He once hosted a show on the network, but a new report claims there were talks of turning HLN into Glenn Beck’s The Blaze.
Even as Time Warner continues discussions with Vice media, the Wall Street Journal‘s Keach Hagey reports CNN executives recently met with team Beck as it plans an overhaul of HLN:
Among the possible deals considered was an arrangement similar to the one being discussed with Vice Media, according to a person familiar with the deal: forming a new venture between CNN-parent Time Warner and The Blaze that would replace HLN’s current programming with Blaze programming.
Hagey reports the two sides couldn’t come to terms on a deal. Beck got his start on national TV on Headline News in 2006. He moved to Fox News in 2009, all while continuing his radio show and building his media empire. After leaving Fox News, he launched GBTV, which became The Blaze. Just this week, The Blaze updated its appeal to achieve greater distribution. The digital network is on about 60 small cable systems as well as DISH network, but not on the big 6 carriers which cover 75% of U.S. households.
This all puts the spotlight back on Vice Media. From Hagey:
Under the structure being contemplated, Time Warner and Vice would each own 50% of a new TV network that would take advantage of Vice’s youth-driven, edgy approach to news. Time Warner would control that TV network and would get a minority stake in Vice Media, the person said.
In June, Vice co-founder and CEO Shane Smith told the New York Times having a TV network was “the next step in our evolution. Our mobile and online stuff is going to grow exponentially, but we want a three-legged stool, and the third leg is TV.”
By the looks of it, the days of HLN as you know it are numbered. Launched as CNN2 on January 1, 1982, the network was renamed Headline News in 1983. In 2008, the channel was re-branded HLN. When CourtTV evolved into TruTV, and shuttered “In Session,” HLN began gavel-to-gavel coverage of high profile proceedings including the Casey Anthony trial in 2011 and the George Zimmerman trial in 2013.
Earlier this year, under the new leadership of Albie Hecht, HLN intended to become “the home for the social media generation.” Late night and weekend programming has consisted of true crime series while live programming includes “Morning Express with Robin Meade” and primetime programs hosted by Jane Velez-Mitchell, Dr. Drew Pinsky and Nancy Grace, who draws the network’s highest ratings on any given night.