First on TVNewser: Tipsters inside Fox News tell us Glenn Beck’s vacation this week from his Fox News show was not planned. We hear Beck was told to take this week off to let some of the heat surrounding him die down. That heat began July 28 on “Fox & Friends” when Beck said he thought Pres. Obama has “a deep-seated hatred for white people,” adding, “This guy is, I believe, a racist.”
In the days and weeks that followed an organization called ColorofChange.org mobilized an effort to get advertisers to pull their spots from Beck’s show. Earlier this month, a Fox News spokesperson told TVNewser that the advertisers simply moved their spots from Beck to other programs, “so there has been no revenue lost.”
But the list of advertisers grew to 20 and so did the resolve inside FNC that something more should be done.
A Fox News spokesperson denied our accounts and simply told us, “Glenn Beck will back on Monday.” But several sources inside FNC confirm that this is a forced vacation.
Insiders note the ColorofChange movement is new territory for FNC. Other opinion hosts, including Sean Hannity, have not experienced an advertiser backlash.
The cooling off period this week seems to be working. The opinion coming from media watchers is that, in the end, Beck’s not going anywhere, that he’s too valuable to Fox News right now. Others have written that these advertiser boycotts don’t work in the first place.
Beck’s show Monday was taped, while Judge Napolitano has been sitting in this week. And, what does Beck have to say about all this? We’ll see on Monday when he returns to the Fox News airwaves.
• Earlier on TVNewser:
• Aug. 6: Beck’s Racist Comment Moves Advertisers Elsewhere
• Aug. 14: More Companies Pull Ads from Beck; Counter Campaign Set Up
> Update: Sources close to Beck have contacted TVNewser denying that this was a forced vacation. Beck’s personal publicist Matthew Hiltzik forwarded us an email dated July 14th sent by Christopher Balfe, President & COO of Mercury Radio Arts and General Manager of Beck’s radio show, addressed to Mercury Radio employees reading:
Glenn will be off of radio & TV the week of August 17th, returning to air August 24th.
Contrary to that, our tipsters tell us it was Beck himself who was telling Fox staffers last week that he was “forced to take the week off.”
> Update: Hiltzik tells TVNewser: “It’s sad and disappointing that despite denials from all parties involved — Fox and Glenn — and with objective proof that plans were made months ago, that someone continues to peddle this completely bogus story.”