'The Glenn Beck Show': Who's Replacing Beck? Palin? Miller? Steyn? Gutfeld?
Let me say up front that I have no idea who or what's going to replace "The Glenn Beck Show" when it goes off the 5 p.m. ET slot on Fox News Channel after the June 30 episode. One suspects that the good folks at FNC know, but why hasn't there been an announcement yet?
Could it be that they are ....
(Cue portentous music)
....waiting to see if the possible host jumps into the 2012 presidential race?
Or are they waiting to see if the host is willing to work two jobs?
Is ready for TV?
Is ready for not-quite-primetime TV?
Here are my entirely uninformed guesses and the rationale behind them ...
Sarah Palin: The former Alaska governor, 2008 GOP vice-presidential candidate, author, social-media diva, TLC TV star and Fox News contributor has the mainstream media following her around like ducklings (when they're not rooting through her old emails like pigs at the trough).
The rest of the time, she's selling books, supporting candidates, writing Facebook posts and Tweets on current events, and being the subject of a new documentary, called "The Undefeated," coming out July 15.
If Palin decides not to jump into the presidential fray, she could be host of a show that hits on some of the more successful Beck themes --such as hidden American history, the Constitution and the Founding Fathers -- but likely without the "spooky dude" stuff.
After all, did she not just do a bus tour highlighting historical sites? And she even snookered many in the mainstream media by being correct about Paul Revere's ride while some of her critics seem to have relied on Longfellow's "Midnight Ride of Paul Revere" for their history.
BTW, that's a poem, not a history book.
And goodness knows, Palin's got the gams to qualify as an FNC host.
Dennis Miller: The longtime comic and former "Weekend Update" anchor from "Saturday Night Live" has carved himself out a nice niche on talk radio, blending his right-of-center politics with pop culture, entertainment and comedy.
The "sage of Southern California," as Bill O'Reilly calls him when he makes his weekly Wednesday appearances on FNC's "The O'Reilly Factor," is headquartered in Santa Barbara, Calif. north of Los Angeles.
After doing three hours a day on the radio, I'm not sure Miller would like to extend his schtick to the 5 p.m. ET slot, but, after all, that's the 2 p.m. PT slot, and he'd be done in time for tea.
On a personal note, now that my local radio station (yeah, talkin' about you, KRLA) has moved Miller out of evening drive-time into the night, I'd love to be able to have him on my DVR.
Mark Steyn: The bearded columnist, political commentator, author and cultural critic was born in Canada, educated in the U.K., and now lives in New Hampshire. Granted, this does make the logistics of a daily show a bit challenging, especially in the winter.
But Steyn has filled in for Sean Hannity on FNC, so he has TV experience, and he's a frequent radio guest (and substitute host for Rush Limbaugh), so he's got media chops.
Also, Steyn's got a great accent, is fiercely witty and smart and has more than enough pointed and "polarizing" opinions to keep both Beck's critics and fans engaged.
As a bonus, he's also put out a couple of Christmas music CDs with Jessica Martin -- "A Marshmallow World" and "Gingerbread and Eggnog" -- so he could even have a band, a la FNC's weekend show "Huckabee."
Greg Gutfeld: The host of FNC's latenight pop-culture/politics roundtable -- golly, that's a polite way to describe Gutfeld's band of merry pranksters and the outrageous things they say and do -- pitched in on Beck's show today as host of a game show featuring people and events Beck has discussed.
(Gutfeld even joked about, "When I take over the 5 p.m., things will be different.")
Gutfeld, a former Huffington Post blogger and magazine editor, who's also written a couple of books , has taken "RedEye W/Greg Gutfeld" -- which just celebrated its 1,000th episode -- from nearly complete obscurity in the wee hours of the morning Eastern time to a show that has scored higher ratings than CNN primetime (while still airing in the wee hours of the morning).
Gutfeld is a charming wiseacre with a soft spot for his mother (a recurring "RedEye" contributor).
He delivers monologues with snarky brio about the events of the day, making serious points in between references to unicorns and unfortunate houseboys.
Is he ready for TV when the sun is still shining? More importantly, is America ready for Gutfeld in the naked light of day?
Of course, there's always Anthony Weiner, unless CNN (UPDATE: or Current TV) has snagged him first.
On an unrelated note, we hear today that "America's Most Wanted" host John Walsh is not taking Fox Broadcasting's demotion of his weekly crimefighting show to specials lying down, but instead he is shopping it around, even to FNC.
For what it's worth, I think that's a super idea, and would slot in nicely after "Huckabee" on FNC's Saturday-night lineup.