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Posts Tagged ‘Chris Balfe’

Glenn Beck’s ‘TheBlaze’ Skeptical of Comcast/TWC Deal

theblazelogoThe CEO of Glenn Beck‘s network TheBlaze says Comcast’s proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable is not in the interest of start-up networks.

“As monopolies in the markets that they serve, cable companies often ignore their subscribers’ wishes,” Chris Balfe says in a statement, adding that major video programming distributors don’t have a good track record of “supporting independent programmers” like TheBlaze.

“We are skeptical that giving Comcast even more market power will benefit consumers, promote competition or lead to more diversity of voices or consumer choice on their channel line ups.”

TheBlaze is currently carried by DISH, Cablevision, Buckeye CableSystem, RCN, and 46 other operators across the country. They ran a social media campaign last summer to grow their provider base. Time Warner Cable and Comcast are not yet carriers.

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Glenn Beck Signs up Boxee

GBTV, Glenn Beck’s live streaming video network, is now  available on all Boxee devices. A Boxee device — which looks pretty slick next to your TV — finds Internet programs and puts them on your TV. Chris Balfe, President and COO of Mercury Radio Arts said: “As a company passionate about the future of television, we are excited to partner with Boxee, one of the leaders in transforming the way people watch T.V.” Andrew Kippen, VP of Marketing at Boxee says, “Adding GBTV to our ever expanding library of apps helps expose a new audience to Boxee. It also brings Glenn Beck’s unique style to our audience of users around the globe that are hungry for commentary on the latest world events.”

Glenn Beck: GBTV ‘Has Got To Be Bigger Than Me’

“I argued that the network shouldn’t be called GBTV,” Glenn Beck says. “I don’t want it about me, I want it bigger than me, it has got to be bigger than me.”

We are standing in GBTV’s basement studio in midtown Manhattan, not too far from the News Corp. building, where Beck held court at 5 PM on Fox News for over two years.  After Beck and FNC parted ways earlier this year, he announced the launch of his web-TV channel, the cornerstone of which would be a daily two-hour program, an extended version of his Fox News show.

The crowd is small, four media reporters, Beck and Chris Balfe, the president of Beck’s company, Mercury Radio Arts. Some staffers from the just-completed taping of Beck’s daily show are still milling around, winding up cords, dimming the lights and moving the cameras to the side of the studio.

The show itself looked nearly identical to Beck’s FNC program, though there were some technical hiccups along the way, including a TelePrompTer issue at the end of comedian Brian Sack‘s segment. Nonetheless, the show did not feel like a program on the internet. That was an intentional decision, Beck says:

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Glenn Beck Setting Up Radio & TV Studio in Dallas

Glenn Beck is putting away the polo and pulling out the cowboy hat. After numerous reports — including this one which includes pictures of the home Beck is reportedly renting — Beck confirmed he is moving to Dallas where he will open new radio and television studios.

Chris Balfe, President and COO of Mercury Radio Arts,tells Beck’s site The Blaze, “While Glenn will be spending much of his time there, we will continue to maintain and grow our New York City offices and studios to accommodate the talented staff we have assembled and will continue to assemble here.”

“I can’t wait,” Beck said during his radio show today. Beck announced in April that he’d be leaving the New York area, and later sold his Connecticut home. Two weeks ago, Beck and his family were harassed while watching an outdoor movie in New York City’s Bryant Park.

Glenn Beck 2.0: What Happens Next?

Outgoing Fox News host Glenn Beck is the subject of an in-depth piece by the New York Observer. The weekly paper compares Beck to the fictional media tycoon Charles Foster Kane from Citizen Kane.

The comparison is apt, the Observer notes, as Beck grew up listening to Orson Welles‘ radio plays, and named his company, Mercury Radio Arts, after Welles’ radio program.

The Observer speaks to Mercury staffers, including CEO Chris Balfe, The Blaze chief Betsy Morgan, and even a young sound technician. Update: While the Observer did speak to Morgan, quotes from Balfe and the sound tech were from other sources. It paints a fuller picture of Beck’s media empire, beyond the TV set. It also talks about his particular brand of commentary:

Like Welles’ radio entertainments, and not too far from Kane’s more propagandizing stunts, Glenn Beck’s brand of commentary is only feasible because it is not journalism (and because lawsuits for slander are difficult to win in the United States). Despite appearing on the Fox News channel—a putatively journalistic organization—Mr. Beck routinely couches his paranoid raves with disclaimers like “I’m not a journalist” or “Don’t take my word for it, do your own homework.”

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Balfe Named Among ’40 Under 40′

President of Mercury Radio Arts, Glenn Beck‘s multimedia production company, Christopher Balfe is named among Crain’s NY 40 Under 40. The 31-year-old quit his consulting job at Accenture in 2002 when Beck asked him to run his then-”fledgling media company.” MRA reportedly had revenues of $26 million last year. “I’m the idea guy,” Beck said. “He’s the guy who knows how to make it work.”

WaPo: ‘Tension’ at Fox News over Glenn Beck?

beck_3-15.jpgIn his latest column, WaPo’s Howie Kurtz examines Glenn Beck‘s standing within the Fox News organization, writing of a division within the network regarding the controversial host:

With his celebrity fueled by a Time cover story, best-selling books, cheerleading role at protest rallies and steady stream of divisive remarks, Beck is drawing big ratings. But there is a deep split within Fox between those — led by Chairman Roger Ailes — who are supportive, and many journalists who are worried about the prospect that Beck is becoming the face of the network.

While Kurtz reports that “internal tensions are fueled by two views of Beck’s success,” the execs who spoke on the record indicate that Fox News had extended its full support to Beck. Chris Balfe, president of Beck’s Mercury Radio Arts, tells Kurtz that Ailes regularly gives Beck advice, and FNC’s EVP of programming, Bill Shine, told Kurtz that a VP had been assigned to review the content of Beck’s show ahead of time. “We see Glenn as an investment and we wanted to help him out even more,” Shine tells Kurtz.

A Fox News spokesperson tells TVNewser, “Howie’s use of anonymous sources is stunning from a paper with the reputation of the Washington Post’s. Glenn Beck has the 100% support of Fox News management.”

Read the column here.

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The Man Behind Glenn Beck? A 31-Year-Old ‘Insurgent of 2010′

‘Tis the season for lists — when the ins and outs, bests and worsts are compiled for all to click. This week The New York Observer has its list of “Insurgents of 2010,” described as “the punks who will make this city hum again.”

They profile 31-year-old Chris Balfe who runs the Glenn Beck empire:

Chris Balfe was 18 years old when he first approached his favorite radio DJ and offered to build him a Web site. This was 1997, years before Glenn Beck would become one of the country’s most influential conservative pundits. At the time, he was a top-40 DJ in New Haven. From the get-go, the two clicked. A few years later, Mr. Balfe was working for Accenture (having dropped out of the University of Connecticut to start a business) when he got a call. Quit your job, said Mr. Beck, and together we’ll build an empire. And so they did.

In 2009, Mercury Radio Arts, Mr. Beck’s Manhattan-based production company, brought in some $23 million in revenue; it includes a top-ranked cable TV show, America’s third-most-popular radio program, a string of best-selling books, a comedy tour and a booming Web site. Mr. Balfe oversees it all.

Others on the list of 53 include Rolling Stone‘s Matt Taibbi (son of NBC’s Mike), The New York TimesAndrew Ross Sorkin, Bloomberg Business Week editor Josh Tyrangiel and Jimmy Fallon.

Glenn Beck’s Got Appendicitis

FNC host Glenn Beck had an appendicitis attack during his radio show today. Chris Balfe, President of Mercury Radio Arts, Beck’s production company, confirmed that Beck had his appendix removed today at an undisclosed hospital. “Before going under Glenn asked the doctor to draw out the surgery procedure on a blackboard,” Balfe joked to the blog NTS MediaOnline.

Earlier on TVNewser: Glenn Beck Surgery Goes “Horribly Awry”