NEW YORK >> Glenn Beck, who burned bright and burned fast at Fox News Channel, does his final show on the network Thursday before going into business for himself.
Beck is setting up his own Internet network, GBTV, and will begin streaming a two-hour live show there in September. His fans can pay $9.95 a month for access to GBTV, or $4.95 to see just his daily show. Beck will continue a separate syndicated radio program.
Beck’s conservative populism resonated almost immediately with Fox viewers when he started in January 2009, drawing audiences unseen before in a late afternoon time slot on cable news. At his peak in January 2010, Beck’s show averaged 2.9 million viewers each day.
Beck, whose Fox run began with Barack Obama’s presidency, would warn darkly of things going wrong in the country, sometimes spinning complex theories on blackboards behind him. Occasionally, he’d be moved to tears.
His popularity faded, although Beck still led his time slot. He was averaging 1.86 million viewers a day so far this year, down 23 percent from the same period in 2010, the Nielsen Co. said. An advertising boycott that began after Beck said Obama had a “deep-seated hatred for white people” led to more than 400 advertisers telling Fox they didn’t want their commercials seen on his show.
Fox and Beck headed for a divorce, their relationship largely soured by control issues. Beck has set up his own diversified business, as he makes speeches, writes books and owns a website along with GBTV, which is run by a former Fox executive.