When Donald Trump hired Steve Bannon as campaign manager No. 3 about two weeks ago, it launched speculation that Trump was setting the groundwork for a post-election media company.
Because why not use a presidential campaign that draws on scapegoating, name-calling, the stirring up of xenophobic sentiment and the presentation of an apocalyptic version of the United States as a launching pad for some sort of media venture that will, we imagine, continue along those lines?
The theory was helped along by the fact that Roger Ailes–fresh off a resignation from Fox News after a lawsuit and a series of accusations alleging he spent decades sexually harassing female employees—was advising the campaign.
“People close to the candidate have taken a preliminary look at Trump’s options to create a media business, according to people familiar with the matter,” writes Bloomberg’s Gerry Smith, “though there’s no serious effort right now.”
That doesn’t mean it won’t happen, and Smith takes a look at the possibilities and realities of what it would take. It could, for example, be a subscription-based digital company for the take-our-country-back set. It could be a digital TV channel. Or maybe a cable TV company is the future for coverage-obsessed Trump.
The issue with that, as Newsmax Media founder Christopher Ruddy tells Smith, “is people want to tune in to Donald Trump. But can Donald be on all the time? You still need to fill it up with programming that would make his audience happy. And that’s where the big costs come in.”
“Can Donald be on all the time?” Now that’s an interesting thought exercise.