As News Talk Florida reported last summer Trump TV is coming soon.
Back in August I wrote a story about if Donald Trump were to lose the presidential election that he would launch The Trump News Network. it now looks a great deal like after the election is over it will become a reality. The Financial Times, this week reported that Trump representatives were in talks to launch a new cable news network, a powerful platform he could use to as an outlet to keep watch on a President Hillary Clinton and the liberal mainstream media.
Trump is a television and media mogul with plenty of followers and a better base for a start up network in TV history.
For their part the Trump campaign, CEO and digital media entrepreneur Stephen Bannon, has denied that he wants to start his own channel. “I have no interest in a media company. False rumor,” he told the Washington Post last month, following a Vanity Fair report that he and his advisers had explored the idea.
But this week that might have changed according to The Financial Times, Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has informally approached a top media dealmaker about creating a Trump network to cash in on what clearly is a movement that the Republican nominee’s has developed in his run to gain the White House.
The Financial Times, reported that Kushner, met with Aryeh Bourkoff, the founder and chief executive of LionTree, a boutique investment bank, within the past couple of months, according to three people with knowledge of the matter. Bourkoff, who launched LionTree in 2012, has advised on transactions worth more than $300bn, including Liberty Global’s $23.3bn acquisition of Virgin Media and Verizon’s $4.4bn takeover of AOL. He is also John Malone’s top confidant, who helped consolidate the US pay-TV industry — in deals that culminated in Charter Communications’ $78bn takeover of Time Warner Cable this year.
Another key point is that Bourkoff is a friend of Kushner, who is married to Trump’s daughter Ivanka. The two have worked together in the past: Bourkoff advised Kushner, who also owns the weekly New York Observer newspaper, when he tried to buy the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team four years ago.
Should Trump lose he will still end up with a base of between 35 of 40 million voters with around 25 million of them being hard core followers. That is a base that Trump can get anywhere between $3 and $5 million dollars a month.
Trump TV would be a direct competitor to the very popular conservative news outlet Fox News, which the top rated cable news outlet and has been a cash cow for News Corp. bringing in about $1 billion a year in profits.
Since the ouster of the network’s powerful creator Roger Ailes, the focus of the network has started to change to a mainstream conservative network. Fox News is now under the operation of News Corp. owner Rupert Murdoch’s two sons, James and Lachlan.
Joining Kushner in running Trump TV would be Bannon and to a lesser degree Ailes. Of course Trump would be heavily involved and would of course be the star of the network that would bare his name.
Trump TV could steal both Sean Hannity, Trump’s biggest cheerleader and Bill O’Reilly, who have out clauses in their contracts allowing them to leave if Ailes did. But the brothers Murdoch may not be too upset to lose one or both stars.
The two brothers are not as conservative as Ailes and want to see more from Shepard Smith, Chris Wallace, Bret Baier and Megyn Kelly. The brothers are reportedly working hard to woo Kelly, hoping she’ll stay at Fox past the election and help shape the network’s post-Ailes identity.
Kelly, who has famously feuded with Trump, has become the new face of the network under the stewardship of Murdoch’s sons. The Fox News channel moving to a moderate conservatives and that could allow an opening for Trump TV, which could draw potentially tens of millions of angry voters turned off by the mainstream media and disgruntled about the election.