Pop Culture

Is Trump Going to Get Off the Conservative Media Sidelines?

The 45th president is still phoning it in to Fox News and Newsmax, but despite talk of a social media platform and reportedly getting pitched on a multibillion-dollar media group, Trump has yet to make a big post–White House move.

Despite all the predictions about Donald Trump venturing into the conservative media industry, the former president has yet to shake up the business since leaving the White House. His appearances on Fox News and Newsmax––mostly phoning them in, along with one in-person interview on Hannity––have continued without the long-rumored launch of “Trump TV” or a similar enterprise. However, one group of investors have reportedly recognized Trump’s massive value in the right-wing media world and are taking it upon themselves to get him back in the game. The former president was recently pitched on founding an eponymously named conservative media and tech company, according to an Axios report. The concept involves “a conservative media powerhouse” called Trump Media Group “that will rival the liberal media and fight back against ‘Big Tech.’” 

For revenue, the company suggested employing a subscription content service dubbed “Trump+,” alongside both a social network, “Trump Social Media,” and an online infrastructure provider, “Trump Technologies,” similar to Amazon Web Services. The pitch, which claimed the company could be valued at up to $15 billion, noted that Trump would be the CEO, chairman, and president. For some time, Trump has considered launching his own digital media company, an idea that he began proliferating after Twitter and Facebook’s post-Capitol riot bans of his accounts. (Facebook’s oversight board is deciding if the company’s Trump ban will be permanent). In March, Trump confidant Jason Miller claimed that the former president will make a social media return in the coming months with “his own platform” that is “going to completely redefine the game” and feature a user base in the “tens of millions.” And while the Trump Media Group offered to set up such a venture, according to Axios, Trump was apparently not enthused after their 24-page pitch made its way to his Mar-a-Lago desk last month.

Still, Trump has seemingly not given up on his media-empire dreams. The former president appeared on Dan Bongino’s livestreaming show on Wednesday to claim that he once pitched ViacomCBS chair Shari Redstone on pivoting CBS News toward the right. “I told Shari that if she took her news and made it a conservative newscast, you know, CBS Evening News, if you made that a conservative newscast, you would double, triple, maybe even quadruple your ratings,” Trump claimed while praising the “very smart” media executive. “But so far, they haven’t done it. But that’s okay, whatever it is, let them. But if they did that, they would do numbers like they haven’t seen before, and I have no doubt about it.” Trump also offered his opinion on how the cable business is shaping up on the right. “I wouldn’t say Fox has been exactly perfect,” he said, adding that Fox’s coverage was better four years ago. “But we’ve had others come along, and they’re doing well. You look at OAN, [it’s] been incredible…Newsmax has been really good. Others are coming along, and people are seeing—they’re watching these conservative networks.”

More Great Stories From Vanity Fair       

The Great Villain of the Financial Crisis Is Dead
— Inside the Antiracism Tug-of-War at an Elite NYC Private School
Ivanka Trump’s Vaccine Selfie Didn’t Go Over as Planned
— The Clubhouse Party Is Over
— Will Bill Barr Spill the Beans on Donald Trump?
Brett Kavanaugh Rules Children Deserve Life in Prison With No Chance of Parole
— With Eye-Popping Auctions, News Outlets Are Jumping on the NFT Gravy Train 
— From the Archive: Bernie Madoff’s World

— Not a subscriber? Join Vanity Fair to receive full access to VF.com and the complete online archive now.

Products You May Like

Articles You May Like

Singer/Songwriter Mark Conklin Releases Groundbreaking Gospel Album