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.
“At the end, when we were leaving, it was a long process,” he said. “Roger said to me, ‘You’re not going to leave.’ And I said, ‘I am.’ And he said, ‘Nobody does,’ meaning leave television….And I said, ‘I’m fortunate because I haven’t been in it that long.’ I knew what this big, huge Fox empire brought to the table, and I had to leave before I became too enamored of that.”
Beck, you may recall, also used to work at CNN, hosting a prime time show for nearly three years.
“I used to call it the Pit of Despair,” he said of his spot, which overlooked CNN producers working below him, “because there are all these people plunking out stories like, ‘I just want to hang myself, I just want to hang myself.'”
Beck believes that cable news is dying, and makes a lot more money with Blaze than he did anywhere else. But if he could be enticed back to TV to save cable news, what would he do?
“I’d fire a lot of people,” he says. “A lot of people.”
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