During the long, drawn-out process of leaving Fox News, Glenn Beck remembers network president Roger Ailes telling him that he would never leave. He felt trapped — and too many people, Beck says, stay trapped in the rigid “system.”
Nobody leaves television, Ailes told him. Nobody leaves a television empire like Fox.
“Because it’s an intoxicating thing. It really is truly intoxicating,” Beck said Friday, explaining his highly-publicized 2011 departure during an appearance at the Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards in New York Friday.
Beck’s exodus from television has been successful. His website, The Blaze, claims to have more than 10 million unique visitors per month, and Glenn Beck TV, his online television channel, had more than 300,000 subscribers at the end of 2012, according to a network source.
“News is like sausage,” Beck said. “You might like to eat it, but you never want to see it made.”
Using recent coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings as an example, Beck said he believes that television — and especially cable news — is too trapped in a “system,” where the costs of good production are astronomical.
“Everything that is happening with the Boston bombers — now, we’re not going back last week and going, ‘Here’s [Fox News host] Bret Baier showing you what happened,” Beck said. “You go to YouTube, and you see the people with the cameras. There’s no filter between them and you. And that’s where we’re headed.”
Fox News, he said, isn’t any better than its competitors in that sense. But he said he got out of television with his soul still “intact.”
Moderator Aryeh Bourkoff, CEO of LionTree, asked Beck if he would ever consider trying to buy a network and building it with his vision.
“I don’t know because I haven’t thought about it, a lot. But I would fire a lot of people,” he said.
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