Donald Trump and Rupert Murdoch increasingly look less like political bedfellows and more like media adversaries.
Axios reports that the outgoing President is looking to launch a streaming platform that would compete directly with Fox News, the cable news powerhouse run by the Australian media mogul’s Fox Group.
"He plans to wreck Fox. No doubt about it," said an Axios source described as having “detailed knowledge of Trump's intentions.”
The Axios report said Trump has come to the conclusion that starting a digital channel would be quicker and cheaper than launching a cable channel and competing with Fox News in the pay TV realm. Notably, subscription streaming site Fox Nation has an 85% conversion rate for turning free trial signups into users paying $5.99 a month.
Reports of Trump’s media ambitions began to heat up on the morning of Nov. 3, election day, when Murdoch used his company’s third-quarter earnings call to address the possibility of Trump entering the conservative media business, should he lose the election.
"We love competition, Murdoch said. “We have always thrived with competition. ... Fox News has been the number one network, including broadcast networks, ... from Labor Day through to election day.”
On election night, a reportedly furious Trump had aids reach out to Murdoch, after Fox News called the Arizona race in favor of President Elect Joseph Biden, ahead of almost every other news organization save for Associated Press, and with hundreds of thousands of votes left to count.
Murdoch reportedly resisted Trump’s plea.
Trump, of course, has not conceded his loss to the President Elect, who ended up with commanding advantages in both the popular and electoral college. There are numerous reports, however, that the President is beginning to come to terms with the reality of his loss.
Since election Tuesday, Fox News has swung wildly to discrediting the Trump Administration’s evidence-bereft claims of voter fraud and other election impropriety during its daytime news reports, to vigorously underpinning Trump's unsupported assertions during primetime shows hosted by Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity.
Trump, meanwhile, tweeted Thursday morning that Fox News’ daytime ratings are now “sad” because the network had forsaken its “Golden Goose.”
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