Glenn Beck sues former Blaze CEO for fraud, mismanagement; battle becomes public

Glenn Beck is suing the man who helped build his conservative radio and television media empire over the past decade.

Beck filed a lawsuit Friday against his former chief executive Christopher Balfe, accusing him of fraud, mismanagement, destroying evidence and breach of contract, according to LawNewz.

The 16-page lawsuit was filed in Texas on behalf of Mercury Radio Arts, Beck’s privately held production and operating company. The lawsuit claims that Balfe owes Beck a portion of his pay as CEO between 2009 and 2014, which totaled in excess of $13 million.

“This is a shockingly excessive amount that far exceeds appropriate compensation for companies of Mercury and TheBlaze’s size and financial performance,” attorney Eliot Burriss wrote in the lawsuit.

It also accuses Balfe of “fraudulently causing Mercury to sign an unnecessary lease thereby taking on a $20 million liability,” according to LawNewz.

After more than a decade of working together to build the multimedia company, Balfe left TheBlaze in 2014, taking some top executives with him to start his own company, Red Seat Ventures.

Sources told The Daily Beast that TheBlaze “has experienced cash-flow problems and has been having trouble paying vendors, while the website’s online traffic has plunged from around 26 million monthly global unique visitors in January 2015, the month after Balfe was dismissed, to around 10 million currently.”

“I am embarrassed and saddened it has come to this,” Beck wrote on his website. “It is an ongoing legal matter so you will not hear me speak of this often but as always, I want you to hear it from me.”

When asked for his reaction, Balfe told LawNewz in a statement Monday, “I feel terrible for Glenn and I hope he finds the help that he needs.”

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Frieda Powers

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