Mercury Confidential: Which GBTV staffer owned a sandwich shop before becoming a producer?

Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes at Mercury Radio Arts? Just how do all of Glenn’s crazy ideas get done? Does anyone ever get a chance to sleep? Well, over the next few months we are going to take you inside MRA, giving you the inside scoop on everything from publishing to special events, 1791 to Markdown to GBTV. We will be interviewing members of our New York, Columbus, and Dallas staff, bringing you all the info, so you can know what it’s really like to work for Glenn. Part 1 (Kevin Balfe – Publishing)Part 2 (Liz Julis – GBTV/Special Events), Part 3 (Joel Cheatwood: CCO & President of TheBlaze)

What does deli ownership and television operations have in common? A lot – at least according to Eric Pearce, Vice President of Television Operations at TheBlaze.

“When I was 21, my father and I bought a deli together, and we ended up owning it for three and a half years,” Pearce explained.

“I know you can’t compare a television show to egg sandwiches, but the theory behind it, you can,” he promised. “When someone comes into a restaurant to buy breakfast, they want to know what they are getting every day. And they come back – repeat business is what makes it work because you are delivering a quality product. It’s the same on television. If you deliver a quality product night in and night out, you are going to be successful. While it is a very tough comparison, some of the groundwork there makes sense.”

Business experience aside, one thing Pearce does not miss about owning a deli: the lifestyle. “You’re up at five in the morning, and you don’t get home until seven o’clock at night. You have just enough time to eat dinner, take a shower, and then you are exhausted because you have been on your feet all day long running around. You smell like bacon and onions every day.”

While this certainly sounds like a long day, anyone who knows Pearce knows that his life as of late hasn’t been any less hectic. Remember when GBTV broadcasted the Restoring Courage events live from Israel? Pearce was responsible for making sure that actually happened. How about when GBTV officially launched just two weeks after that? Pearce had a pretty big role in that too. And what about when Glenn decided to relocate his entire broadcast to Dallas, Texas? You guessed it, Pearce oversaw that also, which meant working straight through Christmas and New Years to get the studio up and running in time. The timeline for that particular project: 45 days.

Pearce, who first met Glenn at CNN, took his time to get to where he is now. “Right after high school I went to local college,” he said. “I thought I wanted to be a stock broker, but I ended up failing my Series 7 test. Thank God because if I ever ended up like one of those financial people I would have killed myself. Eventually when we sold the deli, I went back to school to get my degree, and then too many years after that I did get my degree. It only took eight and a half years to finish college, which is a long time, but I did it.”

Pearce graduated college and took a job as a freelancer at CNN, where he worked for five and a half years. It was his work ethic that ultimately set him apart from his peers. “I took any job. I volunteered for everything. The worst shifts – I always worked the Sunday night and then the Monday morning. I did whatever it took because I wanted to learn, and I knew I was behind,” Pearce said.

Pearce paid his dues on the news desk for a few months. “I started on the news desk, where I kind of gained my chops in the industry,” he explained. “I got there at five in the morning handing out newspapers to reporters, taking staples of paper, shuffling things, printing things, escorting guests. So I did all of the kind of grunt work there.”

He was later offered a staff position at CNN’s Showbiz Tonight, where he worked for a year, before getting a call that would ultimately prove career changing. “I don’t know exactly when, but I got a call from a producer I had worked with, and he said, ‘Hey, I think I have a producing job for you.’ And I thought that’s great, I could use a change.”

Turns out the producing job was for a brand new daily show that would be hosted by a radio personality named Glenn Beck. “So my first question was: who is Glenn Beck? I had no idea who he was,” Pearce said. “I was shown the pilot of their show, and it was like wow, this guy is funny. His approach was so much different – something you have never seen before.”

He stayed with Glenn’s show for the next two years, but when Glenn left for Fox News, Pearce, unfortunately, couldn’t follow. “I stayed behind at CNN. I was contracted, so I couldn’t leave. I stayed and launched two other shows for the network after that. But after the two years I had with Glenn, it just wasn’t the same.”

Pearce called Chris Balfe, Chief Operating Officer of Mercury Radio Arts, to see if there was a job opening. “I called Chris and said, ‘I have to leave CNN. I have to make a move. It’s just not the same. What do you have for me?’” he recalled.

Pearce joined Mercury in January 2010.The problem was, at the time, Mercury didn’t have too much of a need in the way of production, so Pearce found himself with a job, but not a whole lot to do. “When I first got here, they really had no job title or job description for me. They were just like ‘Come here and figure it out.’”

Like most people at Mercury, what he was hired to do and what he is doing now is considerably different. “Our company has grown tremendously since then, but I remember those first three days. I started on a Wednesday, and that Wednesday, Thursday, Friday I was surfing the internet, I was on Facebook, and I was doing all this stuff because there was no work for me to do,” Pearce said laughing.

“I would give anything just to have one of those days back because I remember that next week – I don’t know what it was – but somebody had an idea and that was when it just started this whole thing. I have not had a slow day in the office since those first three days. It’s amazing how things change so fast.”

It really is incredible how quickly things change because Pearce now finds himself at the helm of television operations for one of the most successful online streaming networks in the world. While it seems like the launch of GBTV went from zero to sixty virtually overnight, the groundwork was laid long before Glenn ever decided to break out on his own.

“Shortly after I started we decided we wanted to give Glenn’s Insiders, some of his closest fans, more access to Glenn so they could see what happens behind the scenes,” Pearce explained. “We set up Insider Extreme where we started broadcasting his radio show every morning, and then we went on to add the Fourth Hour with Pat and Stu.”

That addition alone upgraded Insider Extreme from a single webcam broadcast to a six camera, four hour show that began to pave the way for what is now GBTV. “Figuring all of that out was new to me, but we figured it out as we went along, and it all worked,” he said. “At some point it just became this big operation, and it just seemed natural that Insider Extreme had to switch over from four hours of streaming live video to a streaming network. Insider Extreme really did lay the groundwork for GBVT.”

When Glenn decided to leave network television and start his own network, Pearce was 100 percent on board. “We spend all of this time producing this show for someone else. Why don’t we just produce it for ourselves? And having full control over our programming cuts out the red tape,” he said. “We can control the quality. We can control the budgets. We can do whatever we want. And it just seemed to make sense. We just knew we were supposed to grow into this network.”

Transitioning from a six camera webcast to an online streaming network was no easy task. From an operations perspective, Pearce needed to find a studio to rent, equipment to use, and a staff efficient enough to deal with all of these moving pieces. And he didn’t have much time to do it. As is customary, Glenn couldn’t help but add one more piece to the puzzle – he wanted to broadcast his Restoring Courage events in Israel on GBTV, just two weeks before the official launch of the network.

For Pearce, this meant transplanting a large portion of staff to Israel for a several weeks, and putting everything he had been working toward all summer to the ultimate test. Oh, and did I mention Pearce was dealing with all this and planning a wedding at the same time?

“It is true I got married around the launch date of GBTV,” Pearce said with a laugh. “When Glenn picked the launch date and they said September 12, 9/12, that’s the day, it seemed like the right fit. What wasn’t perfect for me was I was getting married two weeks later. I am running operations for this brand new network and then week three I am going to disappear get married and then disappear on my honeymoon for two weeks.”

Between the GBTV launch and the events in Israel, Pearce didn’t spend much time at home that summer. “I had these two projects coming up and a wedding to plan the whole time. You can imagine what it was like when I had to tell my then finance, ‘Oh yeah, I have to go to Israel this summer.’ Didn’t go over that well at first, but in the end she understood. She knows that I am passionate about what I do, so she puts up with a lot. I am so grateful to Marlaina for that.”

After getting GBTV up and running, Glenn threw yet another wrench into the plans when he decided to move his broadcast to Dallas, Texas. Beyond the logistical problems involved with managing staffs in two different states, Pearce had to virtually start over and build this new studio from the ground up.

“I was more surprised when Glenn said he wanted to move to Texas than I was when he said he wanted to start a video network,” Pearce said. After finding a property and having the deal fall through, Pearce found himself with just over a month to get something built that would allow Glenn to broadcast live from Dallas on January 2, 2012.

“I remember the day, it was November 15, 2011, and Glenn said to me, ‘Well, what are we going to do?’ And I said, ‘Well, we are going to have to find a new place to build the studio, and it is going to take a little bit longer.’ I said, ‘How do you feel about staying in NY the first two weeks of next year, so we can get your broadcast on, while we are building something down in TX?’ And he turned to me slowly, looked me dead in the eyes and said, ‘I am doing television from TX on January 2.’ And at that point, he turned around and walked away,” Pearce recalled.

In New York, studios are built on every street corner, but Dallas, Texas is a very different situation. “This was a little bit of a challenge to find a place that was going to fill Glenn’s needs and desires,” Pearce said. “We found a place that could house Glenn’s vision. We found a production company that was going to help us deliver and build Glenn’s vision, which was key. And we had roughly 45 days to build it. What we pulled off in that short period of time was nothing short of a miracle.”

Pearce and his team worked through Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years to get it done in time. “We needed to build an HD control room. We needed to build a studio. We needed to build a radio studio, all at once, at the end of the year, over vacation. I am proud to say we did it. I mean we had some improvements to make after that to make things more permanent, but we are very proud of what we were able to pull off in that short period of time.”

Pearce sees the upcoming merger of GBTV and TheBlaze as the perfect opportunity for both divisions to capitalize on their great resources. “I do think the re-brand is a very good idea. I think it will allow us to grow and expand our reach, but maintain the same quality and the same mission that Glenn wants to see on the network.”

Despite all of the things he has dealt with over the last couple of years, Pearce’s favorite moment came not too long after he first started at Mercury, during Restoring Honor in Washington D.C.

“It was the night before Divine Destiny at the Kennedy Center, and Glenn wanted to go meet-and-greet all the people waiting on line to get tickets,” he explained. “I showed up there with a camera, and I am filming him talking to people, meeting people. It was just this amazing moment of Glenn interacting with his fans.”

After the meet-and-greet, Glenn decided he wanted to go back to the Lincoln Memorial – for what was probably the fiftieth time that week. “We are getting in the cars to leave, and Glenn turns around and says, ‘I want to go to the Lincoln Memorial.’ Meanwhile, it is ten or eleven o’clock at night, pitch black, but he wanted to go to the Lincoln Memorial.”

At this point a crowd had gathered at the Memorial in hopes of securing a front row view of the event, and when they saw Glenn arrive, the crowd went wild. “Glenn noticed them, and they noticed Glenn, and he goes over and is talking to them. There was cheering and he thanked everyone for showing up. All of a sudden, the crowd starts to sing God Bless America.”

It was a beautiful moment, and Pearce was glad to be there getting it all on tape. At some point, Glenn got pulled away from the group. When Pearce looked down at his camera, his heart sank – the audio had not been recording.

“I guess about three quarters of the way through the crowd singing I realized that the audio wasn’t recording on the camera that I had. And I was like, ‘Oh my God.’ Glenn was here watching this happen. He sees me with the camera, and I am going to come back with a video of them singing the song without audio?! I am dead.”

It seemed like a lost cause at that point, but Pearce had a plan. “I went back to the crowd, and I said, ‘Hey guys, you know, that was so good. Could we do that again? I want to get a different angle.’ And they were all like, ‘Sure! No problem!’”

“I made sure the audio was working, and they did it again. So the crowd had no idea I had a camera problem. Glenn had no idea I had a camera problem because he would have been disappointed. So I am glad that all worked out,” Pearce said with a laugh.

Problem solving at its finest – something Pearce has proven time and time again he is very good at. It probably has something to do with why he keeps getting these mammoth projects thrown his way. At least he doesn’t smell like bacon and onions anymore.

The House approved a new aid package for Ukraine of nearly $40 billion, which will increase the total U.S. funding for Ukraine's war efforts to a whopping $58 BILLION since March, if the package passes in the Senate. Meanwhile, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas testified before Congress that the Biden administration is considering diverting resources away from an already-struggling VA (Department of Veterans Affairs) to deal with the border crisis.

"I am not making this up -- this will [make] your head explode," Glenn Beck said in the radio program Thursday. "They are going to divert costs; the Biden administration is taking money from the VA. Now already, our veterans get seconds, and we are [considering] diverting VA funding, and doctors, and nurses, away from our vets and to the migrants at the border, so we can take money that we don't have, $58 billion, and send it to Ukraine. What the hell is wrong with us?"

"Now, some Republican lawmakers are attempting to fight this," he added. "But, most people haven't even heard of this. This is how the atrocities at the border go unchecked. Biden sweeps it all under a rug. The mainstream media covers it up. And, meanwhile, people suffer and die. And in this case, it's not only the people on the border, but it is also our veterans in VA hospitals."

Glenn went on to detail the unreported deadly consequences of Biden’s border policies which have led to enough fentanyl to kill millions of Americans pouring across the border and terrorists having found easy paths into our country.

Watch the video clip below to hear more from Glenn:

Can't watch? Download the podcast here or listen to the episode highlights below:

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To enjoy more of Glenn’s masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution, and live the American dream.

Corruption, greed, and death. This is what the Left’s border policy is REALLY about, not the humanitarian effort they claim it is.

On tonight's episode of "Glenn TV," Glenn Beck exposes the groups benefitting from the border chaos under the Biden administration. A leftist money supply flows to NGOs on the border that are now taking the roles that the government should be filling with immigration and helping immigrants to flood into the U.S. Glenn asks: Why is the U.N. funding the flow of migrants to our border and subverting Congress? Why are former Biden staffers working for “non-profits” that are now getting exclusive, HIGHLY irregular multimillion-dollar border contracts? Worse than that, the consequences of Biden’s border policy have now turned deadly. National Guard members at the border are dying, fentanyl from China pours across the border, and terrorists have found an easy path to enter our country.

Finally, Glenn asks Texas Rep. Chip Roy if it’s time to impeach DHS Secretary Mayorkas for his negligence that is costing American lives.

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I can no longer relate to the modern pro-choice woman. I don’t want to shout my abortion. I want to pretend it never happened. Up until the SCOTUS leak, I had done a pretty good job of burying my 20-year secret. But the Roe v. Wade information earthquake triggered an eruption. I can no longer pretend to be ambivalent or leave it to blue-check pro-lifers to speak for me. My days of repeating the “safe, legal, and rare” mantra like a good, GenX libertarian feminist are over.

Some pro-abortion activists call their life-ending procedure “self-care,” like they just booked a hot stone massage or a facial at a spa. This is a polite euphemism many women tell themselves – not because we are cold-blooded killers, but because it’s how we survive. We HAVE to lie in order to justify what is actually taking place. Denial is a protective coating, a barrier from the truth. Remember, any woman born after Roe v. Wade has been programmed to believe that abortion is a natural-born right. “It’s legal; therefore it must not be evil. This is a medical procedure. Women do it every day.” Planned Parenthood has a nice way of describing abortion on its website: “A doctor uses a combination of medical tools and a suction device to gently take the pregnancy tissue out of your uterus.” “Gently take the tissue out.” Benign euphemisms that wrap our hearts and minds in a suffocating cocoon. Benign euphemisms to keep us in line.

I was raised in the Bible Belt and to believe that sex before marriage was the gravest of sins. You’d be better off robbing a store by pistol than to be caught fornicating with a boy. And yet I did fornicate with a boy. No boy I’d ever be proud to bring around to my parents. I never gave him the option to talk me out of it. I just demanded he pay half for the procedure and never speak of it again. I told myself it would be easier to survive the hidden shame of the abortion than wear the shame of my sin on my belly for the next nine months.

...the pill I took made an ugly, painful mess, and it didn’t finish the job.

I took the so-called “easy” way out at six weeks along and swallowed a pill I got from some abortionist who gave me the creeps. He was no medical saint like the one portrayed in “The Cider House Rules,” nobly saving women from coat-hanger abortions. The doctor in my story made a quick buck at the expense of terrified “good girls.” Years later I would learn he kept aborted fetuses in buckets and was under investigation for shady medical practices. I couldn’t leave his clinic fast enough, but at least I wouldn’t have to miss work or skip my college classes. I could finish my degree and still make my parents proud. How convenient. But the pill I took made an ugly, painful mess, and it didn’t finish the job. Now I had to see a real obstetrician, get an ultrasound, and deal with the aftermath.

This doctor’s office was nicer. It had bright lights and pink walls. Although my doctor was professional, I still felt the quiet judgment in her voice. I refused to look at the image of my tortured fetus on the screen. I knew what it would mean if I did – my feminist career ambitions would lose the battle to my soul if I looked at that baby. The doctor told me the fetus was still viable but likely mentally damaged. The “kinder” thing to do would be to finish the job at an in-clinic abortion. End the fetus’ suffering and end my own self-torture. I woke up from anesthesia to learn the abortion was complete. It’s over so quickly, but the internal conflict hangs. And hangs.

You find weird ways to cope. Not long after, I discovered an abandoned robin’s egg, still perfectly intact. I wrapped it in a sock and carried it with me for over a decade. If I couldn’t do right by my own child, maybe I could keep this unhatched egg safe. Eventually, I had to come to terms with the fact that the bird egg was dead, and I got therapy. He was a good New York psychologist. Secular, liberal, tolerant. He helped me to forgive myself, but I always knew who I really needed to ask for forgiveness …

It’s easy for a young woman with all those stockpiled eggs in her ovaries to be pro-choice. She can toss away the miracle of life like a rotten banana or a bruised apple because it is easily replaced. It wasn’t until I was forced to confront the mortality of my own fertility that I felt the full force of my regret.

But I do not write this letter to achieve redemption or to be the new face of the pro-life movement. You will not see me pleading with women outside an abortion clinic. You will not see me protesting with a cutesy, homemade sign at the March for Life. You will not see me sparring on Twitter, confronting baby-killers with cold, hard facts. For now, you will not even know my name. I suppose this is not very brave, but my story is not complete and God’s work in me is in an active state. Mine is a modest mission: Maybe if I’m honest about my own wounds, I can help other women like me to heal. Maybe I can love the terrified, knocked-up woman in the Bible Belt who believes the best worst lies our society has ever told, better than any conservative talk show host ever could.

The SCOTUS leak ripped a band-aid off a festering 50-year-old wound.

The SCOTUS leak ripped a band-aid off a festering 50-year-old wound. It’s naive to think we will fix this mess for the unborn overnight and deprogram men and women plugged into 50 years of slick, well-packaged lies. Slavery was legal in the U.S. for over 200 years before we fought a war to end it. And it was another 100 years before we ended state-sanctioned racism.

When it comes to the issue of defending innocent life, I know it’s hard to be patient. This is a clear battle of good vs. evil for many on the right, but you need allies like me – the former “safe, legal, and rare” pro-choicers who are afraid to come out of the shadows. Afraid to become a political prop in the culture wars, but willing to do the quiet missionary work in our back yards.

I hope for the day future progressives look back in horror at today’s progressives fighting to keep abortion on demand. I hope for the day the New York Times publishes the pro-life version of the 1619 Project. Maybe they’ll call it the “1973 Project,” “whose mission is to reframe the country's history by placing the consequences of abortion and the contribution of the pro-life movement at the very center of our national narrative.”

Until that day, I want to help these women to be braver than me. To see beyond their impossible tomorrow. If I had allowed someone the chance to help me be brave, I might not have had the same successful career, but I would have a 20-year-old son or daughter in whom to invest this unexplained overflow in my heart.

Dear EV drivers: Think you're safe from soaring gas prices? Think again.

Image source: (Left) Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images (Right) Video screenshot

Diesel fuel prices have surged to record levels, adding to already record-high inflation in the U.S. But most Americans don't drive cars that run on diesel, and many have turned to electric vehicles (EVs) to avoid the ever-increasing pain at the pump. So, how would diesel supply shortages — and the resulting sky-high prices — affect you or your budget?

On the radio program Monday, Glenn Beck explained why every American should be concerned about the rising cost of diesel.

"Diesel fuel is the fuel that powers the economy," Glenn began. "How does that work? Well, let's start over in China. You want something from China, you have to put it onto a big boat, a slow boat from China, and that's powered by diesel.

"Then, it gets to our docks," he continued. "You know all of those big cranes and everything else that take that crap off of the ship and then put it on the ground? Run by diesel. And then the forklifts that come and pick it up and then bring it over to the train, those run on diesel. And then the train, those engines, they run on diesel. And then the trucks that get it halfway across the country from the train where they're picked up again by the forklifts, run by diesel. Then they're put into another truck, also run by diesel."

"I sure hope all the people bragging about their electric cars as gas prices skyrocket have a backup plan for their food too. Because as diesel prices go crazy, so does the price of EVERYTHING," Glenn posted on Twitter.

Watch the video clip below to hear Glenn explain how diesel supply shortages will affect all of us:

Can't watch? Download the podcast here or listen to the episode highlights below:

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn’s masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution, and live the American dream.