President Donald Trump is reportedly eying launching an online media company after his presidency.
Trump is considering launching an online competitor to Fox News in part to spite the network, according to sources familiar with the president’s thinking, Axios reported on Thursday. Trump has increasingly criticized Fox in recent months over its coverage and then its decision to call the state of Arizona early for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.
“He plans to wreck Fox. No doubt about it,” a source told Axios.
The president has extensive email and cell phone lists from his 2016 and 2020 campaigns that he can use to help launch a media venture. Trump may also use rallies late in the year, ostensibly for building support for his election legal fight with Biden, to bash Fox News to his base. Many of the members of Trump’s target audience for a media venture are likely Fox viewers.
Trump is planning to sidestep the boundaries of launching a cable network and moving straight to an online streaming/subscription service.
“Trump’s digital offering would likely charge a monthly fee to MAGA fans. Many are Fox News viewers, and he’d aim to replace the network — and the $5.99-a-month Fox Nation streaming service, which has an 85% conversation rate from free trials to paid subscribers — as their top destination,” Axios reports.
Trump has increasingly criticized Fox’s coverage of his administration while touting outlets such as Newsmax and One America News Network [OANN].
“Watching @FoxNews on weekend afternoons is a total waste of time. We now have some great alternatives, like @OANN,” he said in a tweet earlier this year.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 11, 2020
On Monday, Fox News cut away from a press conference by White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany as she was accusing Democrats of undermining U.S. elections by not supporting voter ID laws.
“You take these positions because you are welcoming fraud and you are welcoming illegal voting,” she said moments before Fox News host Neil Cavuto stopped airing her comments. “Our position is clear, we want to protect the franchise of the American people. We want an honest, accurate, lawful count. We want maximum sunlight; we want maximum transparency. We want every legal vote to be counted and we want every illegal vote to be discarded. Unlike our opponents, we have nothing to hide.”
“Whoa, whoa, whoa,” Cavuto said, cutting in. “I just think we have to be very clear that she’s charging that the other side is welcoming fraud and welcoming illegal voting. Unless she has more details to back that up, I can’t in good countenance continue showing you this.”
Fox News has taken criticism from many over its decision to call the presidential race in Arizona days earlier than most other outlets while outstanding ballots gave Trump a decent chance to overtake Biden in the state. FiveThirtyEight election forecaster Nate Silver said Fox News should retract its call last week.
“I don’t know, I guess I’d say that Biden will win Arizona if you forced me to pick, but I sure as heck don’t think the state should have been called by anyone, and I think the calls that were previously made should be retracted now,” Silver wrote on FiveThirtyEight’s live election blog.