After two and a half years on his popular Fox News program, Glenn Beck finished his final show on Thursday with as much fondness for old memories as optimism for the future and his new venture – an online station called GBTV.
“I am leaving, because I said on my radio program this week, I'm giving up on admiring the problem. I've given up on the problem, in fact. I'm focused on the solution,” Beck said during the live broadcast. He later added, “I didn't run away from something. I'm running to something. I know exactly where I'm supposed to be.”
On an earlier broadcast from April 22, Beck said he was tired of waiting for someone to lead and it was time for him as a citizen to get involved in changing America. At Fox what he was “doing is preaching to the choir it seems,” said Beck.
Another reason he offered for leaving the station and starting his own is that the show has become a movement and it doesn’t belong on television. "It belongs in your homes, in your neighborhoods – not on TV,” he said.
Beck, a Mormon, has been one of the most polarizing, and sometimes most mocked, figures in television in his few years with Fox News. The Christian Post previously reported how he outraged evangelical Christians once when he urged them to leave churches that promote “social justice,” associating the term with both communism and fascism. Some organizations, such as the multi-faith online community Faithful America, called for a boycott of the show.
The Associated Press reports that, at its height back in January of 2009, Beck's show was averaging about 2.9 million viewers per day. He has since lost a lot of that popularity, and his reputation took a blow when he said that President Barack Obama had a “deep-seeded hatred for white people” on his show back in July of 2009, causing over 400 advertisers to boycott the program. So far this year he's averaged 1.86 million viewers per day.
Despite these problems, and increased tension over the last few months between Beck and his employer, he only had positive things to say about Fox News president Roger Ailes. “There's never a smarter guy I'm going to work with than Roger Ailes. Never,” he said.
On his morning radio show yesterday he also seemed to hint that a lack of honesty was something that bothered him about cable networks, highlighting Mark Halperin's indefinite suspension from MSNBC for calling President Obama an offensive name. “I'm more offended that you're apologizing for something that you actually believe,” said Beck said. “Say it. That's why these systems are going to fail.”
Beck is leaving Fox News for GBTV, an online, pay-to-view station that is set to launch on Sept. 12 of this year and will broadcast his new live show that will be available through a number of digital devices. Users will have the option between purchasing a standard or an upgraded “plus” package, which gives people the ability to view exclusive documentaries and a video broadcast of his radio program, among other benefits.