Updated: Glenn Beck is out at Fox News Channel.
Beck’s Mercury Radio Arts and FNC have reached a deal which will see Beck “transition off of his daily program” later in 2011.
Beck’s much-reported troubles with the advertising community are believed to play a role in the decision.
Nonetheless, News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch has on a few occasions defended Beck and his program from advertiser issues, including in a call with shareholders last year:
One wanted to know how long Fox News would “subsidize” the show, which is “filled with house ads.”
“It’s not subsidizing the show at all,” Murdoch fired back, adding that the theatrical Beck gives “a terrific kickoff” to the Fox News evening lineup.
Of course, advertisers like Goldline are not paying the same CPMs that FNC’s other major advertisers were paying, so eventually something would have to give.
As Beck’s ratings have declined over the last year, the economics became even dicier. He may have the number three show in cable news, but without strong advertiser support, it is hard to be sustainable long term.
The deal also includes a production and development deal, which will have Beck and FNC “work together to develop and produce a variety of television projects for air on the FOX News Channel (FNC) as well as content for other platforms including FOX News’ digital properties.”
“Glenn Beck is a powerful communicator, a creative entrepreneur and a true success by anybody’s standards,” said FNC CEO Roger Ailes in a statement. ” I look forward to continuing to work with him.”
I truly believe that America owes a lot to Roger Ailes and FOX News,” said Beck in a statement. “I cannot repay Roger for the lessons I’ve learned and will continue to learn from him and I look forward to starting this new phase of our partnership.”
More, along with the official announcement from Fox News and Mercury Radio Arts is after the jump.
In addition to the development deal, Beck has plenty to fall back on, including his syndicated radio show, his books and websites. His FNC contract is believed to be only a small part of his yearly earnings.
If he were to try and start his own cable channel, he would face a number of challenges, as we outlined here. Perhaps most significant: if Beck goes to another TV network, he will be competing directly against Fox News, and competing for the same viewers. That is not a situation either side would take lightly.
FOX NEWS AND MERCURY RADIO ARTS ANNOUNCE NEW AGREEMENT
NEW YORK— FOX News and Mercury Radio Arts, Glenn Beck’s production company, are proud to announce that they will work together to develop and produce a variety of television projects for air on the FOX News Channel (FNC) as well as content for other platforms including FOX News’ digital properties. Glenn intends to transition off of his daily program, the third highest rated in all of cable news, later this year.
Roger Ailes, Chairman and CEO of FOX News said, “Glenn Beck is a powerful communicator, a creative entrepreneur and a true success by anybody’s standards. I look forward to continuing to work with him.”
Glenn Beck said, “I truly believe that America owes a lot to Roger Ailes and FOX News. I cannot repay Roger for the lessons I’ve learned and will continue to learn from him and I look forward to starting this new phase of our partnership.”
Joel Cheatwood, SVP/Development at FOX News, will be joining Mercury Radio Arts effective April 24, 2011. Part of his role as EVP will be to manage the partnership and serve as a liaison with FOX News.
Ailes said, “Joel is a good friend and one of the most talented and creative executives in the business. Over the past four years I have consistently valued his input and advice and that will not stop as we work with him in his new role.”
“Glenn Beck” is consistently the third highest rated program on cable news. For the 27 months that “Glenn Beck” has aired on FOX News, the program has averaged more than 2.2 million total viewers and 563,000 viewers 25-54 years old, numbers normally associated with shows airing in primetime, not at 5pm. “Glenn Beck” has dominated all of its cable news competitors since launch.
About FOX News
FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour general news service covering breaking news as well as political, business and entertainment news. For more than 100 consecutive months, FNC has been the most-watched cable news channel in the country. Owned by News Corp., FNC is available in more than 90 million homes.
About Mercury Radio Arts
Mercury Radio Arts is Glenn Beck’s fully integrated multi-media production company. Mercury produces or co-produces all Glenn Beck related properties including The Glenn Beck Program, America’s third highest-rated radio show, Beck’s New York Times bestselling books, his live stage-show business, destination website GlennBeck.com, and news and information service TheBlaze.com. Founded in 2002, Mercury has a full time staff of 50 employees and is based in New York, NY.