Blaze Media Blazing New Paths in Media With Normal World & Re-Opening

Jon Croft profile image
by Jon Croft
Blaze Media Blazing New Paths in Media With Normal World & Re-Opening
Blaze Media hosts, Credit, Blaze Media

Glenn Beck’s Blaze Media was at one time a fledging digital media company that was dwarfed by his Mercury Radio operation. Not that this has been an easy success for Blaze by any means. In fact, back in 2014, Beck tried expanding it into a filmmaking operation that didn’t really fare well. Even with a solid plan to start with three films, it didn’t gain traction. The Hollywood Reporter covered this here.

Filmmaking is notoriously difficult, and great ideas don’t guarantee hits, even when you have an enormous cash flow behind it. Even pros can get it wrong, let Hollywood be an example of this.

But in the past year, more deals are coming through, and more work is being executed on. Just last week, Blaze hosted the Blaze Media Summit with Tucker Carlson, where some great presidential candidates got to air their policy views to the public, and an entire 8 1/2 uninterrupted hours of content were put out. This is not an easy task. Their hosts and influencers continue to do interesting work including Steve Deace, who produced a faith-based horror film called Nefarious, and made incredible progress for faith-based indie film on their theatrical run, which happened earlier this year in April.

This leads us up to now, where a new sketch comedy show Normal World, and a new comedy film Re-Opening are pointing us to Blaze’s possible focus for the future. The question is what will be a hit and what will get people to come through the subscription doors. Neither one seems to have made the enormous splash they need. Not yet at least. But why is this?

My quick analysis might not do it justice, but what I often see is a failure in marketing to present a unified front as encapsulated in a single truthful marketing idea. For Normal World, the marketing push felt masterful, as it was depicted as an upcoming sketch comedy show similar to SNL or Key & Peele, but this didn’t match with the actual content.

This is marketing mistakes 101. Never oversell or mischaracterize your product. They did both. The sad part about marketing errors is that the content can actually be good content, which is definitely the case here. Its a great show, but its a livestream podcast-style discussion show. Not a sketch comedy show. Although it does have sketch comedy intros at times, and while this is nice, there are an inordinate and ungodly amount of podcast-style discussion shows on YouTube. So, this immediately becomes nothing special. They did however, introduce me to Flawdzilla and the song Grateful at the end of the debut episode of Normal World.

Great stuff!

On the negative side, it makes me think that they just wanted another Louder with Crowder but without Crowder around to record their phone conversations (I don’t think Crowder will ever live that down). The show is constructed almost exactly like the LwC show. Sketch, silly banter, guest interview, maybe music (?), and that’s pretty much it. Co-hosts 1/4 Black Garrett and Dave Landau literally were fixtures on Crowder’s show for years, so they bring with them a certain knowledge of how these shows function. So, Crowder leaves the Blaze and Normal World happens soon after. I’m not saying its that out-of-step, nor it is unprofessional, because this is often how shows form and develop, but I think they could have in the minimum done something different than their last gig, and they should have sold the show as a podcast-style interview show, because that’s what it is. Instead, whenever I watch the show I just want to see funny sketches. This makes it a tad disappointing for me, but maybe this is just me.

Months earlier, they literally sold it like a sketch show in what they called their first episode. It was only sketches. Their first actual episode ended up being different. They started talking behind mics and I was like, “Hey, where’s the scripted sketches?”

Their sketches are comedy gold, though. Here’s some sketches before their so-called “1st Episode”.

And a sketch after their “1st episode”. So, they still have some sketches. But most of the show is just conversations with a guest.

So it’s not to just bash the show. I do appreciate what these guys are putting out, and I will continue to watch it for sure, but this doesn’t necessarily lead me to getting a subscription to Blaze. This is what brings us to the Re-Opening film. I think that Blaze Media is toying with the Daily Wire/Netflix subscription model, and I believe Re-Opening is evidence of that. But the problem is that this feels like an afterthought, because the marketing was virtually nonexistent for the comedy, even though it is touted as the flagship comedy film to bring new subscribers to Blaze in the Deadline article here. I haven’t heard a peep about this film. But I did hear about Nefarious earlier in April, even though no mention of Nefarious showing up on the Blaze platform. I find this strange. If anything, Nefarious would’ve made a far better flagship film to get subscribers. Maybe Beck and Deace couldn’t ink a deal to bring Deace’s film to the Blaze platform, for whatever reason. But, I do plan to see Re-Opening at some point. Who knows if it will be because I will end up buying a subscription, because they don’t even advertise the film on their site.

"Nefarious" film poster, credit, Believe Entertainment

Who knows. But what I do see is a lot of potential that isn’t successfully pointing in a unified direction, just yet. Will it be comedy channel in the future? Sketches? More discussion shows? or will it go in Deace’s direction with more theatrical-style films? You tell me. People who blaze new paths often go in directions you wouldn’t guess.

Did you enjoy this article? What direction do you think Blaze Media will go in the future? What is your favorite Blaze content? Comment on our socials, or on our page below (with subscription).

Jon Croft profile image
by Jon Croft

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