Donald Trump is considering launching his own media business after dominating the news cycle since the primary season began nearly a year ago.
Trump has netted roughly $2 billion in free media coverage, driving record viewership for outlets that he hopes to translate to his own cable channel.
Vanity Fair reported Thursday:
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 … He has also discussed the possibility of launching a "mini-media conglomerate" outside of his existing TV-production business, Trump Productions LLC.
A source briefed on the discussions said that the idea spawned from Trump’s ability to tap into a segment of the population that "hasn’t had a voice in a long time" along with frustrations regarding his ability to draw revenue for media outlets "without begin able to take a cut himself."
He has turned to his daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner for advisement, the source said.
Trump previously considered launching a media business in 2011 when he first considered a run for president. He met with Steve Burke, the chief executive of NBCUniversal, who told him he could continue to star in "The Apprentice" if he clinched the presidency.
Vanity Fair reported that Trump would likely launch a cable channel, noting that the venture could violate the FCC’s equal-time rules.
Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks at first denied that discussions regarding the topic had ever occurred. She clarified her statement after consulting with Trump.
"While it’s true Mr. Trump garners exceptionally high ratings, there are absolutely no plans or discussions taking place regarding a venture of this nature," she said.
Soon after Hicks issued the statement, Trump tweeted an oft-repeated complaint regarding the "biased" press.
The press is so totally biased that we have no choice but to take our tough but fair and smart message directly to the people!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 15, 2016