Tune In: Original Cable Programming
No. of subscribers: 89 million
Network topper: Jim Walton
Programming topper: Ken Jautz
Top originals: Nancy Grace, Glenn Beck, Showbiz Tonight
The skinny: Headline News traded in its “just the news” mandate in 2005 for a primetime stocked with opinionated personalities. While the net still does a national newscast each half-hour during the day, it’s clear it believes its future is in being a noisy counterpoint to CNN during primetime. Victim’s rights crusader Nancy Grace was the first HLN personality to break out, and she beats CNN’s “Paula Zahn Now” at 8 p.m. Next, the net created a show for conservative talkradio personality Glenn Beck, which has held its own, but loses much of Grace’s lead-in. The net’s entertainment news skein “Showbiz Tonight” saw triple-digit percentage growth in February, helped by the Anna Nicole Smith saga. The net is a close fourth-place to MSNBC.