‘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.”
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.