The Daily Beast’s Lloyd Grove reports on the demoralized workforce at Glenn Beck’s The Blaze, with one episode highlighting a round of mass layoffs while Beck allegedly purchased luxury items for his own use.
From The Daily Beast:
“We’ve got to course-change, and if we don’t, we’re either going to go out of business or we’re going to be a crappy, soul-sucking business,” a frantic Beck, looking pudgy and exhausted in distressed jeans and a pumpkin-colored cardigan, warned Blaze employees during an in-house session last February at the company’s New York studios—a video of which was obtained by The Daily Beast.
“You’ve seen this company start to slide into that crappy zone. No! I’ll shut the damn thing down before we become everything we despise.”
The majority owner harangued his minions: “We are three million dollars in the hole! That means we are three million dollars from profit. That means I have to take three million dollars out of my wallet, and I have done this now for several years. I don’t have money left. I’m out… I need three million dollars [in savings] by the end of the year. If we wait, it’s gonna be massive, bloody cuts.”
Massive, bloody cuts soon followed, as the debt ballooned to at least $5 million and as much as $10 million, according to current and former Blaze employees.
On May 11, 2015—a day Beck staffers have dubbed “Black Monday”—dozens were laid off in New York and the Dallas suburb of Irving, Texas. There, Beck had purchased a 72,000-square-foot studio complex and corporate headquarters in the Las Colinas neighborhood, and built his fake Oval Office.
The fired employees (one of whom, a big, bluff Irishman who supervised the lighting for the New York studios, broke down sobbing at the news) received their notice not from Beck, who had personally recruited many of them, but in antiseptic phone calls from the corporate HR department.
Beck, meanwhile, showed up at Las Colinas driving his brand new Maybach, proudly showing off the nearly-$200,000 sleek black sedan that he’d just purchased to add to his fleet of luxury vehicles, including an armored, bulletproof Mercedes limo and a similarly outfitted Chevy Suburban.
Beck, whose net worth Forbes puts at more than a $100 million, was crying poormouth, but he had also purchased—through Mercury Radio Arts, named for the production company of Beck’s hero, Orson Welles—the opulently appointed DC-9 that had been owned by his late friend, right-wing billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife.
The vintage jetliner cost around a million dollars, due to its great age, but is ruinously expensive to maintain, operate, and fuel, according to Blaze insiders, and required the hiring of two pilots at tens of thousands of dollars per month—a corporate expense to be added to the estimated million dollars a year for Beck’s personal security force.
Read the rest of the story here.