Glenn Beck will end his daily Fox News Channel program later this year.
His departure was jointly announced on Wednesday by Fox and Mr. Beck’s company, Mercury Radio Arts. The companies said they would “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.”
As expected, a senior Fox News executive, Joel Cheatwood, will join Mr. Beck at Mercury Radio Arts.
The press release said Beck will “transition off of his daily program,” which seems like an odd euphemism for “leaving.”
The story is just breaking now, so relevant details — was Beck pushed out or did he leave? — are still unclear.
But given the larger context, Beck probably shouldn’t feel especially good about where he finds himself. The Republican cable news network let it be known weeks ago that it would gladly live without Beck when his contract expired in December. Indeed, his ratings are down sharply; his antics make it hard to find advertisers; and his radicalism makes the rest of the network appear ridiculous.
Beck has reportedly expressed an interest in leading a cable channel of his own, but if the guy can’t get advertisers now, and he’s on the most-watched cable news network in the country, it’s hard to imagine Beck would find sponsors for an entire network.
He has other options, but if Beck is still tethered to the real world at all, he’ll realize that his schtick is wearing thin. His audience is shrinking, his radio show is losing stations, his books aren’t selling well, and his live shows have fewer attendees. As career trajectories go, Beck appears to be well past his peak, and the clock seems to be inching ever closer to his 16th minute of fame.
Beck’s departure from Fox News will likely mean less publicity and a quicker departure from the public eye.
Given the toxicity he brings to the discourse, good riddance.