Trump wants to start digital media channel to rival Fox News: Axios

  • President Donald Trump is thinking about starting a digital media company to directly rival Fox News, Axios reported, citing multiple sources.
  • He would seek to appeal to his right-wing, populist followers, who are already likely to be Fox subscribers, the outlet reported.
  • Fox News did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment. But Fox Corporation CEO Lachlan Murdoch said earlier this month that he would welcome competition from Trump. 
  • Trump is an avid viewer of Fox News but has become increasingly critical of its coverage during his presidency.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump is considering starting a digital media company to rival Fox News and siphon off its viewers, Axios reported, citing multiple sources.

“He plans to wreck Fox. No doubt about it,” a source with detailed knowledge of Trump’s intentions told the outlet. 

According to Axios, Trump would seek to appeal to his right-wing, populist followers — many of whom are likely to be Fox News subscribers — with an online streaming offer aimed at replacing the network.

Rather than creating a cable network, he would go straight to online streaming, which is less cumbersome to set up, the outlet said.

One of his major advantages is his extensive email and phone contacts garnered from his political campaigning, the Axios noted.

The president is widely reported to be an avid viewer of Fox News, but has become increasingly critical of the network during his presidency, and frequently plugs hard-right networks such as One America News Network and Newsmax instead.

Most recently, according to The New York Times, the Trump campaign was incensed by Fox News’ calling Arizona for Joe Biden last week, with top allies like Jared Kushner contacting Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch in a bid to overturn the call.

“He’s going to spend a lot of time slamming Fox,” the source told Axios. 

Commentators have long speculated about Trump forming a media empire following his political career, both prior to his unexpected 2016 election win and in the 2020 race. 

Five Republicans familiar with the conversations told Insider’s Tom LoBianco and Lucia Moses that Jared Kushner, the son-in-law and senior advisor to the president, had again floated the idea of a Trump-branded network in October. 

Fox News did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the Axios report.

But when asked in a November 3 earnings call whether the company would welcome competition from Trump, Fox Corporation CEO Lachlan Murdoch said: “We love competition. We have always thrived with competition.”

“And we have strong competition now,” Murdoch continued. “I would say the only difference today versus some years ago, 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.”

The insight from the Axios report suggests that Trump is internally accepting the result of the election by envisioning a role for himself beyond the White House.

Though Insider and Decision Desk HQ, and other major news networks, have projected Biden to win the presidency since as early as November 6, Trump has still refused to concede the election.

Instead, the president has repeatedly pushed baseless claims of election fraud, and has filed more than a dozen lawsuits in several swing states to challenge their election results. Some of those lawsuits have already been tossed out.

Multiple reports say that some among his closest inner circle — including Jared Kushner and first lady Melania Trump — have approached him to concede the election.

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