Is Glenn Beck’s new website, the Blaze, taking a right-wing run at the Huffington Post?
Former HuffPo CEO Betsy Morgan has just signed on as president, the four-month-old site announced on Wednesday. She will focus on establishing the Blaze as a digital network similar to HuffPo -- one that curates news and offers community forums.
By tapping an established new media veteran like Morgan, Beck is indicating that he is serious about expanding the digital presence of his brand of firebrand conservatism. It also represents an odd couple pairing of sorts -- as Morgan is jumping from left leaning Post to the online arm of one of the leading lights of the Tea Party movement.
Former Premiere Radio Networks President Kraig Kitchin will also join the site as director of sales, and will oversee all advertising activity for The Blaze.
Morgan will be based in New York. Kitchin will be based in Los Angeles.
In addition to the new hires, Scott Baker, who joined The Blaze from Breitbart.tv as managing editor, has been promoted to editor in chief.
“The Blaze is very fortunate to welcome Betsy and Kraig to the team,” said Beck. “Betsy has proven herself to be a successful media executive and leader in the digital media space, and her unique perspective and experiences will be valuable in building The Blaze as a vibrant, impactful community. Kraig is a veteran advertising executive whose strong relationships and vast media experience will help forge new partnerships and further develop our brand.”
Under Morgan's leadership, Huffington Post grew from 4 million to 22 million unique visitors and doubled its ad revenue.
TheBlaze.com launched in August of 2010. It currently averages over 3 million unique visitors per month. The site launched on the heels of Beck's controversial "Restoring Honor" rally in Washington D.C. that attracted thousands of people. At the time, the talk show host said he was launching the site as a corrective to the liberal media's spin.