If Glenn Beck succeeds in turning The Blaze into a massive media conglomerate, Betsy Morgan will deserve much of the thanks.
The former Huffington Post CEO shocked the media world in January when she joined as president of Beck’s site.
She explained the choice to move to the conservative publication by saying, “I am a very apolitical person. I’m a business person, who is absolutely fascinated by brands.”
Morgan spent 10 years at CBS, eventually rising to SVP and GM of CBS.com before moving to HuffPo as CEO in 2007. She was ousted in July 2009 and replaced by investor Eric Hippeau, which came as a surprise to Morgan.
“I miss it tremendously. I miss the fabulous people there,” she said at the time. “[It’s] sad and disappointing to leave the company.”
Although her departure was unexpected, under Morgan’s tenure the Huffington Post gained massive traffic and dramatically increased revenue. As a shareholder, the former CEO undoubtedly earned a large payday from February’s $315 million sale to AOL.
Now she will attempt to do the same for The Blaze, which is staffing up with editorial talent and showing spiking traffic according to Quantcast.com. (Compete.com‘s numbers are not quite as impressive, but still demonstrate great growth from February to March.)
Beck’s broad appeal and the success of the Mercury Radio Arts company drew Morgan to the position.
“Glenn is undeniably an enormous national brand. That absolutely piqued my interest and curiosity,” she told Forbes in January. “Watching what he’s done in really smart, thoughtful multimedia way, how he’s gotten himself out there in all these platforms, is a really cool and interesting thing, and I don’t think there are a lot of individuals who are doing this.”
Morgan and Beck might not seem like a match made in heaven, but in January the radio host explained his reasoning for hiring Morgan. He could not say enough nice things about her.
“I think it was the fastest decision I’ve made in a long time,” he said. “I think it was two minutes.