As Donald Trump continues to rail against a media machine he considers biased against him, the idea of a Trump-owned TV network is gaining steam again. A new report from The Financial Times claims that Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is still considering the idea.
The Financial Times reported on October 17 that Kushner spoke with LionTree CEO and founder Aryeh Bourkoff at least once within the last few month, three sources told the paper. However, the talks haven’t gone forward since and Bourkoff and Kushner did not comment.
The Financial Times notes that Bourkoff and Kushner have a long relationship. Bourkoff was a consultant for Kushner when Kushner bid for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2012.
Back in June, Vanity Fair reported that Trump was considering creating a Trump news network as a way to take advantage of his millions of supporters, even if he should lose in November. According to Vanity Fair’s sources, Trump has considered creating a “mini-media conglomerate,” in addition to Trump Productions LLC. Kushner and his wife, Ivanka Trump, were both being consulted on the idea.
In September, Trump denied these rumors to the Washington Post. “I have no interest in a media company. False rumor,” Trump told the Post.
However, Trump does have several key media personalities within his campaign. Brietbart chairman Stephen Bannon is running Trump’s campaign and former Fox News chief Roger Ailes has been an adviser. Kushner also owns the New York Observer.
Trump has also spent much of his time on Twitter bashing the media coverage of the growing list of women claiming he sexually assaulted them. Trump has called these claims false and claimed the election is rigged against him.
On Monday morning, an hour after the Financial Times report was published, Trump tweeted, “Can’t believe these totally phoney stories, 100% made up by women (many already proven false) and pushed big time by press, have impact!” In another tweet over the weekend, he insisted that the election is “absolutely being rigged by the dishonest and distorted media pushing Crooked Hillary.”
UPDATE: On October 25, Trump told Cincinnati’s 700WLW that he doesn’t have any interest in a “Trump TV” network.
No, I have no interest in Trump TV. I hear it all over the place. I have a tremendous fan base, we have a tremendous base. We have the most incredible people, but I just don’t have any interest in that. I have one interest, that’s on November 8.
Despite Trump’s comments, Trump’s team has already started doing its own campaign coverage, with live videos on the Trump Facebook page at 6:30 p.m. ET.
Should a Trump News Network really be in the works, it will be increasingly difficult to launch it successfully. Trump and Kushner would have to find the talent interested in filling up the schedule. They would also have to fight the growing cord-cutting movement, which a recent study found is costing the TV industry $1 billion a year as customers reject traditional TV providers for over-the-top streaming services.
On Monday, CNN released a new poll, which shows Clinton with 47 percent support from likely voters. Trump received 39 percent support in the poll.