Former Blaze Exec Suing Glenn Beck

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In July, Mercury Radio Arts, Glenn Beck’s production company that oversees TheBlaze, sued Christopher Balfe for breach of contract and fraud. Balfe was Mercury’s chief operating officer and The Blaze’s chief executive  The complaint accuses Balfe of mismanagement, while also paying himself $13 million.

Balfe, who was fired from Mercury in December 2014, filed a countersuit against Beck, claiming that Beck himself was the problem. The complaint says that “Beck has driven [Mercury] into the ground due to his own erratic behavior, excessive spending, and mismanagement.” Balfe’s lawsuit alleges that Beck’s behavior and decisions led to the company’s financial problems.

Balfe is now seeking more than $3 million in deferred compensation, bonuses, and legal expenses and punitive damages. He is claiming that Beck deferred more than a million dollars in salary, “essentially providing an interest-free loan to Mercury,”

According to The Daily Beast, “Balfe is pursuing a separate legal action claiming that Mercury and Beck are liable for his lawyer’s fees and must indemnify him from any monetary damages because of the laws of Delaware, where The Blaze is incorporated, and because The Blaze’s corporate bylaws protect officers of the company from lawsuits.”

A part of the lawsuit reads: “As 2014 came to a close, Balfe was one of the only original executives left. For the first time in Balfe’s long relationship with Beck, Beck began to exclude Balfe from key decisions, resulting in the wrong people being selected to pursue key business opportunities.

“Sensing a disconnect, Balfe flew to Texas to meet with Beck in person. He realized Beck wanted to take the companies in a direction Balfe could not agree to, but in the interest of preserving over 17 years of friendship with Beck, Balfe suggested an exit plan that would be mutually beneficial.

“Balfe met with Beck at his home [in suburban Dallas] and discussed two options. First, Balfe offered to buy The Blaze from Beck and assume the New York office space obligations, an idea that initially came from Beck.

“Alternatively, Balfe offered to start a new company, taking several employees that Beck had been trying to fire for months, and allow Beck and/or Mercury to be an investor.

“Beck asked Balfe to let him think it over. Regardless of which option he chose, Beck assured Balfe that night that Balfe would be taken care of and treated fairly. Beck represented this would include a standard severance package. Beck again emphasized to Balfe that his word was binding and that Balfe was like a member of his family. Balfe once again relied on Beck’s repeated promises.

“Two days later, Beck emailed Balfe and told him Mercury was choosing a third option—to simply fire Balfe.” 

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