On April 6, 2011, FOX News announced it would help Beck "transition" into other ventures, which include for-air projects and FOX News' websites. What the press release did not mention was the successful campaign against Beck initiated by Color of Change, an organization rooted in equal political access for people of color.
On the show Fox and Friends in 2009, Beck said that President Obama had a "deep seated hatred for white people." Color of Change began a petition appealing to Beck's advertisers to end their support, and within two days, reportedly 100,000 people had signed it. The current number of signatures, according to the group, now stands at 285,000 people. Organizations like Media Matters, MoveOn, CREDO Action and StopBeck joined Color of Change in petitioning Beck's advertisers to stop supporting the show.
The New York Times in 2009, described Color of Change's campaign as "unusually successful," but also pointed out that FOX actually endured "no financial effect" and advertisers simply "moved their spots from Beck to other day parts on the network."
Even if that was the case, Beck's falling ratings, though still relatively high, coincided with advertisers' dwindling interests in the show. The Guardian reported on Wednesday that, "Beck's audience has shrunk from a peak of around 2.9 million viewers at the start of 2010 to around 1.9m, according to recent ratings."
Since the Color of Change effort began, the list of advertisers asking FOX not to air their ads during Beck's show includes, General Mills, Discover, Wal-Mart and American Express. "Beck's lack of advertisers made him a financial liability for Fox, and it's clear that this was a driving factor in his departure from Fox," said James Rucker, a member of Colors of Change.
The Guardian noted that "it would be a mistake for media analysts to interpret this as Fox News moving to the left … it would be better to interpret this as Fox News distancing itself from an albeit popular brand of populism." Like Glenn Beck said, "It is only on the battlefield of ideas that the best ones can be recognized and ultimately prevail."
See also Jon Stewart's farewell to Beck.