Glenn Beck ends speculation, cancels Fox News show

Ending increasing speculation about the fate of his controversial daily show at Fox News, Glenn Beck announced Wednesday that he was ending his three-year run. The show will go off the air “later this year” according to a release. It will no doubt continue to rivet millions of Americans, light up the blogosphere and provide talk-show hosts with a long list of material for satire each day until then.

From the release:

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 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.”

Beck’s dropping ratings still wow. His show pulled in roughly 3 million viewers per day at its height and dropped to a still breathtaking 2 million in January. Beck’s signature emotive style tied to trademark right-wing conspiracy speculation and a popularizer’s loose hand at history had grown even more pronounced in recent weeks, giving media fact checkers more material than usual to work through.

Beck struggled for days to persuade with a sweeping theory about how the populist democratic uprisings in the Middle East would end in a caliphate-communist world takeover.

This week, against the backdrop of the battle over collective bargaining in Wisconsin, he used the occasion of the anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr to try to pull the historic figure away from the cause of labor.

King was killed in Memphis where he had come to rally support for sanitary public works employees represented by the local chapter of the national municipal employees union. The workers had been on strike for two weeks and sought higher wages and better treatment from management. King had long tied the cause of racial justice to the cause of labor rights.

“Negroes are almost entirely a working people…. Our needs are identical with labor’s needs: decent wages, fair working conditions, livable housing, old-age security, health and welfare measures, conditions in which families can grow, have education for their children and respect in the community,” he said in a 1961 speech to the AFL CIO.

Hat tip for a second time this morning to Weigel and to the Crooks and Liars.

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