Beck:, GBTV, and the Marketplace merging into new, world class multimedia network called “TheBlaze”


Monday, Jun 18, 2012 at 3:21 PM EDT

Over the last few months we’ve been slowly pulling back the curtain on some of the big plans we have in store—plans that, with your support, will change the world. From new initiatives to feed the hungry, to voter registration drives, to collaborations with artists and musicians, to the Restoring Love events this July—we have set out to prove that combining big dreams with hard work is still the only recipe for lasting success.

Today, I’m excited to reveal the next part of the plan—and it involves three of our largest and most important projects: GBTV, our online streaming television network that hosts my daily show,, our extremely popular independent news and information outlet, and the Marketplace by, our e-commerce site featuring American small businesses.

Just a few hours ago I announced to my staff that we will be merging these three properties into a new, world-class multimedia network called “TheBlaze.”

This is a case where the whole will be far greater than the sum of its parts. By combining one of the world’s largest subscription streaming networks with a news site currently visited by over 7 million unique visitors a month and an e-commerce site that is reinventing the way small business owners find an audience, we will be creating a powerful new media entity.

We will now be delivering a mix of premium subscription content and free content on TheBlaze. Later this year, if you’re a subscriber and go to login at, you’ll be redirected to login at – and you’ll still be able to watch the premium video content on the web, iOS devices, Roku and Boxee. Meanwhile, TheBlaze’s free content will continue to be a mix of original reporting, curated news stories, opinion pieces, and video.

If you are a current user of any of these sites, rest assured that the content you love will continue. In fact, you’ll be getting a lot more of it. In the very near future, TheBlaze will begin offering original programming and video content on a 24/7 basis. In addition to the current GBTV lineup that will be coming over (including my daily radio and television shows, Real News, Liberty Treehouse, Independence USA, and The B.S. of A.), we’ll also be launching lots of new content on TheBlaze and expanding into new areas, like radio and publishing. But your experience will not change: If you subscribe to GBTV, your subscription will continue at TheBlaze; and if you enjoy reading the free stories on, you’ll be able to continue to do that as well.

I believe that merging these properties will help expose the critical news and information we report on daily to millions more people. By virtue of its size and committed user base, the mainstream will be unable to easily marginalize or ignore TheBlaze—or the stories we report on. I told you last year that we were going to drive the establishment in this country crazy—and this is how we will do it.

But the keyword is “we.”

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of you readers, listeners, and viewers of GBTV and TheBlaze (now just “TheBlaze”) who have helped make this new venture a reality. Thank you subscribers for your trust and your willingness to come on this journey from the very beginning. I promise, this new entity is going to give you exponentially better content. Thank you readers for finding and sharing the news that the mainstream media has been ignoring. Over the past two years, Blaze readers have proven that there is a huge audience in this country for news that doesn’t pander for ratings, obscure the facts, or act as a mouthpiece for the White House.

Aside from all the amazing new content we will soon be delivering to you, the only big change will be the name. And as many of you probably remember from those early “Making of GBTV” specials, I never really wanted to call it GBTV anyway.

So buckle up gang. I can’t wait for what comes next.

Go Here to Hear and See Glenn’s Full Message

Laus Deo,


Glenn Beck drops his name from Web network, promises media ‘revolution’

By Steve Krakauer, CNN – updated 3:08 PM EDT, Mon June 18, 2012

CNN is reporting that, one of the world’s largest subscription streaming services, is going to be merging with, one of the leading news and information websites. Look for more on this story as it develops…

Glenn Beck to CNN:

Glenn Beck to CNN: "I didn’t like the name GBTV from the very beginning …"

(CNN) — Hugely successful and often controversial, Glenn Beck is a man full of complexities.

He points the finger in his new book "Cowards" but calls for "Restoring Love" in his upcoming rally. He jokes about being "Unelectable" on his comedy tour, but his new studio in Dallas includes a replica Oval Office for his mock presidential addresses.

Now, the media mogul is dropping his name from the online TV network based on his personal brand. GBTV will be merged with, the Beck-owned but independently operated news and opinion website. The entire network will be called TheBlaze.

"I didn’t like the name GBTV from the very beginning for a couple of reasons," Beck said in an exclusive interview with "One, it’s a little egocentric, and two, it’s television, which doesn’t describe necessarily what we do."

Beck and Chris Balfe, president and COO of Mercury Radio Arts (Beck’s company), said they planned to change the name once the online streaming network was more established but the early success of GBTV precipitated an earlier name change.

The latest estimate is that GBTV has more than 300,000 subscribers. While the numbers are strong, that is still a significant reduction from Beck’s nightly audience when he worked at Fox News and talked to millions on the traditional media outlet.

"We are out of the comfort zone for a lot of Americans," said Beck of GBTV.

The online network that airs Beck’s program also has shows such as "Real News," a news roundtable show; "The B.S. of A," a comedy show; "Liberty Treehouse," a children’s program; and "Independence USA," a reality show. Much more programming is on the way, and it will soon become a 24/7 channel. launched in August 2010 and now claims more than 7 million unique visitors a month. Already before the merger, the Beck empire was increasingly falling under the "Blaze" moniker, including a print magazine.

"From a management perspective, what we’re doing is bringing together what are the all-stars from both groups into one team," said Balfe.

Watch this video

2011: Glenn Beck grills Gingrich on key issues

That all-star team includes some unlikely executives who have joined the Beck team. There’s Betsy Morgan, formerly CEO of The Huffington Post and before that an executive at CBS News. There’s Joel Cheatwood, formerly a senior vice president at CNN and Fox News. Also Kraig Kitchin, formerly founder of Premiere Radio Networks, and Carolyn Polke, who was a consultant at Accenture.

Another notable part of is its clear non-Beckness. "If you just look at the comments section, there are people who read the Blaze all the time but hate my guts," said Beck.

But it’s more than that — one of the most memorable and talked about series of articles on was a meticulous debunking of the James O’Keefe NPR videos , which claimed to show an NPR executive denigrating the Tea Party, that ran on an Andrew Breitbart-associated website. The series garnered strong praise from places such as long-time Beck nemesis Media Matters.

"Hopefully some of them will discover TheBlaze TV, will discover Glenn’s show, and decide that they want to watch," said Balfe. "Others will discover other things on TheBlaze TV which they might like more."

If people were surprised by the takedown of the O’Keefe video, Beck says it’s because they don’t remember who he was before his Fox News days.

"I think that’s people forgetting who I was and what I was saying when I was on CNN before Barack Obama," said Beck, who was a Headline News host from 2006 to 2008.

"I was one of the hardest-hitting conservatives on George W. Bush. Republicans didn’t like me on George W. Bush. Republicans still don’t like me on many things. If any Republican thinks I’ve been hard on Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich or any of these guys, wait until Mitt Romney gets into office. I’ll hold his feet to the fire just as much."

Beck: As we shrink government, grow giving

Of course, it may be the Fox News days that people remember, when he’d assign labels such as fascist, communist and radical to those, mostly on the left, with whom he disagreed, often with the tone of impending doom (and chalkboards). Beck agrees that the polarization and ratcheted-up rhetoric is bad for the country, but was he part of the problem in the first place?

"Nobody ever, ever gives me credit for the times I’ve said on the air ‘the president is right on this, did this right’ or ‘the media is unfair by trying to say this about the president,’ or ‘the right is unfair.’ I bet I do that at least once a month."

But what about calling Barack Obama a "coward" in his new book?

"Sometimes the truth hurts," said Beck. "And if you’d read the book ‘Cowards,’ you’d see President Obama is not the only one, and it’s certainly not a Republican and Democrat book. It is a human problem. Cowardice is a human problem."

While Beck isn’t outwardly supporting either of the two major candidates in the 2012 election, he does have a prediction.

"If things would remain stable, I would say we are looking at a loss for the president around the size of, if not greater than, Jimmy Carter," he said. "Americans are tired. They are tired of the finger-pointing. They are tired of the excuses. They’re tired of it on both sides."

Beck is someone who constantly talks about truth.’s tagline is "the truth has no agenda" while GBTV currently uses "the truth lives here." Explaining his ideology, Beck described it as "people should be free, people should be unencumbered by regulation as much as possible, that big government always goes corrupt and the truth shall always set you free."

We have to tell the truth and let the chips fall where they may.
Glenn Beck

It’s this philosophy that seeps into his plans for the independence of the new, merged TheBlaze TV: "We have to tell the truth and let the chips fall where they may."

Trust comes into play in another area of the Beck empire, arguably where he has his most power and is at his most contentious: radio. Last week it was announced that Beck signed a new five-year deal with Premiere Networks, reportedly estimated at $100 million. Is he worth it? And what is it about the show that makes it worth one the biggest contracts on radio ever?

"The strength of the show is the listeners, and the bond I have with the listeners," said Beck. "They are some of the smartest, unforgiving people. They mean what they say and say what they mean. … The biggest thing we have going for us is we’ve always tried to shoot straight with the audience, we’ve always tried to hold ourselves to our own standards, and part of those standards is we don’t waste anyone’s time."

With GBTV gone and TheBlaze TV taking over, Beck isn’t done.

The change is one part of a new plan, which he’s dropped some hints about recently, to focus on inserting conservatism into the mainstream cultural landscape.

"A country is made not by policy alone, but by its music, its entertainment shows, all of it," said Beck.

That plan may get mainstream acceptance like GBTV has. Recently, talent agent Ari Emanuel, certainly not a fan of Beck’s politics, praised the network as a "model" for the media. It could also face mainstream derision as some of Beck’s radio proclamations do, but it likely will get an audience talking.

"Change is not bad," said Beck. "We are on the threshold of something I think is as powerful as the Industrial Revolution was, except this one will happen in a very short period of time. … Whether we’re the ones to [revolutionize media] or we’re just the ones who happen to be the first on the scene, I don’t know. But we’re moving forward because the media revolution has begun."

It’s another complexity in the Beck world. While the message is about "restoring" conservative values of the past, the delivery model is revolution, and the future.


DETAILS: GBTV and to merge into single, multimedia media company!

Monday, Jun 18, 2012 at 3:06 PM EDT



  1. Merger Builds on the Quick Success of both GBTV and TheBlaze Which Receives Over 7 Million Unique Visitors Per Month
  2. Combines GBTV’s Line-up of Programming With’s Growing Team of More than 25 Journalists Into One Powerful Brand
  3. Mercury’s E-Commerce Site The Marketplace by, Will Also Be Integrated Into New Entity
  4. The Merged Network, Called TheBlaze Will Be An Online News, Information, Entertainment and E-Commerce Destination Spanning Video, Radio, Publishing and The Internet

(New York, NY and Dallas, TX June 18th) Mercury Radio Arts, Glenn Beck’s multi-media production company, announced today that it is merging GBTV, its streaming video network with TheBlaze, its news and information website to create a single multiplatform media company. The new entity, which will be known as TheBlaze, combines one of the world’s largest subscription streaming video networks with a website that generates over 7 million unique visitors per month into one powerful multimedia brand. TheBlaze, which will soon offer video content on a 24/7 basis, will be a news, information, entertainment, and e-commerce network, spanning all media including video, radio, publishing, and the Internet.

Glenn Beck said: “I said from the very beginning that I did not want to call the network GBTV, and a year later I finally got my way. We have ambitious plans for this network and combining the power of GBTV and TheBlaze will help us build upon our success.”

The Marketplace by will also be integrated directly into, giving small businesses that participate in the marketplace access to an even larger audience of potential consumers, and rounding out TheBlaze’s revenue mix to include e-commerce.

TheBlaze will offer a mix of premium subscription video content and free content:

  • The premium subscription content will be what is currently known as GBTV, a streaming video network featuring Glenn’s weekday show. Since its launch in September 2011, the network has already added a wide range of original programming, including the reality show Independence USA, the kid’s show Liberty TreeHouse, the news show Real News, and the comedy news show The B.S. of A, totaling over 34 hours of original programming per week. The network will soon provide video content on a 24/7 basis. Beginning later this year, existing subscribers to will be automatically redirected to The network will also continue to be available on iOS devices, Roku and Boxee.
  • The free content will be available at and will continue to include a mix of original reporting, curated content and opinion pieces.

Christopher Balfe, President and COO of Mercury said: “TheBlaze and GBTV have each proven to be incredible success stories in a very short period of time. Combining them will help us accelerate future growth by focusing on one world-class brand that offers the best of everything we produce in a single destination.”

TheBlaze’s executive team, which will report to Balfe, brings years of experience from leadership level positions in television, radio and digital media:

  • Betsy Morgan, formerly President of TheBlaze is being promoted to President & Chief Strategy Officer of the combined company. Prior to joining Mercury, Morgan was CEO of The Huffington Post and a Senior Vice President at CBS News.
  • Joel Cheatwood, formerly President of Programming at GBTV is being promoted to President & Chief Content Officer of TheBlaze. Prior to joining Mercury, Cheatwood was a Senior Vice President at FoxNews and CNN.
  • Kraig Kitchin, formerly Director of Ad Sales at TheBlaze is being promoted to President & Chief Revenue Officer of the combined company. Prior to joining Mercury, Kitchin co-founded Premiere Radio Networks-the top radio network in the country and the distributor of Glenn’s radio show.
  • Carolyn Polke, formerly Senior Vice President of Digital at Mercury is being promoted to President & Chief Operating Officer of TheBlaze. Carolyn has helped spearhead Mercury’s recent digital growth. Previously, she was a consultant at Accenture.

Scott Baker, who has been with since its launch, will continue in his role as Editor-in-Chief.

TheBlaze will be fully integrated with The Marketplace by, a curated marketplace platform to help local small businesses reach consumers across the country. Keith Ferry, former President of Markdown joins TheBlaze as Senior Vice President of Digital.

TheBlaze also includes a monthly magazine and news updates delivered each morning on Glenn’s radio show.

Do you want to change the world? Start by changing those things you can. Time for action! Click to begin »

About Ask Marion

I am a babyboomer and empty nester who savors every moment of my past and believes that it is the responsibility of each of us in my generation and Americans in general to make sure that America is as good or even a better place for future generations as it was for us. So far... we haven't done very well!! Favorite Quotes: "The first 50 years are to build and acquire; the second 50 are to leave your legacy"; "Do something that scares you every day!"; "The journey in between what you once were and who you are becoming is where the dance of life really takes place". At age 62 I find myself fighting inoperable uterine Cancer and thanks to the man upstairs and the prayers from so many people including many of my readers from AskMarion and JustOneMorePet... I'm beating it. After losing our business because of the economy and factors related to the re-election of President Obama in 2012 followed by 16-mos of job hunting, my architect-trained husband is working as a trucker and has only been home approximately 5-days a month since I was diagnosed, which has made everything more difficult and often lonely... plus funds are tight. Our family medical deductible is 12K per year for two of us; thank you ObamaCare. But thanks to donations from so many of you, we are making ends meet as I go through treatment while taking care of my father-in-law who is suffering from late stage Alzheimer's and my mother-in-law who suffers from RA and onset dementia as well as hearing loss, for which there are no caretaker funds, as I continue the fight here online to inform and help restore our amazing country. And finally I need to thank a core group of family, friends, and readers... all at a distance, who check in with me regularly. Plus, I must thank my furkids who have not left my side through this fight. You can see them at JustOneMorePet.
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3 Responses to Beck:, GBTV, and the Marketplace merging into new, world class multimedia network called “TheBlaze”

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