The host announced that 20 percent of his staff was dismissed on Thursday. Despite an uptick of interest in political news and the ascendant trajectory of conservative media outlets like Breitbart News, Glenn Beck's political network, TheBlaze, continues to struggle and shed jobs.
On Thursday afternoon, Beck announced that 20 percent of the combined workforce of TheBlaze and parent company Mercury Radio Arts had been dismissed.
A source with knowledge of the situation pegged the number of employees affected at around 50, based on recent conversations about cutbacks.
"We are losing a lot of talented and committed colleagues, who are some of the best human beings I know — some have been friends of mine for 30 years," Beck wrote in his note. "It’s a difficult day for some exceptional people that mean a lot to me personally, my family, and the entire company."
TheBlaze, which sources said used to generate between $20 million to $30 million in annual revenue, is thought to be losing both free readers and digital subscribers these days. The right-skewing political network, which has been seen as something of a model for other would-be OTT experimenters like Bill O'Reilly, also has a linear TV channel.
Beck, in the note, made reference to the structural challenges facing the media industry, but said he is undeterred. "When someone — anyone — tells me that something can’t be done, it only makes me more determined to prove them wrong," he wrote.
A former Fox News host, Beck is thought to still have a devoted audience, ensuring that TheBlaze will always have at least a modest base of consumer support.
Glenn Beck Lays Off 20 Percent Of ‘TheBlaze’ and Mercury Radio Arts Staff – Cites “Structural Issues”
Conservative media mogul Glenn Beck has laid off more than 20 percent of staff at TheBlaze, his right-wing news organization, and the Mercury Radio Arts, his production company.
The cuts were announced Thursday by Beck in an op-ed on TheBlaze.com. The company’s total payroll once reached approximately 300, but cuts in the last few years halved that number. Various reports put the headcount affected by this round of layoffs between 100 and 150, which means anywhere from 20 to 30 people lost employment.
In an op-ed titled “A message from Glenn Beck: A Heavy Heart and the Road Ahead,” he laid out the problems his company faces.
“Today, we said goodbye to just over 20 percent of the combined workforce of Mercury Radio Arts and TheBlaze (with most of the changes happening at TheBlaze),” he said. “We are losing a lot of talented and committed colleagues, who are some of the best human beings I know — some have been friends of mine for 30 years.”
“We are not PBS,” he added. “No government institution is going to write us a giant check. The structural challenges facing media companies today are real; but, when someone — anyone — tells me that something can’t be done, it only makes me more determined to prove them wrong.” Beck did not specify the “structural challenges” facing his organization.
TheBlaze was founded by Beck in 2011 and broadcasts on regional cable networks across the United States. It also offers content online at TheBlaze.com.
Ironically, Beck’s layoffs happen just as one of his former high-profile contributors, Tomi Lahren, announced a new association with Fox. She sued Beck and TheBlaze earlier this year for wrongful termination. The suit alleges her pro-choice stance on pregnancy, as revealed in an interview on “The View,” led to her firing.