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Glenn Beck’s Own Staff Rats Him Out: “The Blaze Is Dead,” “The Few Left Are Looking For An Exit”

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Jack Flash

Excerpted From The Huffington Post: Glenn Beck’s website The Blaze is coming apart, suffering from a lack of editorial direction, staff attrition and internal discord, according to sources inside the news outlet.

The site, which Beck launched in 2010 to serve as the conservative counterpart to The Huffington Post, has dropped from 25 employees on its editorial side to just six. A source inside The Blaze, who requested anonymity for fear of retribution, told HuffPost that the mood among the rapidly diminishing news team is somber.

“The few people who are still left are looking for an exit because they know The Blaze is over,” the source said. “They haven’t told us straight up that they’re done with us, but all the signs point to it, and they’re not replacing people who are laid off or get out.”

Other sources at the site say that reporters were notified in September that their phone and travel stipends had been eliminated. They were also notified over the summer that their health benefits would be reduced.

The Blaze officially closed its New York newsroom, a 35,000-square-foot space in Manhattan, in June. The remaining employees are working from their homes.

It is a remarkable crash for a news site that started with tons of promise. Beck launched The Blaze six years ago as an expansion of his empire, which already included radio, television and book publishing. He described it as a place where readers could come to find original reporting and stories that the mainstream media overlooked. It was known for plundering the web for local news stories that would appeal to conservatives and drive huge traffic, such as “8-Year-Old Florida Boy Suspended For Making Gun Shape With Fingers.”

The Blaze’s traffic quickly became a subject of envy for other conservative outlets. While popular sites like Breitbart News and the Daily Caller rely heavily on referral traffic from the Drudge Report to boost their page views, The Blaze was able to gain huge traffic despite rarely getting Drudge links. The Blaze attracted 31.6 million unique visitors in October 2014, according to the analytics site Quantcast. By this September, however, its traffic had plummeted to 7.8 million unique visitors.

In conversations with more than half a dozen former and current employees of The Blaze, all blamed upper-level management for the site’s troubles. There have been four CEOs since 2010, and two of them left in a span of six months in 2015. Beck is currently embroiled in a lawsuit with one of those former CEOs, whom he has accused of fraud and mismanagement.

“We had everything when we started in 2010 ― a huge platform and following ― but management screwed it up with their incompetence,” one source told HuffPost. “They made so many stupid mistakes, and Glenn trusts the wrong people, who then go and hire other bad people.”

While current and former employees said the website is on its last legs, The Blaze’s management says that they’re working on a relaunch called “Project Phoenix, Blaze 2.0.” The site recently hired former Red State Editor-in-Chief Leon Wolf as the new managing editor. And in an email sent to staff in late September, CEO Stewart Padveen heralded the coming of a new era.

“In spite of some bad press and the challenges ahead, the word for what we are planning has started to trickle out,” he wrote. “The black cloud of negativity and pessimism is slowly being replaced by a new wave of optimism about our future.”

Padveen echoed his upbeat view of the site’s future in a statement to HuffPost.

“The Blaze is one of the top political and cultural news websites in the U.S. with an engaged and loyal audience of millions of visitors every month,” he wrote. “We’re very excited to welcome Leon Wolf, a celebrated and influential leader in the industry, as our new managing editor. Leon will soon begin to build out a talented team of journalists to support him as we introduce our plans for the future of The Blaze.”

But sources inside the publication remain highly skeptical.

“Padveen has a history of telling everyone that everything is fine, then a few days later calling people and directing them to fire people because The Blaze can’t make payroll,” said one source. Another, who is familiar with the “Blaze 2.0” plan, told HuffPost that management has been talking about relaunching for more than a year, and that those plans would likely move the site away from actual news.

“When The Blaze launched, Glenn said that it would be a place for reported pieces and news, but the ‘Blaze 2.0’ relaunch will be sponsored content, community-generated content, and links to videos from Glenn Beck’s Blaze TV shows,” the source said. “The Blaze as we know it is dead.” Keep reading

  • Sly Lionhart

    No one seems to care. But good luck Glen, try to keep your face out of the breakfast cereal.

  • ProudDeplorableAmerican

    The Blaze Is Dead?
    Hello!
    hmmm

  • Ang

    The article is utter bullshit… Send like when ever Glenn his hard on the truth, BS articles like this come crawling out of the wood work. You in the media should be ashamed, oooooohhh wait, you lost your moral compass years ago. What was I thinking

    • “I don’t like it, it must be false!”

      I remember the days when Beck fans were obsessed with the truth. Too bad they’ve lost their damn minds.

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