Former Huffington Post CEO and CBSNews.com General Manager Betsy Morgan has been named president of Glenn Beck’s Web venture, The Blaze.
Morgan, who spent 10 years at CBS News before jumping to HuffPo, departing there in June of 2009, will now be tasked with growing the news and information site geared toward Beck’s radio and TV community. Mercury Radio Arts, Beck’s company, also announced tonight that former Premiere Radio Networks President Kraig Kitchin will join The Blaze as director of sales. Scott Baker, who joined The Blaze from Breitbart.tv as Managing Editor, has been promoted to Editor-in-Chief.
“The Blaze is very fortunate to welcome Betsy and Kraig to the team,” said Beck in a statement. “Betsy has proven herself to be a successful media executive and leader in the digital media space, and her unique perspective and experiences will be valuable in building The Blaze as a vibrant, impactful community.”
The Blaze is a curated mix of stories from politics, to news of the day, to offbeat stories and media criticism, from a conservative point of view. The site, launched in August, boasts about 3 million unique visitors a month.
Press release after the jump…
FORMER HUFFINGTON POST CEO BETSY MORGAN NAMED PRESIDENT AND FORMER PREMIERE RADIO NETWORKS PRESIDENT KRAIG KITCHIN NAMED DIRECTOR OF SALES AT GLENN BECK’S THE BLAZE
MANAGING EDITOR SCOTT BAKER PROMOTED TO EDITOR IN CHIEF
New York, NY, January 5, 2011 – Former Huffington Post CEO Betsy Morgan and Former Premiere Radio Networks President Kraig Kitchin will join The Blaze, Glenn Beck’s four month-old information network, it was announced today by Christopher Balfe, President & COO of Mercury Radio Arts.
Morgan will be based in New York, and Kitchin will be based in Los Angeles.
As president, Morgan will focus on establishing The Blaze as a premiere digital network curating content, community and debate and further leveraging Beck’s loyal audience. Kitchin joins as director of sales, and will oversee all advertising activity for The Blaze. Scott Baker, who joined The Blaze from Breitbart.tv as Managing Editor, has been promoted to Editor in Chief.
“The Blaze is very fortunate to welcome Betsy and Kraig to the team,” said Beck. “Betsy has proven herself to be a successful media executive and leader in the digital media space, and her unique perspective and experiences will be valuable in building The Blaze as a vibrant, impactful community. Kraig is a veteran advertising executive whose strong relationships and vast media experience will help forge new partnerships and further develop our brand.”
Morgan most recently served as the CEO of the award winning Huffington Post from 2007 until 2009, playing a pivotal role in the company’s expansion. Under her leadership, the site grew from 4 million to 22 million unique visitors and doubled its ad revenue. Morgan expanded the number of content verticals to ten, incorporated over 3,000 new blogging contributors, and raised $25 million in new funding. Prior to her tenure at the Huffington Post, Morgan spent 10 years at CBS News, where she worked as vice president of the news division in the digital sector, and later as senior vice president of CBS Interactive and the general manager of CBSNews.com. She is a graduate of Colby College and Harvard Business School.
“I am thrilled to be leading The Blaze at this unprecedented time,” Morgan said. “Mercury Radio Arts is a powerful multimedia brand with a great business upside. I’m looking forward to expanding the team and developing businesses around topical content in all areas that engage audiences and drive a healthy national debate.”
Kitchin will continue to operate Sound Mind LLC, a management company that he launched in 2008 for many of the nation’s top radio, television and music personalities. In l987, Kitchin helped found Premiere Radio Networks-the top radio network in the country in both advertising relationships and audience reach, with over 190 million listeners weekly- and served as its President and COO for 10 years. At Premiere, Kitchin oversaw the development and distribution of more than 200 programs and services that aired on over 4,500 affiliations in the U.S. He has also been consistently ranked as one of the top 30 executives in the industry by Radio Ink magazine.
“I believe in The Blaze, and see its loyal readership beginning to emerge,” said Kitchin. “It will offer countless national advertisers an environment to connect with online readers and sell products and services as a result.”
TheBlaze.com launched in August of 2010 and has already delivered impressive audience growth, averaging over 3 million unique visitors per month. Major national advertisers such as Goldline, Lifelock and Freedomworks have already signed on as advertisers in 2011.
Premiere Radio Networks represents TheBlaze.com to advertisers nationwide.