It’s not every day that we get to witness the birth of a new celebrity gossip site, but count your blessings: please welcome to the world The Blast, a new gossip baby run by Mike Walters, the former news director of TMZ.
“The Blast is your new destination for the best breaking news in the world of celebrity and entertainment.,” reads the site’s introductory post. “We will be first, we will be accurate, and we will always bring you the real story.” These are not bad goals for a gossip website; in fact they’re what you should expect from any good rag worth its weight in dick pics. But understanding that The Blast is the brainchild of Walters, a man who, according to the New York Times, was “created” by TMZ’s Harvey Levin, makes its arrival that much more interesting, (particularly given the drama that surrounded Walters’s exit from his former company).
From the Times:
“I’m going to do what I’ve done for the last 15 years, which is break news with credibility and backbone and authority,” said Mr. Walters, who previously ran TMZ’s news desk. “There hasn’t been a new face in this space for a long time. It’s time.”
TMZ has risen to become the gold standard in breaking celebrity news, but that doesn’t mean The Blast won’t try. The Times reports that unlike TMZ, The Blast will be a “blend of hard-edge news and lighter content like red-carpet photos,” essentially creating a harder, toothier People or a version of Us Weekly that sandwiches innocuous reports on Dancing With The Stars contestants between grainy pap shots of the next male celebrity to be photographed naked doing yoga.
The Times also notes that the face of celebrity and gossip media is changing, especially with the sale of Us Weekly to American Media Inc. Time Warner, which owns TMZ, will soon be bought by AT&T, prompting rumors of a sale. The Blast, staffed by a veteran of the celebrity gossip industry, is an independent media company owned by a French company, Banijay Group, that also owns the production company that has kept the Kardashians on the air for ten years strong. None of these credentials necessarily mean success, but with the way the landscape is possibly changing, The Blast could be a viable threat to Levin’s unshakeable empire of celebrity dirt.