Today, Glenn Beck held his "Restoring Courage" rally in Jerusalem at the same time as his radio show was airing. Beck streamed his rally on his new subscription website, GBTV.com. So what should Beck fans do?
At the start of Beck's radio show, Beck's sidekick Pat Gray had an answer. Gray -- who was co-hosting the show in place of Beck -- encouraged people listening to Beck's radio show to "sign up right now" on GBTV.com for Beck's rally so they could "see it right now":
Shortly thereafter, however, Gray urged listeners to "stay with the radio show" and "stay with the radio station" rather than watch the rally live and then watch Beck's rally when it re-airs on GBTV this evening:
We can't tell for sure why Gray changed his tune, but during his tenure at Fox News, Beck came under fire from Fox News chairman Roger Ailes for using his platform at the network to promote a variety of his own ventures outside Fox News. The New York Times reported in September 2010:
BECK IS A STRENUOUS cross-promoter. He spoke constantly on the air about his Washington rally before and after the event. He invites viewers and listeners to visit his Web site and, better yet, the Glenn Beck Store ("Restoring Honor" photograph books can be preordered for $35) and become an "insider extreme" member for premium video and audio links. He recently started a new Web site, the Blaze, which he also mentions on his television and radio shows.
The cross-promotion can be a sore spot at Fox News, particularly for its president, Roger Ailes, who has to promote a variety of his own ventures outside Fox News. Ailes has communicated this to Beck himself and through intermediaries. It goes to a larger tension between Fox News and Beck in what has been a mutually beneficial relationship. Ailes, a former Republican media guru, runs his top-rated cable-news network like a sharp-edged campaign, speaking with a single voice and -- ideally -- for the benefit solely of Fox News's bottom line.
Indeed, throughout his career at Fox, Beck repeatedly used his own show and guest appearances on other shows, to promote his books, tours, subscriber-only Web content, and the Restoring Honor and Restoring Courage rallies.
And we know how well that worked out for Beck at Fox.