Full launch planned for Sept. 12
With his Fox News show ending this month, Glenn Beck announced Tuesday the launch of GBTV, a live-streaming video network that will feature his new daily two-hour show beginning Sept. 12 for $4.95 a month.
Beck is following the example of Oprah Winfrey, who also left her daytime show to start her own network. But Beck is charging for his, and doing it online, in the expectation that his fans are dedicated enough to follow him.
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"GBTV is the future," Beck said in a statment. "The confines of traditional media no longer apply. GBTV is about getting active in the community, participating in stories, and finding new ways to deliver news, information and entertainment directly to the audience."
Customers who want a full range of programming on the network, including a six-camera simulcast of Glenn’s three-hour radio show and "The 4th Hour" starring Pat Gray and Stu Burguiere, can pay $9.95 for GBTV Plus. Subscribers to the full package will also see specials like programming around Beck's planned trip to Israel in August, which he has discussed at length on his Fox News show.
Mercury Radio Arts, Beck's production company, said the network already has 80,000 paying subscribers. Some programming is already available, and the network plans a full launch Sept. 12, the day Beck's show debuts.
The new two-hour show will air beginning at 5 p.m., the same time as Beck's show on Fox News. It will be overseen by Joel Cheatwood, the former Fox News Channel executive who joined Mercury earlier this year. He was apointed president of programming for GBTV.
The new network plans scripted and unscripted content from Mercury and other companies and has signed a development deal with television producer and bestselling Brad Thor.
Like Winfrey, Beck will try to draw attention to his new show with a behind-the-scenes series while other productions ramp up. Winfrey's initial OWN offerings included a reality show about her final season on daytime TV, and Beck's series is about the making of GBTV.
Beck will discuss GBTV during a livestream Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET on glennbeck.com.