Glenn Beck and Fox News announced today that Beck’s daily afternoon TV program would end when his current contract runs out in December. According to their press release, “Glenn intends to transition off his daily program, the third highest rated in all of cable news, later this year.” He’s supposed to continue producing occasional special programs for the network. Despite this arrangement, and the fact that his current contract will run its course, various media outlets have been reporting he’s “out” of Fox News, or has been “fired.”
Beck’s program has always been a solid performer for the network, but according to a report at Media Bistro, he’s had “troubles with the advertising community.” There have been more or less constant efforts to boycott Beck for years. He’s been at war with Color of Change, the group co-founded by the unsavory Van Jones. The New York Times quotes executive director James Rucker: “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.” At least Beck managed to hang onto his job for two years longer than Van Jones did.
There have long been rumors of unease between Beck and the Fox brass over the way he runs his show, which is not surprising when a big corporation had to deal with an outspoken and spontaneous personality. I never have problems like that, because I enjoy the unconditional love and support of my editors, and also I have carte blanche, which is French for “caller ID.” **
Curiously, the Fox announcement brought celebration from Media Matters, a service founded by billionaire George Soros to prepare transcripts of Beck’s show. Perhaps they are confident they can re-task all the stenographers who used to work the Beck beat.
“After losing more than 300 advertisers and seeing more than 1,000,000 viewers abandon his show the only surprise is that it took Fox News months to reach this decision,” said Media Matters honcho David Brock. “Fox News now has to choose: will it eliminate all violent rhetoric from the network – not just during the 5PM hour? And will the network make a commitment to end its role as a political operation masquerading as a news station?” The world then went back to ignoring Brock, who consoled himself by setting a little pile of Soros’ money on fire and reading death threats sent to Republican politicians by union thugs.
Beck will surely land on his feet. He’s got a huge radio show and best-selling books to keep him busy until one of the apocalypses he’s been waiting for arrives. Then he’ll be glad he’s got that extra hour open in his afternoons to deal with the end of the world. As for Fox, they’ve got an hour to fill, come December. If they want to beat their ratings down to MSNBC levels, I hear Katie Couric will be available.
** if you can still read this, my editors thought that was funny.