Is the weight of carrying Glenn Beck becoming too much of a burden for FOX News?
According to a New York Times report, FOX News officials are saying on condition of anonymity that they are contemplating letting the conservative talk host go in December when his contract is up.
The main problem seems to be his diminishing ratings. While he’s still pulling in a respectable amount of viewers for cable TV at about two million viewers an episode, he has lost a third of his viewership since last August — more than any other hosts on the network. That trend isn’t encouraging for the network, especially if it continues.
There are a couple other reasons they would consider letting go of their most popular television personality. There’s the risk he poses to the network’s journalistic integrity. Beck has made several controversial statements on-air including the recent comments comparing Reform Judaism to Islamic Extremism. And he’s making it increasingly difficult for the network to defend its “fair and balanced” motto. Plus, his sensationalism has driven about 300 advertisers from the show.
Add to that Beck’s already strained relationship with network executives dating back to his arrival at the network in 2009 and one can imagine that it doesn’t take much more than diminishing ratings and embarrassing controversies for the network to decide to pull the plug on him.
It would seem to us like Beck may have gotten word of the shaky ground on which he’s treading. On Wednesday’s show, the host delivered his bosses some pretty glowing commendations.
“Two years ago, I was on a cable channel that no one was watching at the time,” Beck says. “Doing a show that no one was watching, and I was about to leave television. And then I had the opportunity to come and work here. If you’re going to do news or commentary, the only place, I think in the world, the only place that really makes an impact is FOX.”
Too little, too late?