End of the road for Glenn Beck’s show

Glenn Beck: Turn out the lights, his party is over

Glenn Beck later this year will end his Fox News Channel talk show, which has sunk in the ratings and has suffered from 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 he 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 canceled,” Ailes said. “The other half say he quit. We’re pretty happy with both of them.”

Beck said he noted on his show Tuesday “how many times can I tell the (George) Soros story,” referring to the liberal donor 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.”

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.

“I will continue to tell the story and I will be showing other ways for us to connect,” he said.

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.” His supporters believe that the recent decline is more a reflection that ratings were abnormally high early last year.

“Call CNN and MSNBC and ask them if they’d like to have Glenn’s ratings at 5 in the afternoon,” Ailes 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.”

___

Fox is owned by News Corp.

Copyright © 2011 The Associated Press

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Comments

  1. >>“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.<<

    Some idiot? Only one, or one for each of the 400 advertisers? Pretty impressive either way. I wonder how I could garner that kind of blogging power?

    • Sandune

      Danny, there was no organized blog back in 1982. There were 8 thousand people living in a small village who got their first taste of television without an ounce of taste. From what my emails tells me, Beck makes people feel dirty when he spouts his religious crap at top volume.

      Beck, like Gingrich, has lived a live of sin and abusing others including several ex wives. The Evangelicals got them both by the balls and both have become manic in their new found personal self images. This occult stuff has been going on for thousands of years but only the last several decades has it gotten into our federal government.

      Beck is obsessed with government prohibitions ruling over women and gays. That has nothing to do with capitalism. It is easier to group many of us as something evil simply because we are better educated in economics. There are several here who are well educated in free enterprise but more who simply want to take what they want from the rich and feel it is there right. There are many who want no rights to be given to breeding women and homosexuals.

      This fight is not over but I am pulling away to work on legal ways to stop these religious nuts from changing the constitution to fit into their evangelical madness. I am delighted that enough people have contacted the products sold at Fox and will boycott the channel until they shape up. Internet blogs are useless and are simply a place where one can whine.

      I have had some success in my endeavors to get to the voters without any part of the internet., I pop in here basically because I have been here for a long time and have shared many opinions when I wrote for the home page.

      I belong to a number of groups who are working to stop the government from pushing a religious agenda on all Americans. I do this as an individual but my membership in “Americans United for the Separation of Church and State” is very active. I am a member of “California Equality” where again I will be working to put the ability for gays to marry back on the ballot. I worked for Prop 13 to put a limit on property taxes and in 1998 I worked with Congressman Bob Barr to stop the Federal ID cards that would contain all our medical information, crime records, education charts and nation of birth.

      I have no bone to pick with Beck until he starts demanding federal laws involving Christian doctrines be forced on all Americans. I find that issuing of labels on people who have never read to show your inability to find an agenda. I don’t need to find anyone to hate because my desk is full of actions to release Americans from the obsessions of the insane.

  2. Sandune

    Back in 1982 and my kids were all out of the nest and I bought a small commercial building on the central coast of California, I had my first television. Many of my customers would wander downtown, drop in to browse and discuss my books. It was my first exposure to Phil Donohue and confirmed my decision to keep this kine of crap away from my kids.

    I went through a culture shock that sent me into action against all sponsors of this degrading form of entertainment. I set up a form directed to sponsors and made many copies of this petition and discovered that many others felt the same way. It started a petition drive with copies sent to the home channel in New York. Whether it worked or not, Donohue was off the air.

    Now I see that the American people are still fed up with the impression that people like Glen Beck believe we are all evil and filled with sins. He preaches the same terrorism that many Christians have used in the past 2000 plus years. Many of the organized Christian sects have used the television to degrade and frighten American audiences and it easy to see where this form of terrorism got us into the Middle East. Beck wanted Babylon destroyed without regard to the historical value of the age of this center of culture.

    When our troops entered Iraq, they destroyed many relics of the history of both Islam and Christianity. This is common and the history books have described the destruction of all major centers of religion.

    Zealots like Beck are common in the history of nations who claim they follow the words of God. The name of that God doesn’t matter as killing is key word for winning.

    Today in D.C. we have another action of killing Americans who want individual freedoms and choices to be considered. I won’t go into the value of women’s health problems but I will work like hell to keep them active and, if necessary, financed by the government.

    I do not want the government to use a litmus test on what can be shown on any television or radio station. Product boycott is the American way.

    I read the biography of Roger Ailes and have been impressed with his ability to build a successful media combining all forms of news. Just sitting through some of the words of Beck shocked me in warning of the base lack of respect the LDS church has for humans.

    My mother went to BYU (Brigham Young University) with a family member named Romney. A more dedicated Mormon would have been hard to find and it opened my mother’s eyes that she was to give up her musical career and have more Mormon babies. Yes, the Romney family is closely related to the Pratt family whose history runs through my family tree.

    Of course this manic fear of hell and damnation is what stirs zealots like Beck and many who want prohibitions against any form of birth control.

    Did I bring Donohue down with an old wobbley ditto machine? I doubt it but we had a cocktail party in my store to celebrate the intelligence of many who buy and read books. No one ever asked me to boycott a product who sponsors Beck because I never managed to sit through an hour of his hysterics.

    Good for Roger Ailes!

    Never in my history of working for the Republican Party would I have ever thought about throwing their crazy asses out of power. I am there at this time. I want statements from all Republican candidates that they will support women’s rights and if they cannot afford breast x rays or blood work on their women’s bodies, they should be run out of D.C.

    • logtroll

      Beck isn’t a religious zealot.

      Unless free market capitalism has become a religion.

      Beck is a con man with a dumbass tv show that panders to folks who want something to hate so they can feel better about themselves.

      It’s all about fleecing the stupid for easy money.

    • Siannan

      If you think Roger Ailes actually fired Glenn Beck, then you really don’t know Roger Ailes well at all. Ailes would be pleased to keep in, and in point of fact, did keep him in spite of a 300 sponsor boycott. Glenn Beck was not fired from Fox Media, he left so he can make “documentaries” if his style of lunacy to be aired on Fox. And Mr. Ailes will happily play those “documentaries” because he loves Glenn Beck.