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The Glenn Beck/Fox News Fallout

With the news that Glenn Beck will be leaving Fox News Channel, critics, supporters and pundits are all weighing in on the matter.

The Daily Beast’s Howard Kurtz seems to have the most thorough account about what happened:

Despite his monster ratings, Fox News is bidding farewell to Glenn Beck as tensions between the incendiary host and the top-rated cable news channel have led to a near-total divorce.

I say near-total because the two sides announced a deal Wednesday in which Beck’s production company will produce occasional content for Fox. But this is believed to amount to a only handful of specials, and many senior Fox executives are relieved to be rid of Beck, whose ratings have dropped 40 percent, and even more sharply among younger viewers. He was not offered a new contract.

Beck, too, has tired of the friction with Fox and is said by people close to him to be happy to end the partnership.

Elsewhere, the NY Times Brian Stelter writes about Beck’s future:

Mr. Beck has been contemplating an exit from Fox for some time. Two of the post-Fox options he has considered, according to people who have spoken about it with him, are a partial or wholesale takeover of a cable channel, or an expansion of his subscription video service on the Web. His company has been staffing up — making Web shows, some of which have little or nothing to do with Mr. Beck, and charging a monthly subscription for access to the shows.

Two groups that have been vocal opponents of Beck let their feelings be known in statements.

“After losing more than 300 advertisers and seeing more than 1,000,000 viewers abandon his show the only surprise is that it took Fox News months to reach this decision,” said Media Matters founder David Brock in a statement. “Fox now has to choose: will it eliminate all violent rhetoric from the network – not just during the 5PM hour? And will the network make a commitment to end its role as a political operation masquerading as a news station?”

“ColorOfChange strongly applauds Glenn Beck’s departure from the Fox News Channel,” said ColorOfChange executive director James Rucker. “Over 285,000 ColorOfChange members have participated in our campaign against him since it began in July 2009. Because of them, Beck’s show lost over 300 advertisers – companies that were unwilling to attach their products and brands to his vitriolic and divisive commentary. Fox News Channel clearly understands that Beck’s increasingly erratic behavior is a liability to their ratings and their bottom line, and we are glad to see them take this action.”

Former MSNBC host Keith Olbermann took to his blog to discuss Beck’s departure:

Whatever show(s) he does, whatever Beckian Stamp Of Batcrap Crazy Nonsense he produces, whatever he sells for $19.95 a pop, whatever hour is the 60 minutes of Revelation – whatever The Plan is – he’s got a big problem now.

It’ll be on against Fox News.

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