CRTV, TheBlaze merge to form online conservative media mammoth
TheBlaze and CRTV, two of the largest online conservative media organizations, announced on Monday that they had merged to form a new company called Blaze Media, representing one of the most sizable consolidations to ever take place in right-wing media.
“We are so grateful and so blessed to finally come together,” Glenn Beck, the founder of TheBlaze, said on his radio program Monday.
For years, TheBlaze and CRTV have competed against each other, offering readers and viewers a similar product as they vied for the same target demographic. Each company featured an on-demand video library of daily programs from an array of conservative commentators. Both companies also operated websites where writers posted conservative commentary and news.
Now that the two organizations have joined forces, Blaze Media will be one of the largest carrier of on-demand conservative media content on the Internet.
Blaze Media said it will also be carried by some television providers, including DISH and Verizon. The company, however, declined to reveal how many subscribers it has.
Mark Levin, a conservative radio personality and Fox News weekend host who founded LevinTV, which grew into CRTV, said in a press release that he was “very excited about the merger.” He added that the “timing is perfect.”
The move came just one week after Fox News launched its online-streaming platform, Fox Nation, which the newly formed Blaze Media will compete directly against.
Asked about Fox Nation, Gaston Mooney, a former CRTV executive who will serve as Blaze Media’s co-president, told CNN, “CRTV and TheBlaze were the two leaders in the SVOD space and it’s flattering that more traditional, established networks are moving that direction as well. More content choices and voices for Americans is always a good thing.”
Blaze Media will include traditional conservative voices, but will mostly consist of right-wing pro-Trump luminaries. Hosts will include former Fox News host Eric Bolling, author Michelle Malkin, “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson, and others.
“The real diversity on the right is on display here,” Stu Burguiere, co-host of “The Glenn Beck Program,” said on Monday’s radio show.
The Blaze Media lineup will also include more radical elements of right-wing media, like Gavin McInnes, the Vice co-founder who started the fringe “Proud Boys” group whose members have been involved in violent brawls with leftist protesters. McInnes, who also has a history of promoting various conspiracy theories, disassociated from the organization late last month.
“I do this reluctantly because I see it as a the greatest fraternal organization in the world but rumors and lies and bad journalism has made it’s way to the court system and the NYC9 (the Proud Boys arrested after I did a talk here in NY) are facing serious charges,” McInnes wrote on his YouTube page explaining his decision to disassociate. “I’m told by my legal team and law enforcement that this gesture could help alleviate their sentencing.”
Asked about McInnes, Mooney told CNN, “Gavin McInnes is a comedian and provocateur and one of the many varied voices and viewpoints on Blaze Media platforms.”
Over the past several months, there have been signs that TheBlaze and CRTV were moving to consolidate. TheBlaze and CRTV partnered on some projects, and the two organizations started corresponding with each other on social media.
TheBlaze had struggled for the last few years, burning through company executives and laying off dozens of staffers. In June, when CNN “Reliable Sources” anchor Brian Stelter questioned Beck about reported troubles at TheBlaze, Beck grew upset and walked off set.
“I think that’s the most ridiculous question I have ever heard,” Beck said at the time. “I’m sitting here ready to talk to you about the detaining of children and parents and trying to break families apart … and you want to play those games? Have a nice day.”