Newsmax reportedly doesn’t want to become the seat of President Trump’s prospective media empire — but it wouldn’t turn down the chance to put him on the air once he’s out of
Newsmax reportedly doesn’t want to become the seat of President Trump’s prospective media empire — but it wouldn’t turn down the chance to put him on the air once he’s out of office.
Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy threw cold water on reports that the right-wing cable channel could be acquired by a Trump-aligned private equity firm that’s interested in challenging Fox News’s dominance in conservative TV.
“Newsmax would never become ‘Trump TV,'” Ruddy told Variety on Sunday. “We have always seen ourselves as an independent news agency, and we want to continue with that mission.”
However, Ruddy noted that 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.”
The comments came after The Wall Street Journal reported that Hicks Equity Partners — an outfit run by Trump backer Thomas Hicks, whose son Thomas Hicks Jr. co-chairs the Republican National Committee — had recently held talks about “acquiring and investing in” Newsmax.
Newsmax has reportedly gotten an influx of new Trump-supporting viewers rankled by Fox’s decision to call the presidential race for Joe Biden as the president made baseless claims that the election had been stolen.
Ruddy told Variety that the network is “not actively selling” despite having received interest from “investors, investment banks and strategic players.” He said he’s had occasional conversations with Thomas Hicks over the years because they run in similar circles, but there’s “no deal” between Newsmax and Hicks’s firm.
However, Ruddy is keen to take on Fox despite his fledgling channel’s long odds at winning that battle. Newsmax had an average of 223,000 primetime viewers during the week of the election, which was a huge surge for the network but nowhere near Fox’s average of nearly 6 million.
“Our main focus is continuing: We would like to overtake Fox News in the next 12 months, and I think it’s do-able,” Ruddy told Variety.
Asked on an Election Day earnings call about the prospect of Trump starting his own news network, Fox Corporation CEO Lachlan Murdoch said the company has “always thrived with competition.” Murdoch is also co-chairman of News Corp., Fox’s sister company that owns The Post.