In a lengthy cover story in this Sunday’s New York Times Magazine, Mark Leibovitch profiles Fox News Channel’s Glenn Beck.
The article goes into Beck’s background and professional history, most of it probably old news to fans and TV news watchers, but there are also a few juicy pieces of information spelled out. One which has been rumored for some time involves the relationship between Beck and FNC, particularly as it relates to Beck’s non-FNC projects.
The cross-promotion can be a sore spot at Fox News, particularly for its president, Roger Ailes, who has complained about Beck’s hawking his non-Fox ventures too much on his Fox show. Ailes has communicated this to Beck himself and through intermediaries. It goes to a larger tension between Fox News and Beck in what has been a mutually beneficial relationship. Ailes, a former Republican media guru, runs his top-rated cable-news network like a sharp-edged campaign, speaking with a single voice and — ideally — for the benefit solely of Fox News’s bottom line…
Ailes, who declined to comment for this article, has generally been supportive of Beck. But he has also been vocal around the network about how Beck does not fully appreciate the degree to which Fox News has made him the sensation he has become in recent months. In the days following Beck’s Lincoln Memorial rally, which by Beck’s estimate drew a half-million people, Ailes told associates that if Beck were still at Headline News, there would have been 30 people on the Mall.
There is no doubt that Beck brings a lot of value to Fox, with his dominant ratings and surging popularity. But the company has always been big on home-grown talent, and keeping as much of the profits in-house as possible. Beck’s FNC salary is only a small part of his overall income, putting him into an unusual situation for hosts on the channel.
TVNewser will have more on the profile later.