interviews in recent days.

“I think we might be a little early,” Mr. Beck said of his plan for the Internet network, called GBTV, which will cost $5 to $10. “But I’d rather be ahead of the pack than part of it.”

The business decision by Mr. Beck’s company, Mercury Radio Arts, hinges on an expectation that more and more people will figure out how to view online shows on their TV sets through set-top boxes and video game consoles — and that they will subscribe directly to their favorite brands.

Eventually, Mr. Beck said, his goal is to have an array of scripted and unscripted shows alongside his own daily show, which will simply be titled “Glenn Beck” and will run for two hours on weekday afternoons.

“If you’re a fan of Jon Stewart, you’re going to find something on GBTV that you’re going to enjoy,” Mr. Beck said. “If you’re a fan of ‘24,’ you’re going to find something on GBTV that you’re going to enjoy.”

What GBTV will not be, he and his associates emphasized, is a news channel.(source)
He is trying to describe himself as a pioneer, but let's all be honest, where else did he have to go?  What other network would have been willing to put him on the air, after all the shit he has pulled? He moved to the internet, because this is the only way for him to stay in the public eye. Beck has already proven repeatedly that he has no problem sinking to the lowest possible level to get ratings, and without anything checking his outright perversity, I am almost scared to see what he will come up with next.

The only check on Glenn Beck that exists today is capitalism.  Can he produce a product that people will be willing to pay for?  It is a well known fact that spending money online is not something that people do easily, because they always assume that they can get it for free elsewhere.  This has proven to be the case time after time, when magazines and newspaper have attempted to charge for access to their work.  In a sense it makes the internet like the wild west, because almost anything is available for the taking.  How long will it be until he is hacked and clips start showing up everywhere? I know that there will be some who just have to get their dose of hatred for the day and will pay, but many will not.

Beck may will find out, that he is not nearly as popular as he believes.  The right has control of the radio, but as far as the internet is concerned, there is certainly a stronger leftist presence.   Furthermore, while Beck may have two hours worth of material to shill a day, the attention span of the typical online user is not that long. It is my hope that finding himself a single voice amongst millions, that he will be drowned out. I can think of nothing more boring or irrelevant than 2 minutes, let alone two hours of Glenn Beck.

 H/T Deeky