Via Mediaite. He’s not leaving today, and he’s not leaving the network, but … yeah, he’s leaving the show. First Olby, now Beck: In less than three months, cable news has lost its most entertainingly theatrical bombthrowers. Feels like the end of an era, with a CNN-like regression to the bland in progress across the dial. At the rate we’re going, in a few more years, the most “dangerous” guy in primetime will be Anderson Cooper. Gadzooks. What hath Jon Stewart’s “sanity” crusade wrought?

While Beck was saying farewell, Chris Matthews was congratulating Media Matters for having allegedly forced him from the air or something. Which brings us to our exit quetion: Who will/should replace Beck in crushing Matthews in the ratings at 5 p.m.? My hunch is that, with the GOP primaries around the corner, they might just stick a political news hour in there a la “America’s Election HQ.”