“Half of the headlines say he’s been canceled,” Ailes said. “The other half say he quit. We’re pretty happy with both of them.”
B&C looked into the possibility that Beck could launch a syndicated show, as Katie Couric is said to be considering (spoiler: don’t bet on it):
While Fox News and Beck are parting ways, the host’s clear conservative bent makes him an unlikely prospect to host a syndicated talk show, say several syndicators.
Beck’s representatives actively reached out to potential distributors about a year ago, said one source, but found no interest at that time.
In general, highly political candidates, such as Huckabee or Sarah Palin, are a tough sell. Stations in conservative markets might be highly receptive to someone like Palin, while station managers in liberal markets would refuse to pick the show up.
Even talk-show queen Oprah Winfrey ran into ratings trouble after she endorsed then-Senator Barack Obama (D-Ill.) to become president of the United States.
Elsewhere, The LA Times talked to a media studies professor about the move:
“His show had become tired,” said Jeffrey McCall, professor of media studies at DePauw University. “He was spending a lot of time just talking in front of his blackboard. Guests were less frequently involved.
“The ratings drop was significant and couldn’t be ignored,” McCall continued. “The advertiser boycott didn’t hurt the program or FNC as much in terms of dollars as it did in terms of bad publicity. Beck was no longer just a personality with a show on FNC. He became an easy target for Fox News critics to characterize him as representative of the entire channel.”
The NY Timeshas more on the relationship between FNC and Beck:
But at that studio, he was unhappy from almost his first day on the job, which happened to be the day before Mr. Obama was inaugurated. Even in his first year, he was contemplating an exit from Fox and wondering if he could start his own channel.
Beck supporters presented a picture of constant sniping, planted stories about his declining ratings, and discomfort with his ability to build a career for himself outside the Fox News brand.