The Trump News Network Coming Soon?

Trump Looks To Start His Own Cable News Network

Yesterday as Donald Trump woke he saw a Vanity Fair story, that talked about the record profits made during the 2015-2016 election cycle. The prime-time viewership for the three main cable news networks improved in 2015 to an average of 3.1 million, from a 2014 average of 2.8 million, according to a new Pew Research Center State of the News Media report.

Why are the cable news network’s seen a spike in rating?

The biggest reason of course is Donald Trump, who has masterfully—and horrifyingly—demonstrated an aptitude for manipulating the news cycle, gaining billions of dollars’ worth of free airtime, and dominating coverage on every screen. Now, several people around him are looking for a way to leverage his supporters into a new media platform and cable channel.

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Despite being a successful businessman most people in the United States know Trump from his hit television show The Apprentice. A program that has been a ratings monster for 14 season’s and that doesn’t count the spin off series The Celebrity Apprentice.

According to multiple news sources say that Trump is exploring a “mini media conglomerate” to monetize his appearances in the press, unnamed sources told Vanity Fair.

By running for president, Trump may have gained a built-in audience for his own network. He also has strong dislike for the members of the media that cover his campaign. So why not launch your own networks and control the message.

Trump has been consulting with his daughter, Ivanka and her husband, New York Observer owner Jared Kushner, to expand Trump Productions LLC, Vanity Fair reports, citing several unnamed people briefed on Trump’s conversations.

It isn’t clear in the article what sort of media company Trump would start, although it is implied that it could be a cable channel, which would cater to his supporters.

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In the Vanity Fair article sources within the Trump camp stated the following:

The presumptive Republican nominee is examining the opportunity presented by the “audience” currently supporting 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, according to one of these people, enlisted the consultation of his daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who owns the The New York Observer. Trump’s rationale, according to this person, is that, “win or lose, we are onto something here. We’ve triggered a base of the population that hasn’t had a voice in a long time.”

Meanwhile, Trump’s spokeswoman, Hope Hicks, issued two denials that the presumptive nominee was even considering this possibility.

“There is absolutely no truth to this whatsoever,” she told Vanity Fair. “This hasn’t been even uttered. Not even thought about.”

But just two hours later Hicks clarified her statement, which seems to leave the door open for the possibility of a network in the future: “While it’s true Mr. Trump garners exceptionally high ratings, there are absolutely no plans or discussions taking place regarding a venture of this nature.”

 


Trump also recently tweeted out a link to an article by the Washington Post, which calls Trump a “one-man ratings machine.” The article points out a boost in ratings for the Republican presidential debates on cable TV outlets last year.

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Because of over the top television channels Trump could quickly charge a fee of say five or six dollars a month per subscriber, plus ad sales. He could also buy an established network like Newsmax that has a digital component, a cable/satellite component, as well as over the top television element.

Finally, according to the Vanity Fair report, in 2011 NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke and Trump, who was considering a run for president at the time, agreed that if Trump ran for president and won, he’d continue starring in his NBC reality series, “The Apprentice,” as commander-in-chief should he win the office.

 

 

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Jim Williams is the Washington Bureau Chief, Digital Director as well as the Director of Special Projects for Genesis Communications. He is starting his third year as part of the team. This is Williams 40th year in the media business, and in that time he has served in a number of capacities. He is a seven time Emmy Award winning television producer, director, writer and executive. He has developed four regional sports networks, directed over 2,000 live sporting events including basketball, football, baseball hockey, soccer and even polo to name a few sports. Major events include three Olympic Games, two World Cups, two World Series, six NBA Playoffs, four Stanley Cup Playoffs, four NCAA Men’s National Basketball Championship Tournaments (March Madness), two Super Bowl and over a dozen college bowl games. On the entertainment side Williams was involved s and directed over 500 concerts for Showtime, Pay Per View and MTV Networks.