Newsmax CEO Denies Rumors Of Acquisition By Trump Backers

(Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images)

Alex Corey Contributor
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Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy denied rumors that President Donald Trump was looking into acquiring the network, addressing the matter during a Sunday interview.

“Newsmax would never become ‘Trump TV,’” Ruddy said in an interview with Variety Sunday evening. “We have always seen ourselves as an independent news agency, and we want to continue with that mission. But we are open — [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 CEO added that Newsmax was “not actively selling at this time,” but he did note recent heightened interest from investors. Ruddy is a personal friend of Trump’s, per The Wrap. (RELATED: Trump Reportedly ‘Plans To Wreck Fox’ News And Launch His Own Digital Media Streaming Company)

Hicks Equity Partners — a private-equity firm with ties to a co-chairman of the Republican National Committee — has been working to buy a media outlet for more than a year and is seriously considering Newsmax, according to a Sunday report from the Wall Street Journal. Newsmax has become a competitor of Fox News over the past month after dramatically increasing its viewership following Trump’s praise of the network.

Newsmax ratings increased by 183% during election week according to Nielsen Media Research data ratings, according to The Wrap. The network overall remains largely behind other cable competitors such as CNN and Fox News, which also saw increases during that week.

However, at the end of October, Newsmax was averaging around 65,000 viewers at any given time. During election week viewership rose to 182,000 viewers, and the following week rose to 437,000 viewers, according to a CNN report. Primetime shows like “Spicer & Co” and “Greg Kelly Reports” on the network are reaching 700,000 and 800,000 viewers, the outlet said.

Fox News sparked backlash from Trump supporters and Trump himself by calling Arizona early for President-elect Joe Biden on election night.