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5/25/11

Glenn Beck Developing Web-based TV

Back when rumors were swirling of Glenn Beck leaving Fox News I thought he might be developing his own media empire. TV Newser confirmed that Beck is planning a TV channel GBTV with the slogan, "The truth lives here."

Video news on the internet is way overdue. Al-Jazeera's greatest strength is the ability to stream live news with minimal commercials. They tie it together nicely with their website and radio channels. Beck's challenge will be to attract new viewers rather than steal them away from Fox, and he could do that by balancing breaking news with sensible opinion. It needs to be free. Fox has become centralist, somewhat liberal in fact, and ignores much of the facts and sensible opinions that viewers crave.

The timing is perfect for the 2012 elections as well. He will likely roll out the channel with a bang and just in time to prop up the Republican presidential nominee. 2012 could be to Beck what Bush was to Fox.

(www.mediabistro.com) Beck recently hired former Fox News executive Joel Cheatwood to join Mercury, and one source familiar with the situation says that Cheatwood is hard at work developing programming concepts for GBTV.

The actual business model for GBTV remains unclear. It may be free to view, with revenue derived from advertising and other revenue streams like DVDs or smartphone apps. A more likely scenario is that people would subscribe to GBTV by paying a monthly fee–as they do for “InsiderExtreme”–and would be able to access that content from whichever platform they choose.

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