Headline News Hires Glenn Beck
Conservative radio talk host Glenn Beck is joining CNN’s Headline News.
CNN Headline News is continuing to bet its future success on opinionated chat shows, this time by hiring an up-and-coming conservative radio host for a new prime time program. The upcoming addition of Glenn Beck, who is heard on about 200 radio stations, is the latest of several major changes at Headline News. In a move away from its heritage of showing a nonstop succession of half-hour news updates, the Atlanta-based network is focusing on shows meant to keep viewers watching longer.
The best-known and most successful effort has been the creation of “Nancy Grace,” a legal debate show that launched in February 2005, starring a fiery former Fulton County prosecutor. Love her or hate her, Grace has nearly tripled Headline News’ ratings in the 8 p.m. time slot.
The network wants more of that sort of success and believes Beck, with his strong views, fits the Grace mold.
I’ve listened to Beck’s radio show a few times and he is controversial without veering into Michael Savage territory. Media Matters, perhaps not surprisingly, disagrees on this score and provides some examples of his more outrageous comments. Most, even on their surface, are perfectly defensible.
I’m not sure I understand CNN-HL’s new business philosophy but, then, I long ago stopped watching that that channel and much television news in general. This appears to be working for them, as the ratings boost from Grace’s program (which I have never seen) indicates.