The Huffington Post may have been conceived as the Left’s Drudge Report but it looks like Glenn Beck’s The Blaze is angling to be the new HuffPo…at least in terms of traffic and influence.
Yesterday it was reported ed that The Blaze had hired former HuffPo CEO Betsy Morgan to run the site, today The Wire has learned they have also scooped up HuffPo’s HR manager Jackie Greaney.
Beck noted in his News Year’s message that his company planned on hiring more than 40 people in the New Year and so in that sense these hires are not a surprise. But what’s especially interesting here, particularly where Morgan’s hire is concerned, is that it’s clear Beck and Co. is interested in playing on a much larger stage with the Blaze.
And this isn’t just about traffic.
The Blaze is only four months old and according to Quantcast already clocking in 10 million page views per week. That’s mostly a reflection of Glenn Beck’s large and built-in audience (the same audience that jettisons every book he mentions to the top of the Amazon charts) but it’s solid traffic and if Beck merely wanted a vanity project that’s more than enough to ensure some solid promotion and likely advertising dollars.
But Beck wants to go bigger. I suspect what he is looking for here the sort of cross platform relevance that Arianna has established with HuffPo. He wants to be a bigger player in more fields.
Also, I suspect he wants the sort of respect that has been accrued to Huffington who is now a go-to on all things politics and new media. Over the last year Beck has established himself as a media phenomenon but he is still largely skirted by the MSM who often find his brand of politics troubling. But if Beck turns The Blaze into a go-to for things other than Beck and starts breaking news to boot…well, one imagines it will be a bit like Drudge meets Arianna meets Oprah.