Trump Continues To Make TV Money On 'Celebrity Apprentice'

President-elect Donald Trump will continue to get NBC reality TV awareness -- in prime time.  Will that cost him anything? Quite the contrary.

Trump has elected not to put his wide-ranging business interests in a legal blind trust --- and that also goes for any interest in “Celebrity Apprentice.” (For his business interests, he says has given control to his children to run.)

While Trump will continue have a business stake in the show, specifics of that deal aren’t known. Minority stake or equal stake? Including Trump, there are four other executive producers, including creator Mark Burnett. MGM is the TV production studio for the show. 

Reports suggests Trump will still get paid from the show -- albeit a small fee compared to his other businesses -- under $100,000 or so per episode.

One thing is sure: Burnett is making all key decisions for the NBC show, something NBC demanded way back when after Trump announced his candidacy, and after some incendiary Trump remarks.



At that time, NBC also ruled out any on-air appearance in the show. Trump says he was the one made that decision. Now, the boardroom decisions, including the “firing” segments, will be run veteran actor (and politician!) Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is also an executive producer.

Going forward the show will still list Trump as an executive producer in the credits. And that’s where it could get interesting. Could current politicians claim equal time provisions because of that on-air content?

“Celebrity Apprentice” may be small potatoes to Trump’s overall business interests -- which some put at an overall value of around $3.5 billion. But that doesn’t mean it won’t can’t cause any fewer business conflict snags.

Trump is not required to put his businesses in a legal “blind trust.” But analysts say any of these business conflicts could become sticky during the Trump Administration. One example: The U.S. Constitution doesn’t allow presidents to receive expensive gifts from foreign agents, including supposedly those from any business dealings. Or, broadcast issues could come before the FCC.

NBC isn’t a foreign agent. Yet in thanking its prime time TV executive producers for a prosperous year, it will probably need to closely monitor who is getting those nice Christmas gift baskets.

Next story loading loading..