After weeks of rumors about poor ratings and increasing concern at Fox News headquarters over Beck’s apocalyptic ranting, it’s finally official — Glenn Beck is ending his daily show on Fox. An announcement posted on his website today, but then taken down without explanation, said:
Fox News and Mercury Radio Arts, Glenn Beck’s production company, are proud to announce that they will work together to develop and produce a variety of television projects for air on the Fox News Channel as well as content for other platforms including Fox News’ digital properties. Glenn intends to transition off of his daily program, the third highest rated in all of cable news, later this year. […]
Glenn Beck said: “I truly believe that America owes a lot to Roger Ailes and Fox News. I cannot repay Roger for the lessons I’ve learned and will continue to learn from him and I look forward to starting this new phase of our partnership.”
The statement did not indicate an end date for the show.
Beck entered the year without one-third of his earlier audience. Only months into his show, advertisers began deserting his program, and pressure by liberal groups resulted in a loss of nearly 300 advertisers during the course of his show.
Last month, Fox News officials told the New York Times anonymously that they were “contemplating life without Mr. Beck.” The Times also reported that “[m]any on the news side of Fox have wondered whether his chronic outrageousness — he suggested that the president has ‘a deep-seated hatred for white people’ — have made it difficult for Fox to hang onto its credibility as a news network.”
That seems like a reasonable concern. Just yesterday, here’s what Beck used his show to assert:
— Union leaders are communists, socialists, or revolutionaries who want destruction of “western way of life” [04/05/11]
— Maybe Obama decided to try suspects at Guantanamo to inflame the Islamic world [04/05/11]
— Obama is “merely a player” in a globalist, Islamist show [04/05/11]
— Showing images of Obama, SEIU, and others, Beck says he “would put a lot of these people in jail.” [04/05/11]
— Beck somehow linked 9/11 to Wisconsin election, budget cuts [04/05/11]
— Smeared students protesting in Wisconsin as Lenin’s “useful idiots” [04/05/11]
Beck’s rants earlier this year, in which he tried to connect uprisings in the Middle East to a rising Islamic takeover, abetted by liberal groups in the United States, even provoked the ire of fellow conservatives and Fox personalities like Bill Kristol, who characterized Beck’s rants as “fearfulness unworthy of Americans.”
Yesterday on his radio show, Beck foreshadowed this announcement by telling his listeners that if he left Fox News, “don’t you ever believe” that the liberal watchdog Media Matters “caused a victory.” Perhaps that’s true — only Glenn himself is to blame for creating a show so radically divorced from reality that even Fox News couldn’t handle it.