Allies to President Donald Trump want Fox News to feel the heat. Increasingly angry at what they see as a turn away from Trump by the news network that was once seen as a staunch supporter of the president, some of the president’s wealthy backers want to build an alternative. And they’re focusing on the pro-Trump cable channel Newsmax TV as a possibility, according to the Wall Street Journal. Hicks Equity Partners, an investment firm that has ties to the Republican National Committee, has been in discussions in recent months to acquire and invest in Newsmax as part of a deal that could also include a streaming-video service.
Although it’s unclear whether the talks between Hicks Equity and Newsmax will move forward, the fact that they’re even happening shows how Trump’s allies believe there is room to compete against Fox News. Newsmax has seen a surge in viewership lately as Trump’s most ardent supporters are angry at Fox News for having declared Joe Biden as the president-elect. Many are still angry that Fox confirmed Arizona for Biden before other networks. In contrast, Newsmax regularly parrots the president’s baseless claims of voter fraud and has refused to declare a winner in the election.
Trump himself has made his anger at Fox clear and has repeatedly criticized the network on Twitter while encouraging his supporters to turn to other news sources, including Newsmax and One America News Network. “.@FoxNews daytime ratings have completely collapsed,” Trump tweeted on Nov. 12. “Weekend daytime even WORSE. Very sad to watch this happen, but they forgot what made them successful, what got them there. They forgot the Golden Goose. The biggest difference between the 2016 Election, and 2020, was @FoxNews!” Trump took aim at Fox News again on Sunday, and directly called on supporters to seek out other news sources: “Many great alternatives are forming & exist. Try @OANN & @newsmax, among others!”