On Thursday, Life Time, Inc. — a national chain of gyms with 128 locations spread throughout the United States and Canada — announced it had banned all cable news channels at its clubs. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the Minnesota-based company’s decision cited “a growing number of customers” who complained about television sets displaying CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and other 24-hour cable news networks for all to see. They felt, Life Time claimed, being bombarded with constant news feeds while trying to work out “[doesn’t] fit a healthy lifestyle.”
Per the Star Tribune‘s interview with company spokesperson Natalie Bushaw:
Bushaw added, “Clubs do have flexibility to air programs of interest in their club, such as local sporting events from college to pro teams.”
She said Life Time pulled the plug on the cable news outlets based on “many member requests received over time across the country and in keeping with our overall healthy way of life philosophy and commitment to provide family-oriented environments free of consistently negative or politically charged content.”
Since the announcement, Bushaw claims Life Time has “received both messages of support and others seeking more detail around the decision.” According to the Star Tribune, gym members it spoke with (and others who posted on social media) have had mixed reactions to the new policy. One man who said he “enjoys consuming news and politics” was “disappointed” with the announcement. Another retorted, “it’s just really frustrating to watch the news while you’re trying to work out.”
Seeing as how a YMCA in Scranton, Pennsylvania had to ban cable news following a physical altercation in March 2017, it’s probably for the best. You can read the company’s official statement announcing the change below.
(Via Minneapolis Star Tribune)