Read the full profile from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review HERE
Glenn has been making some waves in the media the past few weeks, both with the announcement of his new radio deal as well as his plans to merge GBTV with TheBlaze to create a new multimedia news, information, and entertainment company. During a recent trip to Pittsburgh, he sat down with the local Pittsburgh Tribune-Review to discuss his youth, his family, and his business and how the past has influenced the next phase in his professional career.
The Pittsburgh paper opened their profile with an anecdote of Glenn's very early interest in small businesses and politics:
As a kid in Mount Vernon, Wash., Glenn Beck fashioned a sandwich board from two political yard signs for a county commission candidate and set out to rally support for the man who ran a sporting goods store near his parents’ bakery.
“He was a young guy not bashful about being in the public eye,” said Bud Norris, 67, the object of Beck’s youthful support. “Everyone recognized that he was a special kid who had a kind of drive.”
Norris went on to serve two terms as Skagit County commissioner and two as mayor of Mount Vernon.
The drive that Norris spoke of led Glenn to build a media company that currently produces his daily radio and television shows, a thriving publishing imprint, as well as the newly expanded TheBlaze network, which merges one of the world's largest subscription streaming video networks (GBTV) with a news and information website that currently gets 7 million unique visitors a month (The Blaze).
The paper quoted Michael Harrison, publisher of the talk radio trade Talkers Magazine, about the merger. He said, "There are cases in which a personal name becomes a platform brand — such as Trump, Forbes and Ford — and they worked out well. But NBC wasn’t named Sarnoff, CBS wasn’t named Paley, and Playboy wasn’t named Hefner. I think Beck is refining his approach to continuing his successful journey as a 21st century media pioneer."
But what are some of Glenn's plans?
“We intend on being a positive force in music, film, news, opinion and music that will create and promote uplifting and empowering experiences in all mediums, much like Dick Clark, Michael Landon and Walt Disney did in the past,” Glenn told the paper.
Glenn's future goals are very much tied to his experiences growing up as reporter Craig Smith explains (story continues after the jump):
In high school, he sang in the concert choir and a smaller jazz choir, said Allan Fox, who graduated with Beck and is pastor of Assembly of God Church in Coulee City, Wash.
He performed magic tricks with friend Bruce Wersen, who became pastor of His Place Church in Burlington, Wash. They marched in a patriotic group -- Beck carried the flag; Wersen played the drum -- and appeared in the 1976 Rose Bowl Parade.
The patriotic group was the brainchild of Beck’s parents.
“Our town was dying. The mall went in, and my folks decided they had to do something,” he recalls. “The bicentennial was coming up — think of it, we lived in Mount Vernon — and the idea was to try to attract shoppers to the downtown.”
Beck sees similarities in his efforts today: “I’m repeating my parents’ life on a bigger scale.”
Glenn explained that one of the things he plans to do in the future is to "promote the mentality of Wilmington", a small town in Ohio that had been devastated when DHL, one of the biggest companies in the area, shutdown their distribution center in Wilmington which led to 10,000 people losing their jobs.
He hosted a Christmas special from Wilmington in December 2009, hoping that the town would serve as a symbol of hope to similar towns across the country. He hopes that other communities will learn that by coming together and helping one another, they can fix themselves without the help of the federal government.
Smith writes, "It’s a project he hopes to repeat across the country, Beck said during a recent visit to Pittsburgh. He announced a nationwide food drive and is looking for other towns trying to 'pull themselves up by the bootstraps.'"
Read the full profile HERE