The Real Deal Los Angeles

Trump TV started as threat from Kushner to Roger Ailes: report

Campaign created a potential audience of millions who feel their views aren't heard in media
October 27, 2016 09:30AM

Jared Kushner

Jared Kushner

From the New York website: Trump TV might have started as a threat to ex-Fox News chief Roger Ailes from Jared Kushner during the Republican primaries, according to a Bloomberg cover story on the marketing powerhouse Trump’s campaign has built.

But if the rumored TV network did begin as a threat, it has grown into a real possibility.

According to Bloomberg, once the idea had been seeded and drew interest from five media companies, Trump, encouraged by his son-in-law Kushner, was hooked. “One thing Jared always tells Donald is that if the New York Times and cable news mattered, he would be at 1 percent in the polls,” a Bloomberg’s source said. “Trump supporters really don’t have a media outlet where they feel they’re represented.”

Instead, the Trump audience congregates online. And the Trump campaign, spearheaded largely by New York Observer publisher Kushner, has built a digital fundraising and marketing powerhouse with one of the most extensive digital databases of Republican voters and Trump enthusiasts.

Steve Schmidt, McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign chief, told Bloomberg that Trump will get 40 percent of the vote at least, and half of those voters will buy his claim that the election is rigged. “That is more than enough people to support a multibillion-dollar media business and a powerful presence in American politics,” Schmidt said.

By election day, Trump will have between 12 and 14 million e-mail addresses, contact information for 2.5 million donors who together donated $275 million, and the mobile phone numbers of everyone who bought a ticket to attend his rallies. Since Trump paid for much of the database with his own campaign funds, he owns it and can use it for any purpose he pleases.

Trump has denied that he has plans to launch a media network, but it’s not hard to imagine that could be the plan for the audience that Kushner built. [Bloomberg]Chava Gourarie