Bloomberg Businessweek has new scoop on the parlor game that is Trump TV, which took a new turn this week with the launch of his Facebook Live show, Trump Tower Live.
A source tells the mag the idea of a Trump TV network came about during the primaries when Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner issued a “threat” to then-Fox News CEO Roger Ailes over his network’s treatment of Trump.
The warring factions eventually reconciled. But Trump became enamored by the power of his draw after five media companies expressed interest. “Trump supporters really don’t have a media outlet where they feel they’re represented—CNN has gone fully against Trump, MSNBC is assumed to be against Trump, and Fox is somewhere in the middle,” the source said. “What we found is that our people have organized incredibly well on the web. Growing the digital footprint has really allowed us to take his message directly to the people.”
MSNBC political analyst Steve Schmidt, who ran John McCain’s 2008 campaign for president says Trump’s post-election audience (assuming he doesn’t win) “should be substantial.”
“Trump will get 40 percent of the vote, and half that number at least will buy into his claim that the election was rigged and stolen from him,” says Schmidt. “That is more than enough people to support a multibillion-dollar media business and a powerful presence in American politics.”
“I’ve seen a little bit of what they’re doing,” said CNN’s Jeff Zucker about Trump TV. “The beauty of the internet is that anybody can be a broadcaster now. I think the future of that depends on the next 13 days.”