Glenn Beck's bad bet on Ted Cruz

“There’s no good that comes from endorsing somebody,” he said, recalling a conversation he’d had with his wife when he was deciding whether to endorse Cruz, in which they asked each other “Are you willing to lose it all?” In the end, he said, they decided they were willing to take the risk, because “we felt this was the critical time.” Once he actually endorsed, he said, he “saw the gates of hell open up.”

For the people who have worked with Beck, many of whom had become accustomed to past claims that he was putting himself on the line to save the country from imminent collapse, this time felt different, and more desperate — like he was scrambling to save his own company.

“Endorsing Cruz was a last-ditch attempt to get back into the spotlight by a guy who craves attention, but it actually made it impossible for him to run the business,” said a former associate who was close to Beck.

Some advertisers complained to Beck’s representatives that the host’s increasing combustibility was becoming bad for business, two people familiar with the complaints told POLITICO. One longtime advertiser, a solar survivalist company called Solutions from Science (SFS), allegedly stopped paying its advertising invoices after unsuccessfully trying to pull its ads from Beck’s syndicated radio show.