Suffering from “continuing financial losses,” Washington Post radio and owner Bonneville International Corp. are now considering how to increase ratings for its talk radio content. Bonneville vice president Jim Farley said that he believes the station needs “more conversational elements.” The Post reports this morning that to increase ratings, the station is considering hiring right-wing pundit Glenn Beck:
Among the programs that Bonneville is considering is a show hosted by conservative Glenn Beck. However, both Bonneville and The Post must agree on all programming decisions.
Beck’s widely syndicated show is now heard from noon to 3 p.m. on WTNT (570 AM). “Beck is an interesting guy,” said Joel Oxley, Bonneville’s top local executive. “He does a good job in some other markets.”
Beck may be an “interesting guy,” but for all the wrong reasons. He has repeatedly made homophobic, sexist, and racist comments on air, at one time calling Katrina survivors in New Orleans “scumbags.”
As Beck has gained a greater audience, more and more people are turning him off. In Jan. 2006, CNN Headline News also wanted to increase its ratings and brought on Beck because of his “incredibly entertaining personality.” But since that time, his ratings have plummeted. Chris Achorn at My Two Sense noted that at the end of May, Beck’s numbers “were LOWER then a year ago when he was just starting.” His viewership continues to be one of the lowest on cable news:
While the Washington Post announced it may possibly add Beck, it did not cite any plans to also add a progressive talk show.