With his celebrity fueled by a Time cover story, best-selling books, cheerleading role at protest rallies and steady stream of divisive remarks, Beck is drawing big ratings. But there is a deep split within Fox between those — led by Chairman Roger Ailes — who are supportive, and many journalists who are worried about the prospect that Beck is becoming the face of the network…

Fox staffers note that veteran producer Gresham Striegel left the network after clashing with Beck and say the host has surrounded himself with loyalists from Mercury, some of whom remain on that company’s payroll. (Striegel did not respond to a request for comment.) When Fox covers breaking news during Beck’s hour, some journalists say, they are flooded with angry e-mail from viewers about the preemption.

Friction between opinionated cable personalities and journalists has also flared occasionally at MSNBC. But Beck has caused such anguish at Fox that some of its journalists celebrated the failure of last week’s interview with embattled ex-congressman Eric Massa, which Beck pronounced a waste of time.