Assuming Donald Trump loses to Hillary Clinton (and it’s an easy assumption to make), the question many people will ask is, “What’s next for Donald Trump?” The answer may very well have been answered already. With Trump bringing aboard Roger Ailes and Steve Bannon to the campaign, it is not out of the realm of possibility that long term plans include a cable news station.
Donald Trump may be a lousy presidential candidate who needs to appeal to a broad range of people to win, but he does know how to market himself to a smaller niche. Trump likes to see his name on in lights. He’d make a huge splash if he created his own cable news network. Having Roger Ailes and Steve Bannon and to a smaller degree, Roger Stone on his side, it is not hard to see where this could be going.
DTN? Donald Trump News. TNC? Trump News Channel
The idea is nothing new. Trump has been floating this for some time. He believes he’s providing ratings for other outlets and not being able to collect on any of it. That would all change if he slapped his name on a news network. The best part for Trump is he wouldn’t have to do any of the heavy lifting. Roger Ailes dismissal from Fox News gives Trump access to the man who created the most successful cable news station on the air.
There are questions to come beforehand but there is no doubt all of this would be thought through before making the leap.
1. Start up costs – It’s going to cost billions to launch a cable news network Trump hopes will rival at least CNN and MSNBC and at best, Fox News. Trump doesn’t have the money to do it despite bragging about his supposed billions. That said, having Ailes and Bannon on board will help him find investors.
2. On air talent – Guess who’s contract expires at the end of 2016? Sean Hannity. Hannity has high ratings for his current show and it doesn’t air until 10pm EST. He likely would go up against Bill O’Reilly in the 8pm slot. Ann Coulter, Laura Ingraham, Eric Bolling and Jeanine Pirro are all Trump supporters and could likely be added to the lineup. Breitbart has some personalities who have been on television as well.
3. Filling the time – While a Trump news channel could certainly fill in the 6am to 11pm hours with new content, DTN may gave to go the route of MSNBC and show old “World’s Wildest Police Chases” and other schlock programming during the late hours. They could also repeat shows from earlier in the day.
4. Advertisers – This could prove to be difficult. It’s a network that will find itself under immediate scrutiny and some advertisers may initially stay away but it’s a critical component. Maybe they’ll reach out to William DeVane and see what kind of clout he has with Rosland Capital.
Despite all the questions, it could happen. Ben Shapiro is thinking along the same lines:
There’s a reason Breitbart News went from hard-charging news outlet to drooling Trump mouthpiece. Bannon emerges from all of this unscathed. So what’s next on his agenda? If Trump wins, he’s in a position of high power; if Trump loses, Bannon could head up a new media empire with Trump’s support and the involvement of new Trump supporter and ousted former Fox News head Roger Ailes.
We’ll certainly know by the end of this year. Stay tuned.