Trump son-in-law reportedly scoping out possibility of setting up a TV network after the election
No matter the outcome of the presidential race, this election has demonstrated the emergence of a new populist anti-establishment audience for cable news. Fox News Channel, set up to address the non-liberal viewing public whose perspectives were unavailable elsewhere, became the dominant force in its industry by catering to the majority. However, that majority has fragmented.
So news, exclusively reported by The Financial Times (link requires subscription), that Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law...
... contacted Aryeh Bourkoff, the founder and chief executive of LionTree, a boutique investment bank, within the past couple of months, according to three people with knowledge of the matter. Their conversation was brief and has not progressed since, the people said. Mr Bourkoff and Mr Kushner both declined to comment ...
...should come as no surprise.
Bourkoff is a heavy hitter:
Mr Bourkoff, who launched LionTree in 2012, has advised on transactions worth more than $300bn, including Liberty Global’s $23.3bn acquisition of Virgin Media and Verizon’s $4.4bn takeover of AOL. He is also [one of] John Malone’s favoured advisers and helped the so-called 'Cable Cowboy' consolidate the US pay-TV industry — in deals that culminated in Charter Communications’ $78bn takeover of Time Warner Cable this year.
In some circles, this will be interpreted as proof that Trump is in the race for self-interested commercial reasons. But as my friend Mark J. Fitzgibbons commented to me, “I think it is inevitable that Trump would create a TV network given how the media is completely corrupt.”
If Fox News goes with its establishment tendencies – let’s call it the Brit Hume faction, as opposed to the Sean Hannity faction – there will be a huge opening for a populist network.