Glenn Beck is officially leaving Fox.
What we don’t know yet is when. Regardless of Beck’s difficult relationship with the network, and his recent dip in ratings, his loss will be felt. Hugely felt.
So who will Fox replace Beck with. Needless to say there is no one out there who can command the sort of ratings Beck pulled in during the 5pm slot, but they’re going to have to find someone!
So, with that in mind, here’s our top choices.
Megyn Kelly is Fox's new big star. She burst onto the scene after Fox gave her her own afternoon show -- America Live -- when she returned from maternity leave in February 2010. Kelly is about leave again to have her second child, giving Fox just enough time to clear the hour after Beck's departure and have it ready for Kelly's return.
Who doesn't want to see more Shep. Shepard Smith already hosts two weekday news shows on Fox, The Fox Report with Shepard Smith at 7 and hugely popular Studio B at 3pm. Subsequently it's unclear how or if they'd give him another hour unless they shuffled the entire afternoon schedule. But shuffling is definitely possible. One imagines no one is married to Neil Cavuto at 4pm.
Charlie Gasparino, currently a senior correspondent for the Fox Business Network, is perhaps most famous for his aggressive and combative style and his juicy reporting skills (i.e. he's unafraid to report rumours). Business news is far more mainstream at the moment than in days past -- Beck devoted a solid portion of his show to it -- and Gasparino has the sort of energetic personality that might bridge that divide (also provide great advertising for FBN).
S. E. Cupp, a conservative writer and commentator, just landed her own show Mercury Radio Arts, the Glenn Beck-owned and operated production company. If Fox is serious about incorporating Beck programming Cupp would be a good first place to start.
Judge Andrew Napolitano is probably the most likely replacement, at least in the short term. Napolitano recently landed his own show on Fox Business, but appears with great frequency on both Glenn Beck and Shep Smith. He is also regular fill-in for Beck -- in his most recent stint in the week he maintained Beck's impressive ratings.
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