Blaze Media has a new model for news. What does that mean for Glenn Beck fans?
The company founded by Beck and Mark Levin is choosing subscriptions over ads, saying it wants to avoid Big Tech censorship
Glenn Beck’s Blaze Media announced Tuesday that it is launching a new platform for news that will rely on subscriptions instead of advertising, saying the change is necessary in order to evade the censorship of technology companies.
“It’s more than a redesign — it’s a rebellion against the tech giants who have for too long manipulated narratives and stifled alternative voices,” the company said in an email to newsletter subscribers.
Variety magazine reported that access to the news website will cost $5 monthly, and BlazeTV+ will cost $120 a year.
In addition to analysis and news, the company said it was launching an investigative division in order to “take a deeper dive into the most challenging and impactful stories of our time.”
Blaze Media, founded by Beck and fellow talk-show host Mark Levin in 2018, describes itself as “news, opinion, and entertainment for people who love the American way of life.” It is among several news platforms vying for attention in what has been called a “parallel economy” built by conservatives who say they are “tired of giving money to people who hate us.”
These include The Dispatch, which is also subscription based and ad-free, but costs twice what Blaze charges per month, and The Daily Wire. And former Fox News personality Tucker Carlson recently launched his own media company, Last Country, and announced its first advertising deal this week.
Combined with myriad other right-leaning news sites and the content produced by Fox News and other conservative networks, conservatives have a dizzying array of options from which to get news.
But as Ross Douthat wrote in The New York Times earlier this year, conservatives tend to consume media of all kinds “through a strong hermeneutic of suspicion,” which is why Democrats are more likely to say they trust National Review than conservatives.
Conservatives distrust media so much that half of them believe news organizations deliberately mislead them, according to a report released last year by Gallup and The Knight Foundation. That trust took another hit this month in the flawed coverage of events in Gaza and Israel.
While conservatives have long dominated talk radio and cable news, their push to compete with newspapers and all-digital news sites is relatively new, as is their acquisition of social media sites. A.J. Bauer, writing for Politico, said, “None of this should come as a surprise. Conservatives have often been early adopters or innovators of new and emerging media.”
But on Tuesday, The Blaze leaned heavily into censorship and demonetization as the reason for going all-subscription, with Beck saying that social media platforms like Facebook are limiting his reach and the company decided it needed to make a change in advance of the 2024 election.
🚨LAUNCH DAY🚨— TheBlaze (@theblaze) October 24, 2023
"Blaze Media is declaring our independence from Big Tech ahead of the 2024 election to ensure that we can keep bringing you the truth no matter what. We are done playing the game. We're cutting out the middle man and going all in on you." - @glennbeck pic.twitter.com/jguAwsKMzA
So what can Glenn Beck fans find on The Blaze’s new site?
The articles are presented in a sepia-toned layout, making the site reminiscent of newspapers of old. There’s a news ticker similar to those that became common on cable news networks after 9/11. The content today includes “The Five Best Books on the Great Reset” (not surprisingly, one written by Beck), articles about Texas suing the Biden administration and an NBA official who identifies as trans, and columns written by Jason Whitlock and James Poulos, among others.