By Lucas Shaw
NEW YORK (TheWrap.com) – Glenn Beck and Premiere Networks finalized a long-term contract extension on Monday, linking one of the nation’s most popular radio programs with a syndication giant.
The new deal between Beck’s Mercury Radio Arts and Premiere, a subsidiary of Clear Channel, ensures Premiere will syndicate “The Glenn Beck Program” for five more years.
Reports value the contract at $100 million – double his prior deal. It covers not just “The Glenn Beck Program,” but Beck’s assorted digital businesses as well.
Beck left Fox News last year and carried his devoted cadre of fans to the internet, launching GBTV, an online streaming network. That complements other Mercury Radio Arts properties like TheBlaze.com, e-commerce site Markdown.com and GlennBeck.com. Premiere will sell advertising for those ventures.
Ratings for Beck’s radio show have grown nearly 50 percent over the last five years, and in its 10th year with Premiere it is typically the third highest-rated show in talk radio behind Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. Premiere carries both of their shows as well.
Carried by more than 400 stations, Beck’s show airs from 9 a.m. to noon in most markets.
“Simply put, Premiere is the best in the business,” Beck said in a statement. “Over the past 10 years, they have proven to be a true partner in every sense of the word.”
In moving online, Beck bet his personal brand was strong enough to survive without the promotional force of a television network. Though GBTV has a much smaller audience than Beck’s television show – or his radio show – it is often cited as an example of a new media success story.
Back in March, the Wall Street Journal reported that the network would hit $40 million in revenue this year thanks to subscriptions and advertisements.
“Since we began our relationship 10 years ago, Glenn has not only built an incredible connection to his audience on multiple platforms, but has also established himself as a true talent and visionary,” Julie Talbott, Premiere Networks president, content and affiliate relations, said in a statement. “We’re incredibly proud of the continued growth and success of our partnership with Glenn and Mercury Radio Arts, and look forward to working together for many more years to come.”
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