lenn Beck is mulling the possibility of creating his own TV channel when his contract with Fox News expires at the end of 2011, The New York Times' Brian Stelter reported Wednesday. Beck's relationship with the network has long been fraught. In one scenario, the divisive star would expand Insider Extreme, his subscription-only website that makes Beck an estimated $4 million a year. Or he might take over an existing cable network, or create his own. Despite Beck's feverish fanbase, such a huge undertaking would be a risky move — one that that even mega-personalities like Oprah Winfrey (with her OWN channel) and Martha Stewart (who reinvented The Hallmark Channel) have struggled to pull off. Would this be a wise move for Beck?
No, it just would not work: This whole idea is a "nonstarter," says Marc Babej at Forbes. Beck may draw impressive ratings, but he has been shunned by A-list advertisers, in part because of his long history of courting controversy. Talk of a Beck network is probably just a ploy to gain leverage in his contract negotiations with Fox.
"Why a Glenn Beck TV channel would be a nonstarter"
And it's not worth the risk: This would be "a risky venture that, in the end, doesn't offer a lot of reward," says Max Read at Gawker. The conspiracy theory-spinning star's legions of devoted fans won't pay the bills without willing advertisers. The more likely scenario is he'll just expand Insider Extreme. But who knows? "It's Glenn Beck's world — we're just living in it!"
"Glenn Beck might start his own cable channel"
But the wacky programming would be great: "The audience might be smaller," says Chris Rovzar at New York, but "some of those cable networks thrive on very narrow niches." And just "think of the possibilities" in store for Beck's "more Evangelical — or even Mormon — Fox News." He could broadcast a behind-the-scenes look at how he prepares his conspiracy-theory chalkboard rants, complete with a guide to making "missiles out of construction paper." It would be like "watching a kindergarten class, only apocalyptic."
"Could Glenn Beck be the next Oprah?"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why China's Communist Party is headed for collapse
- Why Texas Republicans may want to cool the anti-Obama land-grab talk
- He said he was leaving. She ignored him.
- Why the poor's investment of choice is so alarming
- How to make perfect fried rice in 6 easy steps
- 31 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Obama doesn't have a manhood problem — but conservatives certainly do
- Why Antonin Scalia was right to defend a drug dealer
- Why atheism doesn't have the upper hand over religion
- Why we need a maximum wage
Subscribe to the Week