We here at MediaPost have been wondering for some time what Trump might do should he lose.
Joe Mandese, MediaPost editor in chief, has mused that Roger Ailes’ new role as a Trump advisor, and Stephen Bannon, from the Breitbart political media site, coming on as the chief executive of the Trump campaign, are strong signals of where Trump will be going.
Who’s to say that Trump won’t continue to use these media executives to stay on the the long term? Maybe to start up an ultra-conservative cable TV news network to compete with the likes of the Fox News Channel?
A story in Vanity Fair had been mulling a similar idea. But that story came out in June, before Ailes and Bannon were in the picture.
Core voters, of course, are already familiar with Trump from his regular roles on NBC reality shows “Celebrity Apprentice” and before that the original series, “The Apprentice.”
Much of Trump’s bigger awareness and marketing has come from recent earned media over the last year -- that is, his notorious on-air TV appearances in interviews, debates, and elsewhere. Estimates are all this has been worth $4 billion in advertising time -- key on-air time that has got Trump to where he is. So why stop now?
Other national wannabe political figures such as Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee shifted to occasional on-air roles at the Fox News Channel and other places.
Meanwhile, another political figure went one better. Former vice-president and presidential candidate Al Gore went was, for a time, the owner of the Current TV cable news channel.
Trump would look to go that one better by founding a traditional TV cable network and/or a new digital media platform, a la a new Breitbart-like digital media platform.
Somewhat outdoing Gore, Trump would have no problem in providing nonstop marketing/promotion of this news media operation, with TV appearances continuing to make outlandish attention-getting proclamations.
And Trump would still the wherewithal to keep attacking all those political figures that he has been hammering for months, including a new President of the United States.
This new kind of reality TV programming could have at least a four-year run.