Sorry, Fox News boycotters -- Glenn Beck's not going anywhere

A boycott aimed at getting batty Fox News host Glenn Beck off the air has been remarkably successful, attracting support from Wal-Mart, CVS, Best Buy, and a slew of other major advertisers. Too bad it's not going to work.

Some people, including my DailyFinance colleague Peter Cohan, think all this pressure could soon convince Fox to jettison Beck, who, in just seven months at the network, has already racked up an impressive highlights reel of offensive non-sequiturs. Calling President Obama a racist with "a deep-seated hatred for white people" is only the most recent.
But the idea that Fox News chief Roger Ailes or his boss, Rupert Murdoch, knuckle under and toss Beck is the purest fantasy. Beck has been a ratings hit for Fox from day one, giving the network a big boost over its previous performance in the 5 p.m. timeslot. His antics might make some sponsors uncomfortable, but, as a Fox spokeswoman told The New York Times, those marketers haven't actually canceled their ad buys; they've merely asked that their spots run during other programming -- and only until this brouhaha quiets down, most likely.

And it's not like Fox is up against a wall, financially speaking: On News Corp.'s fiscal-year-end earnings call, CFO David DeVoe announced that the network had just achieved its highest quarterly operating profit ever.

Then there's the issue of stubbornness. Some people back down in the face of a challenge, and some people instinctively dig in. Murdoch's a digger. He didn't fire Bill O'Reilly after the combative host was accused of sexually harassing an underling, or when he made boneheaded comments about the African-American patrons of Sylvia's, a restaurant in Harlem. Michael Wolff's prediction notwithstanding, he didn't fire New York Post editor Col Allan over a cartoon that equated Obama to an out-of-control chimpanzee, drawing fire from Al Sharpton and the NAACP.

Beck has nothing to worry about.

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