WASHINGTON — In a sign of how close the tea party group FreedomWorks has become to Glenn Beck's empire, Beck's news site TheBlaze is renting FreedomWorks' extra office space on the same floor as the main FreedomWorks office.
As has been reported elsewhere, TheBlaze moved into its new office on North Capitol Street in Washington in September. What hasn't been widely known is that TheBlaze is subletting its space from FreedomWorks, a group which a source said paid Beck $1 million last year for his sponsorship and which has been struggling financially.
"TheBlaze was looking for office space at 400 North Capitol because it is particularly well suited to media organizations as shown by the presence of MSNBC, Al Jazeera and C-Span among others," said TheBlaze spokesperson Josh Raffel. "After we started looking, we saw that FreedomWorks decided to sub-lease some of their space which was the best available in the building so we took it and now have our own separate office that is only occupied by TheBlaze employees."
Former FreedomWorks employees say that the plan to have TheBlaze move into the extra space has been in the works for some time.
"They started discussing this possibility back in May 2012," said one former FreedomWorks employee. "FreedomWorks paid for a complete redesign of the whole space — everything has new carpet and shelving, all ready to go for TheBlaze."
According to another former employee, FreedomWorks employees were inhabiting the extra space until recently.
"FreedomWorks leased another office on the same floor that they are currently on," the former employee said. "Last year when they were transitioning from a grassroots focus to a marketing focus, they moved the marketing team to that new office to accommodate all of the new staff. Their hopes were to have TheBlaze move into the other half of the studio to regain some of that investment."
A spokesperson for FreedomWorks did not return requests for comment.