Glenn Beck's show on Fox News to end

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Glenn Beck's show on Fox News to end

PostPosted by verdilak » Fri Apr 08, 2011 5:49 am

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/television/2014704802_beck07.html wrote:Completing a swift rise and fall from TV stardom, controversial host Glenn Beck will lose his once-popular Fox News show later this year, the network announced Wednesday.

Hired away from CNN's Headline News in 2008, Beck found a home at Fox News, giving voice to disaffected Americans who were deeply troubled by President Obama's election. He reached as many as 3 million viewers on some nights, setting time-slot records for Fox.

Although his ratings have since declined — he averaged 1.9 million viewers in March — he still dominates the 5 p.m. hour among the cable news networks and was a signpost for the populist tea-party movement and drew thousands of people to the National Mall in Washington last August for a "restoring honor" rally.

He increasingly pursued a hard-to-follow agenda that many found too conspiracy-minded. He also chafed his bosses at Fox News, who faulted him for spending too much time on his far-flung business operations and not enough on honing his TV presentation.

Both sides cobbled together a diplomatically worded statement Wednesday that noted Beck would "transition off" his daily program but stressed that the host and Fox News had reached a new deal for future, as-yet-unspecified projects. Joel Cheatwood, a senior Fox News executive, was hired away to help run Beck's company, Mercury Radio Arts.

Beck — a cherubic, salt-and-pepper-haired longtime radio host who has compared himself to a rodeo clown — grew up in Mount Vernon, where his parents ran a bakery. He spent three years in Bellingham at Sehome High, graduating in 1982.

The program is expected to wrap up sometime this summer, though an exact date was not announced. Beck hosts a morning radio program that is syndicated to hundreds of stations.

Roger Ailes, the Fox News chairman and chief executive who until recently had overridden doubts about Beck among his subordinates, said in the statement: "Glenn Beck is a powerful communicator, a creative entrepreneur and a true success by anybody's standards."

Because of an aggressive advertiser boycott after Beck dubbed President Obama a racist, analysts professed little surprise. Increasingly, the show began to be dominated by Beck standing in front of a chalk board giving his theories of the world's troubles.

"He was spending a lot of time just talking in front of his blackboard," said Jeffrey McCall, professor of media studies at DePauw University. "Guests were less frequently involved."

Among Beck's targets has been liberal billionaire philanthropist George Soros, whom Beck linked to Nazi atrocities in Soros' native Hungary during World War II. Beck's comments about Soros last fall drew denunciations from Jewish groups.

News of Beck's ouster was greeted with jubilation among his liberal critics.

"His behavior went from erratic to completely unhinged," said Ari Rabin-Havt, executive vice president of Media Matters, a liberal watchdog group that has long attacked Beck.

Many executives at Fox News reportedly felt that Beck was never a good fit with the channel, which includes programming that appeals to more mainstream conservatives.

Beck devoted more time to so-called "black helicopter" conspiracy theorists who view government agencies as allied with shadowy business and tech interests determined to manipulate the lives of ordinary people.

Beck, who outlined on Wednesday's show his reasons for believing that "we're heading into deep and treacherous waters," told his viewers at the end of the show that his Fox talk show would conclude.

Beck supporters presented a picture of planted stories about his declining ratings, constant sniping and discomfort with his ability to build a career outside the Fox News brand.

Rupert Murdoch, the chairman of the News Corp., which runs Fox News, recently said of the advertiser boycott: "They don't boycott watching it. We're getting incredible numbers."

Beck is known to have contemplated an expansion of his subscription website and a takeover of a cable channel in whole or in part.

However, Beck has built a powerful brand for himself through a daily radio show, books and personal appearances. His company operates a 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 his radio show.



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