A reader sent this in. It’s currently hanging in the lobby at News Corps headquarters in midtown Manhattan directly off the main elevator bank. Doesn’t look like he’s on his way out does it?
Mediaite is reporting that current Fox exec (and the man responsible for bringing Beck to HLN) Joel Cheatwood will be leaving Fox when his contract expires and joining Beck’s Mercury Radio Arts production company.
This follows the NYT’s fairly transparent story on Fox’s impatience with Beck’s ratings.
Beck’s contract with Fox is up at the end of the year, and presumably this hire is a move on Beck’s part to make clear he needs Fox less than they need him.
As has been noted before Beck’s relationship with Fox has been a tumultuous one — Beck employs his own public relations firm outside of Fox’s (in)famous in-house PR team, which is to say he is not necessarily subject to the tight reins Fox execs like to keep their stars under.
Moreover his office is housed down the block from News Corps’ building in Mercury’s HQ (also where his broadcasts his radio show from). So to say Beck has kept one foot out the door at Fox is correct both literally and figuratively.
Needless to say both Fox and Beck would likely be fine without eachother. As I’ve mentioned before the majority of Beck’s income comes from sources other than his Fox show — it’s hard to imagine a media figure better set up to go out on their own.
That said, it’s also hard to imagine Beck and Fox tossing away such a mutually profitable relationship. Instead, probably better to prepare for another nine months of public “negotiations” such as what we’ve been seeing over the last few weeks. (Update: Fox returns fire.)
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