Ever wondered what it’s like to work with Glenn Beck?
Here’s your answer: Yes, there are chalkboards.
Just over a year ago Beck launched The Blaze (named after Moses and the burning bush), a news and opinion website headed up by editor in chief Scott Baker, formerly of Breitbart TV.
In January he turned a lot of heads when he scooped up Betsy Morgan, former CEO of Huffington Post to run it. Further proof to many that Beck intended to expand the Blaze beyond the usual opinion and news aggregation fare.
To wit, in March the site gained widespread media attention for debunking James O’Keefe‘s NPR sting video.
In August the site, which benefits from Beck’s large following but is separate from Beck’s own website, clocked 5 million uniques.
Earlier this week The Blaze invited us to take a tour of their new offices located in midtown Manhattan on the floor space occupied by Beck’s company Mercury Radio and Arts.
The Blaze is located in midtown Manhattan on the same floor as Beck's Mercury Radio and Arts office. Here's what the looks like when you get off the elevator.
The Blaze office was modelled after the TMZ offices in L.A., which Morgan and Baker visited earlier this year. They wanted to incorporate the same openness and energy into their space.
Check out this view. Morgan told us that, unlike traditional newsrooms of the past which were often dark and windowless, she wanted to create a newsroom with light and windows.
Meet Jackie Greaney, she is Director of Operations at the Blaze. She is also responsible for the design of this entire office. The whole thing!
The Blaze library (who says books are dead). Greaney told us that because they are in a midtown building with no freight elevator everything had to be shipped through regular mail.
This is the staff lounge (naturally they were all hard at work when I was there). On the TV is CNBC.
Framed memorabilia from Beck's various media ventures await hanging in the conference room. Markdown is the Groupon-like site he launched recently. 1791 is the name of his clothing line.
Even the books are colour coded to match the office decor. Though perhaps the titles may come as a surprise.
This is Morgan's office. It used to have a wall that separated it from the rest of the newsroom but that was knocked down to foster a sense of openness.
Different view of Morgan's office. The framed picture on the left is the cover of the NYT magazine 2002 story about network news...
NYT finally gets the 'way we live now' right. Morgan has this framed in her office. It has traveled with her throughout the years. Good reminder to keep up or drop out.
This is Jonathan Seidl, he is assistant editor at The Blaze. He is also one of the original launch editors. (Behold every bloggers staple: diet coke!)
Eventually Amy Holmes, GBTV's news anchor, will broadcast straight from the office. There are also plans in the works for further multi-media Blaze-based ventures as the site expands. (That is Beck radio sidekick Stu Burguiere on all the screens).
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