Al Gore’s Liberal Current TV about to go the way of Liberal Air America Radio

Posted by PITHOCRATES - June 24th, 2012

Week in Review

Things don’t look good for Al Gore’s television network.  They have lost so many viewers that their cable company may drop his channel (see 10 Brands That Will Disappear in 2013 by Douglas A. McIntyre, 24/7 Wall St, posted 4/21/2012 on Yahoo! Finance).

Each year, 24/7 Wall St. identifies 10 important American brands that we predict will disappear within a year. This year’s list reflects the brutally competitive nature of certain industries and the reason why companies cannot afford to fall behind in efficiency, innovation or financing…

Al Gore’s Current TV was on life support even before it fired its only bankable star, Keith Olbermann, in March following a set of battles with the host over his perks. He was replaced by serial talk show host failure Eliot Spitzer. Compared to Olbermann’s March figures, Spitzer’s ratings in April were down nearly 70%, according to TV audience measurement firm Nielsen. At the time, The Hollywood Reporter wrote, “Replacement Eliot Spitzer pulled an anemic 47,000 total viewers in the first outing of Viewpoint, with just 10,000 among adults 25-54. The weeks since saw an early rebound, particularly in the demo, but in its four weeks on air Viewpoint has steadily declined in both respects.” Reuters recently reported that Current TV’s audience had fallen enough that cable giant Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) may have the right to discontinue carrying the channel. The closest Current TV has to a star is talk show veteran Joy Behar, a former cast member of “The View,” who had her own show canceled by CNN’s HLN in November. Gore does not have the pockets to keep a network with no future going.

Current TV will fail for the same reason Air America Radio failed.  Liberals just aren’t deep thinkers.  They’ll watch The Daily Show and The Colbert Report because they are funny.  They’re entertaining.  They make fun of conservatives.  And they’re each on only for one half hour a day, 4 days a week.  They’ll watch these shows to learn what’s in the news.  Because the network news isn’t as funny or as entertaining.

Now contrast this with conservative talk radio.  Which with Air America gone is pretty much all of talk radio.  Why does conservative talk radio succeed when liberal talk radio does not?  Because conservatives are older.  More grown up.  And are interested more in the issues than being entertained.  That is, conservatives are deep thinkers.  A lot of them are because they’re married and trying to raise a family.  So those things the younger liberals aren’t interested in – economics, monetary policy, fiscal policy, foreign policy – greatly interest conservatives.  Because these things impact their lives daily.  Especially when they have the checkbook out.  While college students are more interested in knowing where the good parties are.

It is rather ironic that the very thing liberals use to attract their liberal base is the reason they can’t get them to listen to or watch their programs.  They have sold the welfare state to their liberal base in lieu of rugged individualism.  Basically telling them, “Don’t worry.  We’re here to take care of you.”  So they have.  They trust in government completely.  And enjoy being young.  Not worrying about the issues of the day.  Because government is there to take care of them.

And then there is the population breakdown.  About 40% of the people call themselves conservative.  While only about 20% call themselves liberal.  So they’re playing to a smaller audience to begin with.  And that other 40%?  Independents and moderates who don’t much like politics to begin with.  Their party affiliation, or lack thereof, suggests they may tune into The Daily Show or The Colbert Report because they’re entertaining.  But they’re probably not going to be policy wonks and tune into any hardcore political program.  Because they’re comfortable in the center.  And that’s just not where Air America was or where Current TV is.  Or conservative talk radio for that matter.

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