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It has been reported that Donald Trump allies and the Republican National Committee (RNC) are looking at acquiring conservative news outlet Newsmax TV with hopes of turning it into a Fox News competitor. It did not go unnoticed that Newsmax had championed Mr Trump during the presidential election.
According to The Wall Street Journal report dated Nov 15, Hicks Equity Partners, a private-equity firm with connections to the co-chair of the RNC, has expressed interest in purchasing and investing on the “fledgeling pro-Trump cable channel,” Newsmax TV.
Since Election Day, viewership ratings for Newsmax steadily increased as it continued to acquire Mr Trump supporters looking at alternative news sources amid Fox News and other outlets declaring Democrat Joe Biden as the president-elect. Furthermore, Newsmax reporters have aired Mr Trump’s unfounded allegations of election fraud.
On Election Night, Fox News, with its average of 14.1 million viewers overall, was first to call Arizona for President-elect Mr Biden. After enjoying a fulfilling relationship with Mr Trump since being sworn into office in 2017, Fox News found itself in the Trump administration’s crosshairs for such a call.
Fox News declaration was “symbolic,” noted The New York Times. After putting the results in Mr Biden’s column, Arizona became the first state that appeared to have changed sides from Mr Trump’s 2016 list of winning states. Meanwhile, it was reported that Republican Arizona Governor Doug Ducey spent that night on the phone with administration officials insisting that there were remaining Republican votes to be tallied in his state.
It is currently unclear if Hicks Equity will push through with its plans to purchase Newsmax. However, the news outlet’s CEO, Christopher Ruddy, confirmed in an interview with Variety on Nov 15 that they would never become “Trump TV.” The top executive was cited saying, “We have always seen ourselves as an independent news agency, and we want to continue with that mission.”
“But we are open — [Trump] is going to be a political and media force after he leaves the White House, and we would be open to talking to him about a weekly show.”
Mr Ruddy also made it clear that they “were not actively selling” the company at this time. He admitted recently receiving expressions of interest from “investors, investment banks and strategic players”.
“We listen to them, but our main focus is continuing: We would like to overtake Fox News in the next 12 months, and I think it’s do-able,” said Mr Ruddy.
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