Mehdi Hasan Launches New Digital Media Company

Mehdi Hasan is forming a new subscription digital media company following his exit from MSNBC.

The new company is called Zeteo, which means to “seek out,” and it bills itself as having a “strong bias for the truth and an unwavering belief in the media’s responsibility to the public.” He wrote that it will offer “unfiltered news, bold opinions.” His site offers free access to some newsletters and podcasts, with an $8 per month, or $72 per year, to all access.

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Hasan departed MSNBC in January, after the network canceled his weekly show. He had been considered a rising star, but his commentary, particularly about Israel, had sparked controversy. That included a contentious interview earlier this month with Mark Regev, an adviser to Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The network’s decision to drop his show triggered pushback among progressives, who had seen his interviewing style and voice as unique among media personalities.

Hasan is the latest media figure to leave a traditional outlet for a digital media venture, the most prominent recent example being Tucker Carlson, while other figures, like Glenn Beck, have been able to form ventures that have endured for years after departing from a traditional media perch. He told The Washington Post, which first reported on his new venture, that he raised $4 million to launch the site from friends, family and viewers. He also said that the site would distinguish itself from other subscription streaming sites because it would be coming from the left.

The network dropped Hasan’s show amid an overhaul of the weekend lineup. It initially said that Hasan would continue to serve as a fill-in anchor and analyst, but he ultimately decided to leave. His Sunday evening show was not a ratings blockbuster — it averaged about 520,000 viewers in October — but the network often promoted that it beat rival CNN in its time slot.

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