US President Donald Trump’s time in the oval office may be drawing to a chaotic end, but the businessman could already have his next business venture in mind: media domination.
According to a report from American news site Axios, Trump is planning to launch a subscription-based streaming platform to take on Fox News.
The Republican leader has in recent days taken aim at the news service, claiming Fox News’ decision to make an early call that Arizona was a win for President-elect Joe Biden was biased and inaccurate. As it stands, Arizona has not yet been called by many other news services and has the closest gap between Biden and Trump, although Biden is ahead.
A post-vote audit has also uncovered no signs of voter fraud.
According to a close source, Trump plans to “wreck Fox. No doubt about it”.
“Fox News daytime ratings have completely collapsed,” Trump tweeted on Thursday local time.
“Weekend daytime even WORSE. Very sad to watch this happen, but they forgot what made them successful, what got them there. They forgot the Golden Goose. The biggest difference between the 2016 Election, and 2020, was Fox News!”
.@FoxNews daytime ratings have completely collapsed. Weekend daytime even WORSE. Very sad to watch this happen, but they forgot what made them successful, what got them there. They forgot the Golden Goose. The biggest difference between the 2016 Election, and 2020, was @FoxNews!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 12, 2020
Trump also retweeted several tweets that were highly critical of the Rupert Murdoch network and which encouraged conservative followers to get their news from Fox rivals, Newsmax and OANN.
Fox News responded by citing Nielsen data showing its daytime audience is up 62 per cent on this period in 2019, and also had the most viewers on election night with some 14.1 million tuning in.
Fox Corporation (FOX) shares have plummeted since the start of trade, finishing 6.26 per cent lower on Thursday local time, at US$25.45.
What would Trump’s platform look like?
According to Axios, the Trump channel would stream online and would likely charge his followers a monthly subscription fee.
He’d be taking on the Fox Nation streaming service which charges users US$5.99 a month and has an 85 per cent conversion rate from free trial to subscription.
The incumbent leader could also kickstart his foray into the world of streaming by using his database of email and mobile number contacts, which is one of the most extensive in politics.
The growing bitterness between Trump and Fox marks the end of an era which saw Trump lifted to power, with the Republican leader appearing frequently on the network.
Fox personalities Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity remain vocal in their support for the President, but its news service has in recent days distanced itself from some of Trump’s unfounded claims.
It cut away from White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany earlier this week as she doubled down on unfounded allegations of voter fraud, with Fox presenter Neil Cavuto saying he couldn’t air her misleading statements.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa – I just think we have to be very clear. She’s charging the other side as welcoming fraud and welcoming illegal voting,” Cavuto said.
“Unless she has more details to back that up, I can’t in good countenance continue to show you this.”
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