Glenn Beck is "transitioning off" his daily show on Fox News. The controversial host announced the change on his site The Blaze, and the rush of traffic apparently brought the site down. Beck may take his show somewhere else.
Beck was ubiquitous for a while--best-selling books, a radio show, a website, a gig shilling for gold, and his own rally of 100,000 on the National Mall last August. But Beck's ratings have been on the decline. In January, Beck's show faced the biggest loss of audience of any cable news show--dropping 1.8 million viewers, or 39 percent, from a year earlier. And he lost 48 percent of his 25 to 54 demographic, Business Insider's Glynnis MacNicol reports. Beck's ratings were low enough in Milwaukee that the local radio station that carried his show announced it was dropping him Tuesday; Beck was getting "trounced" in the ratings by conservative talker Charlie Sykes.
Earlier this month, The New York Times' David Carr reported on Fox and Beck's potential divorce. Since Beck's the high point of his Washington rally, Beck's audience erosion has been "significant enough that Fox News officials are willing to say--anonymously, of course; they don’t want to be identified as criticizing the talent--that they are looking at the end of his contract in December and contemplating life without Mr. Beck." Carr notes that Fox and Beck "were never great friends to start with: Mr. Beck came to Fox with a huge radio show and had been on CNN Headline News, so he did not owe his entire career to Fox and frequently went off-message."
His show lost 300 advertisers thanks to his headline-grabbing antics, like saying President Obama had "a deep-seated hatred for white people." But what might have really done Beck in, Carr suggests, was all that doomsday talk--it made the show "a bummer to watch."
In an unusual meeting of the minds, both Stephen Colbert and Bill O'Reilly predicted the move. Monday, O'Reilly told Don Imus that he wasn't sure Beck would still be at Fox when his contract ran out at the end of the year:
Beck didn't contradict O'Reilly, instead pointing to Media Matters' flagging of the comments as more proof the site is trying to "destroy" him. Colbert, on the other hand, made his prediction more colorfully, by announcing a coming "GlennPocalypse."
Here's Beck's full press release.
FOX NEWS AND MERCURY RADIO ARTS ANNOUNCE NEW AGREEMENT
(New York, NY) 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.
Roger Ailes, Chairman and CEO of Fox News said, “Glenn Beck is a powerful communicator, a creative entrepreneur and a true success by anybody’s standards. I look forward to continuing to work with him. ” 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.”
Joel Cheatwood, SVP/Development at Fox News, will be joining Mercury Radio Arts effective April 24, 2011. Part of his role as EVP will be to manage the partnership and serve as a liaison with the Fox News Channel. Roger Ailes said: “Joel is a good friend and one of the most talented and creative executives in the business. Over the past four years I have consistently valued his input and advice and that will not stop as we work with him in his new role.” “Glenn Beck” is consistently the third highest rated program on cable news.
For the 27 months that “Glenn Beck” has aired on Fox News, the program has averaged more than 2.2 million total viewers and 563,000 viewers 25-54 years old, numbers normally associated with shows airing in primetime, not at 5pm. “Glenn Beck” has dominated all of its cable news competitors since launch.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.