(Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Following weeks of speculation, Fox News announced Wednesday that The Glenn Beck Show will be leaving the network later this year.
Glenn Beck, the fiery conservative host who never missed an opportunity to blast President Obama and who also indulged in conspiracy theories on his program (once urging viewers to hoard food in preparation for a shortage), will “transition” off his daily show to work with Fox News “to develop and produce a variety of television projects for air on the FOX News Channel (FNC) as well as content for other platforms,” Fox and Beck’s production company said in a joint press release Wednesday afternoon.
When the show first hit the air in 2009, ratings were through the roof, and viewers were coming to the network in droves. But more recently his ratings have taken a hit, falling from 2.8 million viewers to 1.8 million over the past year.
After calling Obama a racist on air in the summer of 2009, hundreds of advertisers pulled their commercials from his program, making him look more and more like a liability to Fox News.
Still, his influence over Republicans is evident. Though his popularity overall has waned, Beck managed to get almost 90,000 people to attend his “Restore America” rally in Washington D.C. last August. His anti-Obama rhetoric might have even influenced some at the polls last November, when the GOP made huge gains in Congress. Now, with him leaving several months ahead of the 2012 presidential elections, it’ll be interesting to see who will rise to fill his void.