TheBlaze and CRTV have merged to create Blaze Media, the companies announced on Monday, in a move they say will allow the new conservative entity to reach 165 million people via television, online and on social media.
The Blaze was founded by former Fox News host Glenn Beck in 2011 not long after parting ways with the network, while CRTV was founded in 2014 by current Fox News host Mark Levin, who also hosts a nationally syndicated radio program.
Both men lauded the merger.
“Tens of millions of Americans have had it with the biased, ideologically-driven mainstream media outlets that sanctimoniously advance their own agendas under the guise of ‘news’ and ‘journalism,’” said Levin, founder of LevinTV, the flagship program of CRTV, in a statement provided to The Hill.
“Conservatives actually believe in a free press and the rest of the Constitution. This is why I started LevinTV, which grew into the CRTV digital network. In order to further expand and offer the public an alternative to liberal media group-think, I'm very excited about the merger of TheBlaze and CRTV. The timing is perfect.”
“The combination of the exceptional roster of TheBlaze and CRTV talent means Blaze Media will now be as broad and ideologically diverse as the audiences we serve,” said Beck. “Conservatives, libertarians, constitutionalists, and more have a home at Blaze Media. Our hosts will have differences, but we share a common belief in free expression, honest discourse and a society founded in the principles of the Bill of Rights. I’m beyond thrilled about this merger.”
The Hollywood Reporter first broke the story late Sunday night.
Levin, a former chief of staff to Attorney General Ed Meese in the Reagan administration, currently hosts the Fox News Sunday night program "Life, Liberty and Levin." In addition to Levin, hosts at CRTV include Vice Media co-founder Gavin McInnes, Phil Robertson of "Duck Dynasty," Michelle Malkin, former Fox News host Eric Bolling and Deneen Borelli.
While Levin is the biggest name at CRTV, he did not hold management authority at CRTV, according to a statement on his Facebook page.
Blaze Media will compete with other conservative entities such as Breitbart and The Daily Wire, with the latter featuring popular conservative host and columnist Ben Shapiro.
Shapiro, 34, had been in acquisition talks with Beck that first surfaced publicly in February. Beck told The Hollywood Reporter he'd still like to pursue talks with Shapiro, whose podcast is downloaded more than 10 million times per month.
Shapiro congratulated the companies on the merger on Twitter late Sunday night.
Very exciting news -- congratulations! https://t.co/SG8yjigXq0— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) December 3, 2018
The Hill has reached out to Shapiro and Beck for comment.
TheBlaze has experienced layoffs starting in 2017, losing hosts including current National Rifle Association spokeswoman Dana Loesch and conservative firebrand Tomi Lahren.
Financial terms of the merger were not disclosed.