Two conservative media giants are combining forces. Glenn Beck and Mark Levin are merging TheBlaze and CRTV to create what the Hollywood Reporter calls a "conservative media powerhouse." Beck founded TheBlaze after exiting Fox News, while Levin, a former attorney in Ronald Reagan's administration and nationally syndicated radio host, founded LevinTV, which ultimately became CRTV ("Conservative Review" TV). CNN notes that the two media entities have been competitors for years, both offering on-demand video libraries with content from conservative contributors (among CRTV's stable: Michelle Malkin and Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson) and websites featuring conservative news and commentary; it paints the merger as "one of the most sizable consolidations to ever take place in right-wing media."
Beck says the new company, Blaze Media, could ultimately bring others onboard: "This is the beginning of scale," he tells THR. "Anyone who loves the Bill of Rights and pursues honesty, I want them all in. We’re an open book. Let’s talk." CNN reports that TheBlaze had been struggling recently, with executive turnover, layoffs, and high-profile splits with talent including Tomi Lahren. Ben Shapiro's Daily Wire had considered merging with the company recently, and Beck tells THR he'd "still like to do that." For now, Daily Wire will be one of Blaze Media's competitors; others include Breitbart News, the Daily Caller, and the newly launched Fox Nation online streaming platform. Blaze Media will reach 165 million people via digital platforms and social media, plus some TV providers including DISH and Verizon. (Read more Glenn Beck stories.)