Despite maintaining a positive relationship with hosts including Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity, President Donald Trump has grown increasingly critical of Fox News in recent years.
In fact, the cable news network might soon have to face more than sharp words from the president: The Week reports that some observers are speculating Trump could create a rival conservative network should he lose his re-election bid.
“Entertaining, engaging, even inspiring”
Writer W. James Antle III made the prediction last month that the president could parlay his political fan base into a new media empire.
Arguing that the president “has identified a segment of the market that finds his style entertaining, engaging, even inspiring,” he acknowledged that Trump “has worked to deliver what they want for four years.”
As a result, Antle concluded that scores of fans “can make for a massive podcast” and become loyal consumers of products or services provided by a prospective new Trump media enterprise.
Calling the president “a populist pugilist,” the writer noted that his “new brand is competing with real estate to become the family business.”
“The biggest difference is Fox”
For their part, Fox News Channel executives have attempted to dismiss the threat and downplay any concern on their part of a future Trump network.
“We love competition,” Fox Corp. CEO Lachlan Murdoch said, adding that the company has “always thrived with competition,” according to Deadline. He conceded, however, that the industry landscape is rapidly evolving.
“The only difference today versus some years ago is as our audience has grown and our reach has grown, we see our competition as no longer only cable news providers but also as the traditional broadcast networks,” Murdoch said, according to Deadline.
Deadline reported last month that the president openly expressed dissatisfaction with Fox News during an appearance on Rush Limbaugh’s radio program, calling the network “a much different thing than it was four years ago.”
Trump went on to say “the biggest difference is Fox” when it comes to how the media environment has changed throughout his first term.
The president also took issue with the presence of former GOP House Speaker Paul Ryan on the network’s board of directors, insisting that the decision “certainly has something to do with” the channel’s perceived decline, Deadline reported.