President Donald Trump is considering launching a digital media company to challenge Fox News‘ supremacy among right-wing viewers, according to a report published at Axios on Thursday.
According to the report, Trump is fuming over Fox’s coverage before and during the 2020 election—especially the way the network preempted other corporate media outlets in calling the close race in Arizona for President-elect Joe Biden.
President Trump has told friends he wants to start a digital media company to clobber Fox News.
“He plans to wreck Fox. No doubt about it,” said a source with detailed knowledge of Trump’s intentions. https://t.co/4654GjS90r
— Axios (@axios) November 12, 2020
The president’s vexation with Fox—whose opinion program hosts including Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, and Laura Ingraham have been among his staunchest media allies—was apparent even before the Arizona controversy during an Election Day appearance on “Fox & Friends,” another Trump safe space.
“Fox has changed a lot,” Trump said. Discussing the different results of the 2016 and 2020 elections, the president remarked: “Somebody said, what’s the biggest difference between this and four years ago? And I say Fox.”
“I’m not complaining, I’m just telling people,” he added. “It’s one of the biggest differences this season compared to last.”
The president escalated his attacks on Fox on Thursday, tweeting about the network’s “completely collapsed” daytime ratings and calling himself the “golden goose” that it has forgotten.
.@FoxNews daytime ratings have completely collapsed. Weekend daytime even WORSE. Very sad to watch this happen, but they forgot what made them successful, what got them there. They forgot the Golden Goose. The biggest difference between the 2016 Election, and 2020, was @FoxNews!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 12, 2020
According to a Trump confidant who spoke to Axios on condition of anonymity, the president has been doing more than just complaining about Fox—he is said to be plotting his revenge against the once-favored network he feels spurned him.
“He plans to wreck Fox, no doubt about it,” the source said. “He’s going to spend a lot of time slamming Fox.”
According to the source, rather than try to take on the biggest and most popular right-wing network on its own turf—cable television—Trump is considering online options, chiefly a subscription-based digital media channel with streaming online content that would be a direct competitor to Fox’s $5.99 monthly Fox Nation offering.
Fox, while taking the Trump threat seriously, doesn’t seem very afraid of it. While there is little doubt that any new Trump channel would steal ratings share from Fox, the network’s chief executive said he welcomes the challenge.
“We love competition,” Fox Corp. CEO Lachlan Murdoch said on a November 3 earnings call. “We have always thrived with competition… Fox News has been the number one network.”