- PayPal billionaire Peter Thiel is looking to develop a conservative cable-news outlet to rival Fox News, BuzzFeed News reports.
- Thiel had been working on the project with Fox News founder Roger Ailes before Ailes died in May, but has since moved forward with the project, according to the report.
- Thiel, who sits on Facebook’s board, is a known adversary to outlets such as Gawker Media. Thiel funded a lawsuit which ultimately bankrupted Gawker in 2016.
Tech billionaire Peter Thiel has been in touch with the influential Mercer family about launching a new conservative cable network, BuzzFeed News reports.
Thiel, a Facebook board member who made his fortune at PayPal, is known to be President Donald Trump’s biggest ally in Silicon Valley. And the Mercer family — Rebekah Mercer and her hedge-fund managing father Bob — are extremely powerful donors in the Republican Party.
Revelations about the news network came to light Wednesday in excerpts from a new book by journalist Michael Wolff called “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.” Wolff revealed that Thiel had previously looked into creating the network with Fox News founder Roger Ailes, who died in May last year.
But Thiel kept pursuing the idea after Ailes’s death, according to BuzzFeed.
Thiel is known to take an adversarial stance toward some media companies. In 2016, it was revealed that Thiel bankrolled lawsuits against the popular blogging outlet Gawker Media, including one filed by former wrestling star Hulk Hogan, which ultimately bankrupted the company.
Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, was awarded $140 million in damages in March 2016 stemming from a Gawker news article published in 2012 that included footage of him having sex.