Does Donald Trump really stand a chance running a media empire? We may see soon. We have all seen the success he has on General Electric's (NYSE: GE ) NBC hitThe Apprentice. And now, according to a story in The Wall Street Journal over the weekend, The Donald's next venture may be the Trump Shopping Network.
It would be a dicey move to say the least, considering how many televised shopping channels are out there already. IAC/Interactive's (Nasdaq: IACI ) Home Shopping Network and Liberty Media's (NYSE: L ) QVC rule the roost.
Trump's not a stranger here, though. In fact, one of the team challenges during Trump's reality show back in its second season involved having the two factions sell an item on QVC. Trump's relationship with GE is also cozy enough that it would make sense for him to partner with the fledgling ShopNBC to make his shopping network a reality.
But despite his promotional skills in hawking everything from pizza to board games, is the world ready for a fourth major cable channel devoted to moving marked-down merchandise?
What may ultimately happen is yet another ShopNBC makeover. The venture was once owned by ValueVision (Nasdaq: VVTV ) until GE bought a minority stake and changed the name. The network's biggest seller is jewelry, and its target audience is mostly women, so it remains to be seen whether it would work out if Trump should consider such a move. Would it alienate the existing audience? Is it so risky that Trump will probably go it alone?
Trump's name has value, and even though The Apprentice's ratings have fallen lately, he still commands a wide enough audience to make Trump Shopping Network work -- if it is simply an online marketplace. That's it. Beyond that, it would be a mistake to go with an actual standalone televised shopping channel, where the costs run high and the prospects for failure loom large.
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz does watch Trump's show, though not as religiously as he once did when he shared a couch with some good Foolish friends. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story.The Fool has a disclosure policy. He is also part of theRule Breakersnewsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.