The Wall Street Journal

Glenn Beck Faces Big Test as New Show Bows
The Wall Street Journal

Conservative firebrand Glenn Beck faces his first big test since leaving Fox News when his new two-hour show begins Monday. The first episode of Mr. Beck’s program « Glenn Beck, » which will air on his new Internet-only network GBTV.

Because Mr. Beck owns the show and the network, he could make substantially more than the $2.5 million salary he got each year at Fox. GBTV is on track to take in more than $20 million in revenue in its debut year, according to a person close to the company.

The television industry will be watching closely to see whether the TV host can preserve his popularity while migrating to the Web, where efforts to get consumers to pay to watch online-only channels are just beginning.

When Mr. Beck announced GBTV in June, the network had 80,000 subscribers. In the months since, GBTV subscribers have swelled to more than 230,000, according to people close to the network, even though Mr. Beck’s show hasn’t yet begun. The audience is far less than the more than 2.2 million daily viewers his program on Fox drew, on average, over its 27-month run, which ended in June after clashes with the network’s management.

But it is more than the average 156,000 people who were watching the Oprah Winfrey Network in June.