Glenn Beck has finally revealed why he left Fox News. He wanted to save his soul.
On Friday, Beck accepted a Disruptive Innovation Award at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City for his pioneering innovation with his Blaze media network. Controversial though he may be, Beck is often recognized by media analysts and industry figures for his groundbreaking talents in media.
But none of it would have been possible if he hadn’t left Fox News.
Sharing some rare insight into his career as a cable news anchor during a live interview at the NYU Stern School of Business, Beck finally revealed why he really left Fox News behind.
“If you stay in it too long, you become Norma Desmond,” Beck said. “I remember feeling, ‘If you do not leave now, you won’t leave with your soul intact.’”
Beck recalled a conversation with Fox boss Roger Ailes. Though it has been long thought that Ailes was anxious to get rid of the controversial Beck, he actually encouraged him to stay.
A Fox News spokesperson pushed back in an email to Politico’s Mike Allen, saying, "Glenn Beck wasn’t trying to save his soul, he was trying to save his ass. Advertisers fled his show and even Glenn knows what that means in our industry. Yet, we still tried to give him a soft landing. Guess no good deed goes unpunished."
Beck left Fox News after a tumultuous two and a half years at the network. He drew high ratings, but his tenure wasn’t without its share of controversy. Advertisers dropped Beck’s show en masse after he called President Obama a racist, and tensions between Beck’s camp and Fox News grew over other issues.
The two groups decided to part ways in 2011. Beck’s comments on Friday echoed remarks he has made before. "I’m so sick and tired of being in the system," he said when leaving Fox News. "I’m not going to play the game anymore.”