A Heavy Heart and the Road Ahead
What happened? My heart is heavy today.
You might have noticed that recently something has been bothering me.
Today, we said goodbye to just over 20 percent of the combined workforce of Mercury Radio Arts and TheBlaze (with most of the changes happening at TheBlaze). We are losing a lot of talented and committed colleagues, who are some of the best human beings I know — some have been friends of mine for 30 years.
When you decide to be your own boss, you romanticize the freedoms and impending successes. You don’t spend much time thinking about days like today, when gut-wrenching decisions have to be made and you realize that you’re the only one who can make them.
It’s a difficult day for some exceptional people that mean a lot to me personally, my family, and the entire company. Please keep them in your prayers.
Why? Disrupt, or be disrupted.
This year has been one of the hardest years of my life. I’ve learned so much about myself, my friends and coworkers, and basic human nature. I have also learned a lot about my business and what I believe it will take to succeed in tomorrow’s America. The industrial revolution took 100 years to unfold; industry-altering change now occurs in days, not centuries.
In 2013, I was given the Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Award by the Tribeca Film Festival. Today, just four years later, I don’t believe I would finish in the top 100. To change that, we needed to become more nimble and drastically adjust our approach to keep pace with the massive changes unfolding before us.
Over the past two years, I have had an ongoing conversation about disruption with Jonathan Schreiber, the president of my company (Mercury Radio Arts). The challenges we’re facing don’t just affect Conservative Media (though read his thoughts on them here) and they will extend even further than media in general and they will impact every household in America.
What’s next? We complete the mission.
We are not PBS. No government institution is going to write us a giant check. The structural challenges facing media companies today are real; but, when someone — anyone — tells me that something can’t be done, it only makes me more determined to prove them wrong.
We started TheBlaze for one purpose: we wanted to change the world for the better. In this regard, I’m proud of the success that we’ve had, but it’s not nearly enough. We can do more. We can do better. Everything we’ve been working on for the past six months begins now.
This community has done and will continue to do miraculous things. Even in this difficult week, our audience has come together to raise over one million dollars for those in the path of Hurricane Harvey. Our advertisers donated food and water filtration systems. Our partners had semi-trucks on the road on Thursday taking supplies to affected areas. This community, which has formed organically over the years, continues to inspire us to be better. Thank you for being a part of this.
My purpose is clearer today than it has been in years: Love, Courage, Truth. As difficult as the changes we made today have been, this was an important first step in getting to where we are going.