Glenn Beck Show Done: Was He Fired Or Did He Quit?

NEW YORK (AP) -- Glenn Beck's talk show is being dropped by the Fox News Channel after sinking in the ratings and suffering financially due to an advertiser boycott.

Fox and Beck's company, Mercury Radio Arts, said Wednesday they will stay in business creating other projects for Fox television and digital, starting with some documentaries Beck is preparing.

Beck was a quick burn on Fox News Channel. Almost immediately after joining the network in January 2009, he doubled the ratings at his afternoon time slot. Fans found his conservative populism entertaining, while Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert described Beck's "crank up the crazy and rip off the knob" moments.

He was popular with Tea Party activists and drew thousands of people to the National Mall in Washington last August for a "restoring honor" rally.

Yet some of his statements were getting him in trouble, and critics appealed to advertisers to boycott his show last summer after Beck said President Barack Obama had "a deep-seated hatred for white people."

Beck said that he went to Roger Ailes, Fox News chairman and CEO, in January to discuss ways they could continue to work together without the daily show.

"Half of the headlines say he's been cancelled," Ailes said. "The other half say he quit. We're pretty happy with both of them."

Beck said he noted on his show Tuesday that "how many times can I tell the (George) Soros story," referring the liberal donor that Beck has made a target of attacks.

"We felt Glenn brought additional information, a unique perspective, a certain amount of passion and insight to the channel and he did," Ailes said. "But that story of what's going on and why America is in trouble today, I think he told that story as well as could be told. Whether you can just keep telling that story or not ... we're not so sure."

More than 400 Fox advertisers told the company they did not want their commercials on Beck's show. Beck's advertisers were dominated by financial services firms, many touting gold as an investment.

Ailes dismissed the financial impact of the boycott but expressed some frustration with it.

"Advertisers who get weak-kneed because some idiot on a blog site writes to them and says we need to stifle speech, I get a little frustrated by that," he said.

One of Beck's most prominent critics - David Brock, founder of the liberal watchdog Media Matters for America - said that "the only surprise is that it took Fox News months to reach this decision."

"Fox News Channel clearly understands that Beck's increasingly erratic behavior is a liability to their ratings and their bottom line, and we are glad to see them take this action," said James Rucker, executive director of ColorofChange.org, which organized the advertiser boycott.

Beck was a lightning rod for other critics, as well. The Jewish Funds for Justice organized a petition drive last fall to get Beck fired for what it called his misuse of Nazis and the Holocaust phrases against political opponents.

Viewers had begun turning away. Beck's 5 p.m. ET show averaged 2.7 million viewers during the first three months of 2010, and was at just under 2 million for the same period this year, the Nielsen Co. said. His decline was sharper among younger viewers sought by advertisers.

Increasingly, the show began to be dominated by Beck standing in front of a chalk board giving his theories about the world's troubles.

However, Beck has built a powerful brand for himself through a daily radio show, best-selling books and personal appearances. Mercury Radio Arts is expanding and a key Fox executive, Joel Cheatwood, is joining the company later this month.

Beck's company created and operates a news and opinion website, TheBlaze.com. For $9.95 a month, he offers fans access to "Insider Extreme," a website that beams documentaries, Beck personal appearances and a video simulcast of Beck's daily radio show, with an extra hour featuring Beck cohorts.

Beck said ratings for his television show were not an issue, noting that "we have buried the competition in every sense."

"I have learned more in the last two years than I have learned in any two-year period in my life, maybe any 10-year period in my life," he said.

Ailes emphasized that Fox and Beck will continue to work together.

"We like each other," he said in a dual interview with Beck. "We're not drawing pictures of each other on the walls, having staff fights and stealing each other's food out of the refrigerator or any of that stuff."


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  • by Anonymous on Apr 18, 2011 at 04:21 PM
    He is your daddy!
  • by anon on Apr 13, 2011 at 02:48 PM
    I knew Beck was a little nutty, but who is the Obama Snake Oil Co guy? His incoherent sentences are certainly Palin-esk, using 20 words when three will suffice. Now that Beck is gone I suppose I could get my daily chuckle by reading this Obama Snake Oil's attempt at sarcasm. Laughable.
  • by Obama Snake Oil Co Location: Washington on Apr 11, 2011 at 06:51 AM
    Rita, the speculation on the internet is unbelieveable. Huffington and Media matters is doing what they always do...lie, speculate and dream...The lefts worst nightmare....is getting ready to really get under their skin....sort of like Beck, unabridged or hunhinged....
  • by rita Location: NYny on Apr 10, 2011 at 04:59 PM
    Yea Glenn!!! you were a beacon of truth in a liberal filled media What will we do without you? hopefully, not slip back into slumber. We will definitely miss you.
  • by TarHeel Location: Ayden on Apr 9, 2011 at 12:42 PM
    I stopped listening and watching Beck a few years back. His comentaries "were" informative and interesting. In the last few years he has gone overboard preaching religion. Don't get me wrong, that's OK, in it's place. He should have continued to give us info that the typical media talkng head would not. Sorry Glenn, you need to know your audience.
  • by Obama Snake Oil Co Location: Washington on Apr 9, 2011 at 04:05 AM
    Do What? Good luck with all that hooey. You really have no clue as to what Beck is going to do? Even the left doesn't know and that is really great. They can speculate...but if you hate him now, get some depends, you will need them. Some of us want the facts and the sources that Beck brings, some of us (you) like being spoon fed info. Guess you are not ready for hard food yet. So good luck with the hope and love thing...Oh, Charlie Sheen? He is one of yours...liberal....suck it up. Are you going to the cowboy poetry reading fesival with Harry Reid?
  • by Anonymous on Apr 8, 2011 at 06:16 PM
    BECK IS NOT LEAVING FOX NOR HAS HE BEEN FIRED. He is moving on to a different project for FOX, hasnt CNN and MSNBC told you that?
  • by Obama Snake Oil Co Location: Washington on Apr 8, 2011 at 04:53 PM
    Do what? That is really interresting. I ain't crying baby...I am celebrating. You from mediamaters or movon? Here is a clue for ya...E4...another clue...would Fox fire the number 3 guy in cable when the rest of the networks be getting rid of number 19 and 27? You know math? I would suggest you find god and start praying...a lot. If you believe what he was saying was bull...I have a really good deal on the new 17 bypass in Washington! He has Soros on the ropes, spending millions of dollars on him and his advertisers...how many people would do that? You gettin this? Do I love Beck...let me count the ways...good luck with that..I respect him for the facts and the truth, a party your side cannot fathom. That is why I laugh when you go against him...cause you have no proof to disprove his facts and you hate it...you know its the truth or too lame to figure out you were fed from well used cat litter. So, if you want to attack Beck...good luck with that...if you attack OSOC, better have fact and you sir or madame..have none! Oh, one more thing...Charlie Sheen is one of yours...suck it up and so was the guy that shot the congresswoman Gethers...one of yours...have a campout with them and sing kum bye ya....
  • by Do what ? on Apr 8, 2011 at 02:11 PM
    OSOC,for at least 2 and 1/2 years been led by Beck.It's funny one poster criticizes the Dems for being so scared of a man that is full of bull such as Beck. It 's scary to think that we have people like OSOC that have have the ability to use a keyboard with such speed.OSOC loves Beck & have quoted from his program time & time again.He has spoken of him as the only legitimate source of news & a thinking man of genuis aptitude.He's hurting Obama Snake O Cry baby ..I mean CRY baby. Now we can go see him in person as I am sure he will follow the path of Charlie Sheen ( L O L ) during his own comedy stand up somewhere (L O L ). But he will not be in the money and hopefully he will no longer bring such shame to our country .I knew this man Beck was on his way out when one of his cronies fouled and said the TP really didn't what they wanted.Well they can support Beck now.Go get a job with Romney and help him finish the New Jeruselem
  • by A Supporter Location: NC on Apr 8, 2011 at 01:49 PM
    What a shame! I think all Beck's supporters should boycott the advertisers - the financial services firms. At least he was a fresh change from the normal liberal media.
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