Glenn Beck hosts a little-watched, scarcely-promoted show on CNN's Headline News, but he just signed a radio deal worth $50 million over five years. Which means he's getting paid the same as NBC's Brian Williams, who is watched by more than 8 million people a night. Radio is supposed to be a dying medium, so what gives?
Well, unlike music listeners, talk radio audiences tend to be loyal -- and much less likely to bolt for iPods, videogames, or Facebook. Beck, 43, reaches about 5 million a week on the radio, and has a younger audience than Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity, the two biggest stars of the genre. And while most folks on the coasts hadn't heard of Beck before he got a show on Headline News, TV is just his latest brand extension, like live events and his web site.