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People in the News, April 6, 2011

Glenn Beck later this year will end his Fox News Channel talk show, which has sunk in the ratings and has suffered from an advertiser boycott. Fox and Beck’s company, Mercury Radio Arts, said Wednesday they will stay in business creating other projects for Fox television and digital, starting with some documentaries Beck is preparing. Beck was a quick burn on Fox News Channel. Almost immediately after joining the network in January 2009, he doubled the ratings at his afternoon time slot. Fans found his conservative populism entertaining, while Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert described Beck’s “crank up the crazy and rip off the knob” moments. He was popular with tea party activists and drew thousands of people to the National Mall in Washington last August for a “restoring honor” rally. Yet some of his statements were getting him in trouble, and critics appealed to advertisers to boycott his show last summer after Beck said President Barack Obama had “a deep-seated hatred for white people.” Beck said that he went to Roger Ailes, Fox News chairman and CEO, in January to discuss ways they could continue to work together without the daily show. “Half of the headlines say he’s been canceled,” Ailes said. “The other half say he quit. We’re pretty happy with both of them.” … Roxy Music singer Bryan Ferry has been released from hospital after falling ill and being admitted for tests. The singer’s publicist, Murray Chalmers PR, said in a statement that the 65-year-old was admitted for 24 hours of observation and tests, but was discharged Wednesday. The statement said “all is well” and Ferry will begin a European solo tour later this month as planned. Ferry, known for his style and charm, has had a recording career spanning nearly 40 years. Roxy Music released its first single, “Virginia Plain,” in 1972, and went on to have hits throughout the 1970s and ’80s. Ferry has recently been on a world tour with the band. He also has enjoyed a successful solo career and released his latest album, “Olympia,” last year … Michael Jackson was on the brink of financial ruin when he agreed to do his “This is It” concert tour, and his fear of failure spurred by severe insomnia drove him to take desperate measures that killed him, a lawyer for his doctor said Wednesday. The statements by defense attorney Edward Chernoff during a pretrial hearing brought a new twist to the case being built by lawyers for Dr. Conrad Murray, who is charged in the death of Jackson. Defense lawyers previously suggested the pop star might have self-administered an overdose of the anesthetic propofol while Murray was away from his side. While seeking access to Jackson’s financial records, Chernoff added Wednesday that Jackson was in anguish over his financial situation and faced ruin if he failed to perform during the coming tour. “The crux of the defense is going to be that Michael Jackson engaged in a desperate act and took desperate measures that caused his death,” Chernoff told Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor. “We believe at the time Michael Jackson died he was a desperate man in relation to his financial affairs.”

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