Glenn Beck is About to Become a $100 Million Man

Jeff Bercovici

What do pundits crave more, broad influence or money in the bank?

If it’s influence Glenn Beck values most, maybe he should have stayed at Fox News, where, even on a bad night, he drew more than 1 million viewers, and where just about everything he said or did seemed to make ripples. But if money is the goal, then Beck’s new venture, an online network called GBTV, is not only a much bolder and original bet, but also a much better one.

GBTV’s centerpiece, a two-hour daily program called “Glenn Beck,” doesn’t even debut until this evening, but it already has more than 230,000 paying subscribers. That number has tripled since June, when the 80,000 people who were paying $9.95 a month for Beck’s preexisting premium web service, Insider Extreme, has their subscriptions automatically rolled over into GBTV accounts.

“Because Mr. Beck owns the show and the network, he could make substantially more than the $2.5 million salary he got each year at Fox,” reports the Wall Street Journal. That’s a major understatement…

The article continues at Forbes.

At The Blaze, The Wall Street Journal: GBTV Already Has More Subscribers Than Oprah’s Network Has Viewers 

…The complete Wall Street Journal article, well worth reading, is restricted to subscribers, but here is one nugget :

Because Mr. Beck owns the show and the network, he could make substantially more than the $2.5 million salary he got each year at Fox. GBTV is on track to take in more than $20 million in revenue in its debut year, according to a person close to the company.

The television industry will be watching closely to see whether the TV host can preserve his popularity while migrating to the Web, where efforts to get consumers to pay to watch online-only channels are just beginning.

When Mr. Beck announced GBTV in June, the network had 80,000 subscribers. In the months since, GBTV subscribers have swelled to more than 230,000, according to people close to the network, even though Mr. Beck‘s show hasn’t yet begun.

The audience is far less than the more than 2.2 million daily viewers his program on Fox drew, on average, over its 27-month run, which ended in June after clashes with the network’s management.

But it is more than the average 156,000 people who were watching the Oprah Winfrey Network in June.

…Deadline New York is running with a headline reading, “Analyst: Media Execs ‘Should Be Very Afraid’ of Glenn Beck’s Web TV Launch.”…

Update: At Politico, Glenn Beck’s web network: bigger than Oprah?

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