MERCURY RADIO ARTS MERGES STREAMING VIDEO NETWORK GBTV WITH NEWS AND INFORMATION SITE THEBLAZE
TO CREATE A SINGLE MULTIPLATFORM MEDIA COMPANY
- Merger Builds on the Quick Success of both GBTV and TheBlaze Which Receives Over 7 Million Unique Visitors Per Month
- Combines GBTV’s Line-up of Programming With TheBlaze.com’s Growing Team of More than 25 Journalists Into One Powerful Brand
- Mercury’s E-Commerce Site The Marketplace by Markdown.com, Will Also Be Integrated Into New Entity
- 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 Markdown.com will also be integrated directly into TheBlaze.com, 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 GBTV.com will be automatically redirected to TheBlaze.com. The network will also continue to be available on iOS devices, Roku and Boxee.
- The free content will be available at TheBlaze.com 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 TheBlaze.com since its launch, will continue in his role as Editor-in-Chief.
TheBlaze will be fully integrated with The Marketplace by Markdown.com, 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.
CNN is reporting that GBTV.com, one of the world’s largest subscription streaming services, is going to be merging with TheBlaze.com, one of the leading news and information websites. Look for more on this story as it develops…
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 hisnew 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 TheBlaze.com, 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 CNN.com. “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.
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