Meet the New Boss–Glenn Beck’s Old Boss

CNN president JonKlein is out–replaced byKen Jautz, who was theboss at Headline News. He is, among other things, the guy who brought Glenn Beck to television:

CNN‘s Headline News has hired radio talkshow host Glenn Beck to host a one-hour primetime show, according to a Daily Variety report (1/17/06). Variety quotes CNN Headline News president Ken Jautz’s description of Beck: “Glenn’s style is self-deprecating, cordial; he says he’d like to be able to disagree with guests and part as friends. It’s conversational, not confrontational.”

As Klein leaves,I can’t help but rememberthat back in 2005 he explained to Charlie Rosethat there couldn’t be a left-liberal answer to Fox News because those people “don’t get too worked up about anything.” As FAIR noted back then:

When Rose asked if there could ever be a successful progressive version of Fox News Channel, Klein thought not. He explained that while Fox was tapping into a brand of “mostly angry white men” conservatism,

a quote/unquote, “progressive” or liberal network probably couldn’t reach the same sort of an audience, because liberals tend to like to sample a lot of opinions. They pride themselves on that. And you know, they don’t get too worked up about anything. And they’re pretty morally relativistic. And so, you know, they allow for a lot of that stuff.

Now you can argue that MSNBC doesn’t really do the same thing as Fox. (Who could, really?) But it’s pretty clear that someone in management over there decided–once it was safe to do so–that youcould play to the left. And you know what happened? Most of the time, they wind upgetting more prime-time viewers thanCNN.

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.