Glenn Beck is getting rid of his name. At least as it applies to his online TV network.
As first reported by CNN, Beck is merging his eponymous online video venture with TheBlaze.com, Beck's independently operated online news editorial network. The Blaze, which resembles something like a conservative second cousin of the The Huffinton Post, will lend its name to the online TV outlet, which was launched as Glenn Beck TV or GBTV.
Beck released a statement on The Blaze this afternoon detailing the new situation:
"We will now be delivering a mix of premium subscription content and free content on TheBlaze. Later this year, if you’re a subscriber and go to login at GBTV.com, you’ll be redirected to login at TheBlaze.com – and you’ll still be able to watch the premium video content on the web, iOS devices, Roku and Boxee. Meanwhile, TheBlaze’s free content will continue to be a mix of original reporting, curated news stories, opinion pieces, and video."
According to Beck, who is prone to controversy and high drama, the merger will usher in a "media revolution." Beck told CNN he was never truly happy with lending his name to the online TV network and that the move will build on the success of The Blaze's brand.
According to comScore figures, The Blaze has performed quite well, adding well over 1 million unique viewers in the over the past year (The Blaze had 3.4 million uniques in May 2012, up from 2.1 million in May 2011). GBTV, in comparison, launched in July 2011 and has seen significant trail off in terms of monthly unique visitors (from a high of around 800,000 uniques in September 2011), though CNN estimates GBTV has over 300,000 paid subscriptions.
Motivations aside, the merger will combine the wide appeal of The Blaze with Beck's network and possibly allow room for growth. Beck's brand, while it attracts ardent followers, plays with a limited audience and the addition of The Blaze may help the network formerly known as GBTV garner additional paid subscriptions and perhaps even attract advertisers who were once weary of appearing under Beck's name.