Newsmax founder: No plans for Trump-related deal

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BY DAVID LYONS
SUN SENTINEL/TNS

Newsmax, the conservative South Florida media company, is not for sale and has no plans to enter into any agreements with outgoing President Donald Trump, founder and CEO Christopher Ruddy said on Nov. 16.

The company, based in Boca Raton, became the subject of a flurry of recent news reports that certain “Trump allies” were interested in buying Newsmax with the aid of a private investment firm Hicks Equity Partners, which is based in Dallas.

“There was no real formal deal,” Ruddy said in a telephone interview. “They just suggested they might have an interest. We’re not actively selling. My focus is building Newsmax into a major news property.”

No Trump call

A long-time friend of the president, Ruddy added he hasn’t talked to Trump about any media deals or any positions with Newsmax.

“I have not talked to him about it,” he said. “I don’t think he wants to own a network at the end of the day. He’s an omnivore and likes all media. It would be difficult for Donald Trump to be tied down.”

Ruddy said he is more interested in making inroads against Fox over the next 12 months.

Newsmax has not called the presidential election for Democrat Joe Biden even though most national media have projected him as the winners.

Soaring viewership

Since Nov. 4, the Newsmax TV arm has made inroads into Fox’s audience, Ruddy said, citing Nielsen data.

The numbers showed Newsmax’s average prime-time audience jumping 156% to 223,000 viewers during the week of the election. On Nov. 12, the local network had 1.06 million from  7 p.m. to 8 p.m., about half of Fox’s audience of 2.06 million during that time period.

“Newsmax viewership is soaring in the wake of a contentious Trump-Biden election and disputed outcome — as millions are leaving  Fox News,” Newsmax’s marketing department declared in a note. “Another sign of that exodus: The Newsmax App has had over 2 million downloads in the month of November.”

“As of Thursday afternoon, Newsmax was listed in the No. 2 position in the news category,” the note added. “The app was listed in the No. 4 slot of most-downloaded free apps,
ahead of Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok.”

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