Rumors of a Trump TV network are swirling
Rumors of a Trump TV network were first reported by Vanity Fair back in the summer. According to an anonymous source, Vanity Fair alleged that Trump had become increasingly vexed with the ‘slanted, mainstream media coverage’ and ‘irked by his ability to create revenue for other media organizations without being able to take a cut himself.’
Trump is indeed considering creating his own media business, built on the gung-ho audience that has supported him thus far in his bid to become the POTUS. According to several sources, the Republican office-seeker and his crew are studying such a ‘value proposition’ underpinned by the emphatic ‘audience’ currently backing him. He has also discussed the possibility of launching a ‘mini-media conglomerate’ outside of his existing TV-production business, Trump Productions LLC. He has even enlisted his bombshell daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who owns the The New York Observer, to ‘devise a blueprint’ for such an endeavor.
The Donald has been generating huuuuuge returns for media outlets but does not get to take a cut for himself. Such a situation ‘brings him to the conclusion that he has the business acumen and the ratings for his own network,’ said one of his surrogates.
Rumors of a Trump TV launch have likely been bolstered by bringing on BreitBart‘s chairman Steve Bannon and the recent departure of Roger Ailes from Fox News that freed up super supporter, Sean Hannity, to break his contract and pursue other opportunities.
Roger Ailes, the former head of Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News Channel, is one of Mr Trump’s good buddies (but he would be prohibited from working on a Trump television venture by the terms of his exit agreement with the Fox).
Sean Hannity, Mr Trump’s biggest cheerleader and possibly the Trump admin’s Press Secretary, would be free to work for a prospective Trump network. Mr Hannity was among several Fox stars, including Bill O’Reilly, with clauses in their contracts allowing them to leave if Mr Ailes did. For his part, Trump has denied rumors of any interest in establishing a TV channel saying ‘I have no interest in a media company. False rumor.’ Of course, we suspect that all bets are off if Trump ends up losing to Hillary in November and the recent Fox News fallout could make this an opportune time for a launch. CNBC and the FT have interesting articles here.
Images via AP