It's no surprise that the Trump campaign has been very frustrated by the "corrupt" media coverage of the 2016 election cycle which he says overwhelmingly favors the Clinton campaign. For evidence of that frustration, one has to look no further than daily tweet storms launched by the republican nominee for president. Here is just a small recent sample:
The election is absolutely being rigged by the dishonest and distorted media pushing Crooked Hillary - but also at many polling places - SAD— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 16, 2016
Election is being rigged by the media, in a coordinated effort with the Clinton campaign, by putting stories that never happened into news!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 16, 2016
Now, according to the Financial Times, Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has initiated preliminary discussions with LionTree, a boutique media investment bank, about the possibility of establishing a Trump television network after the presidential election.
Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner has informally approached one of the media industry’s top dealmakers about the prospect of setting up a Trump television network after the presidential election in November.
Mr Kushner — an increasingly influential figure in the billionaire’s presidential campaign — contacted Aryeh Bourkoff, the founder and chief executive of LionTree, a boutique investment bank, within the past couple of months, according to three people with knowledge of the matter.
Their conversation was brief and has not progressed since, the people said. Mr Bourkoff and Mr Kushner both declined to comment.
Rumors of a Trump TV network were first reported by Vanity Fair back in June. According to an unnamed source, Vanity Fair alleged that Trump had become increasingly frustrated with biased media coverage and "irked by his ability to create revenue for other media organizations without being able to take a cut himself."
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. According to several people briefed on the discussions, the presumptive Republican nominee is examining the opportunity presented by the “audience” currently supporting him. He has also discussed the possibility of launching a “mini-media conglomerate” outside of his existing TV-production business, Trump Productions LLC. He has, according to one of these people, enlisted the consultation of his daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who owns the The New York Observer.
Trump, this person close to the matter suggests, has become irked by his ability to create revenue for other media organizations without being able to take a cut himself. Such a situation “brings him to the conclusion that he has the business acumen and the ratings for his own network.” Trump has “gotten the bug,” according to this person. “So now he wants to figure out if he can monetize it.”
Rumors of a Trump TV launch have likely been assisted by his campaign's recent hiring of BreitBart Chairman Steve Bannon and the recent departure of Roger Ailes from Fox News that freed up supporter, Sean Hannity, to break his contract and pursue other opportunities.
Roger Ailes, the former head of Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News Channel, is a friend of Mr Trump’s but would be prohibited from working on a Trump television venture by the terms of his exit agreement with the news network. He parted company with Fox this summer following an independent investigation into claims he sexually harassed Gretchen Carlson, a former Fox News presenter.
However, Sean Hannity, Mr Trump’s biggest cheerleader on Fox News, would be free to work for a prospective Trump network. Mr Hannity was among several Fox stars, including Bill O’Reilly, with clauses in their contracts allowing them to leave if Mr Ailes did.
For his part, Trump has denied rumors of any interest in establishing a TV channel saying "I have no interest in a media company. False rumor." Of course, we suspect that all bets are off if Trump ends up losing to Hillary in November and the recent Fox News disruption could make this an opportune time for a launch.