Donald Trump’s son-in-law working to launch ‘Trump TV’ station after election, report claims

‘Trump TV’ could be the presidential hopeful’s way of seizing on the huge following he has developed since he launched his bid for the White House

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The Independent US

Donald Trump could be planning to launch a TV station soon after the election, according to new reports.

Some have suggested that Mr Trump’s plan for Trump TV might be his way of seizing on the fans he has cultivated as part of his election campaign. Mr Trump’s campaign may even be partly motivated by a potential plan to establish a media empire, others have said.

Mr Trump’s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner has approached the head of LionTree, an investment bank experienced in media deals, according to the Financial Times. The conversation was brief and hasn’t moved on since they spoke in the last couple of months, the paper reported, but Mr Kushner may have consulted with other people in the time since.

The rumour coincides with a range of other suggestions that Mr Trump is looking to pursue his own media businesses.

Mr Trump has repeatedly complained that the attention he has generated is benefiting the TV stations but not himself.

And he has railed against the media as it exists repeatedly. He regularly tweets that media organisations are failing and losing viewers, in implicit comparison with his growing audience on social media and elsewhere.

But he has in the past denied that he is interested in starting a media company.

“I have no interest in a media company,” he told the Washington Post after a recent report. “False rumour.”

Vanity Fair reported earlier this year that Mr Trump was planning to launch a media business after the presidential election. He hoped to to be able to use the supporters of his bid for president to build an audience quickly for the TV station, Sarah Ellison reported.

“Trump is indeed considering creating his own media business, built on the audience that has supported him thus far in his bid to become the next president of the United States,” she wrote. “According to several people briefed on the discussions, the presumptive Republican nominee is examining the opportunity presented by the “audience” currently supporting him.”

Ms Ellison reported that Trump TV would be expected to go ahead whether or not he won the election.

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Mr Trump’s campaign is run by Stephen Bannon, an American media executive who was until very recently the head of right-wing media organisation Breitbart News. And Mr Trump is close friends with Roger Ailes, the former head of Fox News, but he would be banned from working on the channel under the terms of the agreement he signed when he left the channel earlier this year.

Some of the most important stars on Fox News, including Trump supporter Sean Hannity, will be able to leave the channel, however. Mr Hannity and colleague Bill o’Reilly were one of many who had clauses in their contracts that let them leave if Mr Ailes did, the Financial Times noted. However, that clause is due to expire at some point in the near future.