Trump News Network could become a reality


Photo courtesy of Michael Vadon

Coming soon to television: the Trump News Network. Out of all the speculations, rumors, and conspiracies throughout this year’s election, the possibility of a Trump News Network sounds more and more promising.

The conspiracy has attempted to point to the real reason behind Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy. Some believe that the self-professed billionaire joined the race for president to create enough popularity to develop his own network. The idea may not have been the actual motive for his campaign, but chief executive of LionTree investment bank Aryeh B. Bourkoff gave some insight on the idea. It has been reported that Bourkoff has spoken with Jared Kushner about a possible investment in a Trump network.

Kushner is married to Ivanka Trump, Trump’s eldest daughter. A source close to Bourkoff shared that the two met informally about the idea of investing in a news network. Bourkoff and his firm are known for their investment in media brands and sources, making him a key resource to starting a network.The New York Times reported, however, that the source familiar with both parties said Bourkoff would most likely avoid this investment.

Trump would not be the first celebrity who tried to start his own network. Popular talk show host Oprah Winfrey developed her own TV network in 2008. The network didn’t launch until 2011 and cost an initial $500 million investment. The network took close to three years to finally break even and showed that creating a network from scratch could be a very risky idea.

It is rumored that the Trump News Network would be a close competitor to Fox News, which would make a strong battleground for viewers. Fox News is considered to be the top conservative news network. The network has bolstered some of the most notable political commentators in the U.S., including Megyn Kelly. Trump has had several public arguments with Kelly following numerous appearances on Fox News and several debates that Kelly hosted for Fox News.

Although Trump has publically stated that he would not be interested in creating a news network, several top aides shared they would be interested in helping to create a network for him. Newly appointed CEO of Trump’s campaign Stephen Bannon operates the right-wing website Breitbart. Brad Parscale, the campaign’s digital director, has close ties to Kushner and the media industry.

Jared Kushner Photo courtesy of Lori Berkowitz Photography

Jared Kushner Photo courtesy of Lori Berkowitz Photography

A Trump News Network could be helped by the already established Trump Productions, LLC. The television production company was established in 2004 and reported revenues of over $4 million in 2015. If the Trump News Network were to be created, the Trump production company could be a major resource in cutting down the initial cost of the network.

The network will not only face financial hurdles, but it will also need to be picked up by major broadcast providers. The creation of the network would not guarantee that providers, including Verizon and Comcast, would pick up the network. When Fox News was created over two decades ago, Time Warner Cable did not originally pick up the network. Only after Rudolph Giuliani, then mayor of New York City and now adviser to the Trump campaign, brokered a deal between Fox News and Time Warner was the network able to broadcast to a majority of U.S. television viewers.

The idea of a Trump News Network could be very controversial, and a large public backlash could prevent a major network from picking it up.

Senior Jack Roccato believes the network does not seem realistic, and he would not watch it.

“I am very neutral on the idea,” Roccato said. “If you don’t like it, don’t watch it. I would not watch it. But, I don’t think it will happen.”

The Trump News Network is still considered a longshot by many. Investments and hurdles could be hard to overcome, but Trump’s diehard following gained during his campaign could very well provide Trump with enough viewers for a successful network. Americans will have to pay close attention to the aftermath of the election to see if Trump creates his own network to further his political voice.

Written by Kevin Nelson, News Editor