Four executives who previously worked for conservative commentator Glenn Beck have nailed up their own digital-media consulting shingle with the launch of Red Seat Ventures.
The founding partners are Chris Balfe, ex-CEO of Beck’s TheBlaze over-the-top video service and TV network; Joel Cheatwood, former chief content officer of TheBlaze who previously worked at Fox News; Carolyn Polke, formerly TheBlaze’s COO; and Kevin Balfe, who was SVP of publishing at Beck’s Mercury Radio Arts, leading a joint venture with Simon & Schuster.
Their goal: to copy the success Beck found in delivering digital content directly to consumers, providing strategic consulting services to talent, agencies and media companies.
“Red Seat is designed to build talent and brand-focused digital businesses from the ground up, putting content creators in control of their own destiny,” the founders wrote in announcing the company.
The firm’s first two customers are horror-film producer Blumhouse Prods., whose movie franchises include “Paranormal Activity,” and radio-syndication company Premiere Networks, which continues to distribute “The Glenn Beck Program” nationwide. Red Seat said it’s working with Premiere to invest in select talent websites.
Based in New York, Red Seat is funded by the four partners, with no outside investors, a rep said.
According to Red Seat’s founders, it’s not a conventional consulting company: “After agreeing to a road map we actually put our own skin in the game — our time, our resources and our money — to make the businesses come to life.”
About the company’s name: It’s a reference to the single red seat at Boston’s Fenway Park, which marks the spot where Ted Williams’ 502-foot home run landed in June 1946 — the longest shot in the ballpark’s history.