Fox News Might Dump Glenn Beck

Ratings drop as viewers turn back on depressing talk
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 7, 2011 3:28 AM CST
Updated Mar 7, 2011 7:19 AM CST

(Newser) – The Glenn Beck phenomenon has been, well, phenomenal since the "conjurer of conspiracies" made his Fox debut in 2009, turning the once moribund 5pm time slot into a ratings juggernaut. "But a funny thing happened on the way to the revolution," writes David Carr for the New York Times—those amazing ratings have suddenly nosedived, with Beck losing 30% of his viewers since August. And now Fox News executives "are willing to say—anonymously, of course ... that they are looking at the end of his contract in December and contemplating life without" Beck.

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"The problem with 'Glenn Beck' is that it has turned into a serial doomsday machine that’s a bummer to watch," writes Carr. Beck, alone in the studio, surrounded by cluttered chalkboards, "reminds me of an undergrad seminar on macroeconomics with an around-the-bend professor I didn’t particularly enjoy." Of course, even a declining Beck gets numbers most broadcasting pundits could only dream of, and he would probably do fine without Fox—he raked in some $30 million last year in revenue from books, talk radio show, stage performances, and other content. (Click for more from Beck, who called his radio show a "recipe for disaster.")

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