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Glenn Beck to Leave Fox News Program

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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.


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