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Glenn Beck launches GBTV: Will his audience pay to watch him online?

Glenn Beck

(Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

Glenn Beck introduced GBTV today, the online video network that will be the new home of all-things Glenn: from his three-hour radio show, to a behind-the-scenes reality show about the making of his new network, to his new television show that will premiere Sept. 12, when the site officially takes off. “GBTV is the future,” said Beck, in a release. “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.”

Beck, whose last show on Fox airs June 30, is gambling that the folks who made him a phenomenal success at 5 p.m. will follow him online – and be willing to pay for that privilege. Mercury Radio Arts, Beck’s company, says that 80,000 subscribers have already paid the monthly fee (currently $4.95, with GBTV Plus, the deluxe package, rising to $9.95 after Sept. 12) for access to a video simulcast of his daily three-hour radio program, original documentaries, and close-up coverage of Beck’s trip to Israel in late August. More programming is in the works, through development deals Mercury has with people like author Brad Thor.

Do you think people are willing to pay for Glenn Beck? Even Howard Stern’s transition to satellite cost him some currency in the daily pop-cultural conversation – if not his wallet. Beck’s radio show will continue to air on Clear Channel, but his television audience reliably tuned in to Fox at 5 to see his show. Can they be counted on to make the jump with Beck?

Read more:
Glenn Beck to helm a new book publishing imprint with Simon & Schuster
Glenn Beck’s Fox departure: Where will his audience go?
The Glenn Beck Network. Yes, it could happen.

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