This afternoon, Fox News host Glenn Beck will sign off the cable channel, moving his show to his web-TV channel, GBTV. To mark the occasion, Beck has been the subject of a slew of articles today, recapping his career and attempting to gaze into the crystal ball for what is next.
Updated with a story from the AP and Beck’s producer (!!) after the jump.
The Baltimore Sun’s David Zurawik–who often defends Fox News from criticism from other media critics–feels no love for Beck:
When Glenn Beck signs off today at the end of his last Fox News cablecast, he will leave a TV legacy of reckless, divisive and ugly speech in his wake. He and Fox News should both feel some shame for the harm they have done to the national political discourse — how they have taken an hour of dinnertime each weeknight and used it to help polarize us with paranoid and angry words.
Who would have guessed that an anchor in the 5pm time slot could generate so much attention but he sure did. He managed to get everyone talking about him. Almost every journalist I ran into from other news organizations asked me about him.
Salon’s Alex Pareene is skeptical that the GBTV will have an immediate impact:
Beck isn’t really completely going away, of course, but his new narrow-casting model ensures that only his followers most enamored with his constant operatic self-aggrandizement will pay him much mind going forward. MediaMatters may sign up for a subscription to his new video news service, but I definitely won’t.
The Cutline’s Dylan Stableford and Joe Pompeo write about Beck’s sometimes contentious relationship with Fox News, and his plans for GBTV. They also get a statement from Beck:
“GBTV is the future and I couldn’t be more excited to get started,” said Beck. “It seems like everything we have been doing at Mercury for the past few years has been leading to the launch of GBTV. As I keep telling my staff, GBTV is a verb–we don’t want couch potatoes, we want active engagement from our viewers and will provide them with shows that encourage just that.”
The AP’s David Bauder gives an overview of the situation:
Fox and Beck headed for a divorce, their relationship largely soured by control issues. Beck has set up his own diversified business, as he makes speeches, writes books and owns a website along with GBTV, which is run by a former Fox executive.
Beck’s producer, Stu Burguiere, gives an in-depth defense of Beck’s ratings at FNC:
Since the final show has finally come, let’s look at the truth. To be thorough, we’ll examine every conceivable way that you could measure ratings success. Whenever possible, I’ll use January 2011/1st quarter numbers, because they offer the least favorable comparisons for us. This is insanely lengthy, but I figured I’d do it once and get it over with.
In the short term, Beck will be a part of a special preview of GBTV this evening at 6:30, where he will be interviewed by GBTV correspondent Raj Nair.