Glenn Beck Tweeted earlier this week, “Before Al-Jazeera bought Current TV, TheBlaze looked into buying it but we were rejected by progressive owners.”
Amazingly, this is 100 percent true.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Beck’s The Blaze approached Current about buying the struggling channel last year, but was turned down on ideological grounds.
Beck was reportedly told that “the legacy of who the network goes to is important to us and we are sensitive to networks not aligned with our point of view.”
Not surprising. Current TV is the network founded by former Democratic Vice President Al Gore, and later anchored by Keith Olbermann and Eliot Spitzer.
It’s entirely unclear how far negotiations between Beck and Current TV got, if anywhere beyond Current’s executives laughing his crew out of the room.
Furthermore, who knows if Beck and Co. even had the cash to throw down (Current reportedly sold for $500 million) or what he would’ve done with it.
Still, Current TV doesn’t have NEAR the viewership that, say, MSNBC enjoys, but it does reach 40 million homes … which is likely why Al Jazeera bought it.
Rather than simply use Current to distribute its existing English channel, Al Jazeera English (based in Doha, Qatar), Al Jazeera will create a new channel based in NYC.
Potentially called Al Jazeera America, roughly 60 percent of the programming will be produced in the US while the remaining 40 percent will come from Al Jazeera English.
Sadly, whatever the controversial but surging Middle Eastern network puts on the air, it’s hard to imagine it’ll do worse than Current in ad revenue.