Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump reportedly has set his sights on launching a new business venture after the election.
Citing unidentified sources, Vanity Fair reports the billionaire is considering starting his own media platform and cable channel.
“According to several people briefed on the discussions, the presumptive Republican nominee is examining the opportunity presented by the ‘audience’ currently supporting him,” Sarah Ellison writes. “He has also discussed the possibility of launching a ‘mini-media conglomerate’ outside of his existing TV-production business, Trump Productions LLC.”
The report says Trump is upset he cannot get a cut from the billions in advertising dollars he’s been able to generate for the networks covering his debates and town halls, which “brings him to the conclusion that he has the business acumen and the ratings for his own network. … So now he wants to figure out if he can monetize it.”
Ellison writes of Trump’s star power, saying the billionaire “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.”
Hoping to capitalize on Trump’s fame is Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, who owns The New York Observer weekly newspaper. Kushner told the source 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. … The people here don’t understand what I’m seeing. You go to these arenas and people go crazy for him.”
But Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks threw cold water on the report, telling Vanity Fair, “There is absolutely no truth to this whatsoever. … This hasn’t been even uttered. Not even thought about.” She added, “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 has attacked the “inaccurate” and “biased” news media throughout his presidential campaign, and on Monday revoked the press credentials of what he called the “phony and dishonest” Washington Post.