×

Donald Trump Scolds TV Media for Campaign Coverage in Tough Meeting

When Donald Trump was a colorful real-estate developer, he soaked up media coverage like it was sunshine. Now that he’s about to become the next President of the United States, he seems to have had enough of it.

In what two people familiar with the incident described as a tough sit-down between the nation’s major TV-news outlets and the President-elect and his top advisers, Trump dressed down top executives and anchors Monday afternoon, reserving particularly harsh words for CNN and NBC News. The off-the-record meeting, convened by Trump’s staff over the last day or two, was rancorous, one of these people said, and not much substantive discussion was held, although there was some talk about his goals for shaping immigration policy, this person said.

Spokespersons for CNN and NBC News did not offer immediate comment. A Trump spokesperson could not be reached for immediate comment.  Executives and anchors from CBS News, ABC News and Fox News were also in attendance.

The meeting could serve to dash hopes that the Trump administration would prove willing to discuss issues of media coverage and candidate access, which have been sore points with media outlets in recent weeks. The U.S. President and President-elect both typically travel with a “protective pool” of reporters in tow, but in at least two instances in recent days, Trump has moved without a press entourage. He and his family went out for dinner without notifying a pool assigned to him, and he also traveled to Washington, D.C., without press alongside him.

CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker raised the issue of the pool, according to one of the people with knowledge of the meeting, but Trump appeared disinterested in the topic. He kicked the question to Reince Preibus, the former Republican National Committee chairman who will serve as Trump’s chief of staff.

Other Trump confidantes present at the meeting included adviser Steve Bannon and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner. The president-elect’s wife, Melania Trump, made an appearance, according to the people familiar with the situation.

The meeting was viewed as something of a “re-set,” one of the people said. Trump hoped his severe talk, which also included a walk through the way his campaign boosted cable-news ratings and a dig at a popular female anchor whose identity could not be immediately confirmed, would start a new chapter between his administration and the media. He is expected to meet with New York Times executives and editorial personnel this week.

A who’s who of TV news personnel attended the summit, held in Trump Tower in New York. Bill Shine and Jack Abernethy, co-presidents of Fox News attended, according to these people, along with Deborah Turness, president of NBC News; Jeff Zucker, president of CNN Worldwide; James Goldston, president of ABC News; and Phil Griffin, president of MSNBC. David Rhodes, president of CBS News, was unable to be present, these people said.

Others attending included  Erin Burnett and Wolf Blitzer from CNN; John Dickerson of CBS’ “Face the Nation”; Charlie Rose, Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell from “CBS This Morning”; Chris Isham, Washington Bureau Chief of CBS News; George Stephanopoulos and Martha Raddatz from ABC News; Lester Holt and Chuck Todd of NBC News; and  Jay Wallace executive vice president of news for Fox News; Brian Jones, executive vice president of Fox Business Network; and Suzanne Scott, executive vice president of programming for Fox News.

More TV

  • NFL-Sunday-Ticket-DIRECTV

    AT&T CEO Expects DirecTV to Keep NFL Sunday Ticket Exclusively

    AT&T believes it will hang on to DirecTV’s exclusive rights for the NFL Sunday Ticket, even as the league has said it’s considering ending the satellite operator’s exclusivity to extend the out-of-home games package to streaming platforms. “The exclusivity [of Sunday Ticket] should remain as we go forward on DirecTV,” AT&T CEO and chairman Randall [...]

  • FC Edmonton defender Albert Watson (5),

    Mediapro Buys Tri-Lite TV, Sets 2019 Roadmap

    Furthering its expansion in  North America, Spain’s Mediapro has purchased Canadian services company Tri-Lite TV. Put through by Mediapro Canada, the deal comes days after Mediapro confirmed the acquisition of 10-year rights to the Canadian Premiere League, a new soccer competition to launch April 27 across the country. Mediapro has also announced global revenues for [...]

  • BBC Studios' ‘Great Bake Off’ to

    APOS: BBC’s ‘Great Bake Off’ to be Reheated in Thailand

    BBC Studios Distribution has sold the Love Productions format “The Great Bake Off” for production in Thailand. It is the cooking competition show’s first localized version in Asia. “Bake Off Thailand” will be produced by APJ&CO, a local production house known for producing the recent seasons of “The Voice Thailand.” Over eight weeks, 12 of the country’s [...]

  • Lutz Schüler Replacing Tom Mockridge at

    Lutz Schüler Replacing Tom Mockridge at Liberty Global’s Virgin Media

    Lutz Schüler is taking the reins at U.K. cabler Virgin Media, replacing media industry veteran Tom Mockridge who is stepping down. New Zealander Mockridge is exiting to move base himself in Italy with his family. He has had a long career in pay TV and newspapers. In TV he worked at several Rupert Murdoch baked [...]

  • Movistar+ Announces Ambitious Original Series ‘La

    Movistar+ Announces Ambitious Original Series ‘La Unidad’

    MELILLA, Spain — Spain’s pay TV leader Movistar+ has announced its newest original series, the anti-terrorist police drama-thriller series “La Unidad,” which started filming last week in the small autonomous Spanish community of Melilla, located on the Moroccan coast. One of the biggest international plays to date for Movistar +, the pay TV/SVOD unit of [...]

  • Visitors arrive at the Hudson Yards

    AT&T Sells WarnerMedia Hudson Yards Space to Pay Down Debt

    AT&T has cut a deal to sell and lease back its WarnerMedia office space in New York’s glitzy Hudson Yards development for $2.2 billion to help pare down its enormous debt load. AT&T said Tuesday it has set a deal to sell its office space at 30 Hudson Yards to an affiliate of Related Companies, [...]

  • Japanese actor Ken Watanabe poses on

    Ken Watanabe to Star in Japan Edition of 'The Fugitive'

    Warner Bros. International Television Production and Japan’s TV Asahi network are teaming to remake “The Fugitive” as a special program that celebrates TV Asahi’s 60th anniversary. Ken Watanabe (“The Last Samurai,” “Godzilla,” “Inception”) will star in the title role made famous by David Janssen in the 1963-1967 U.S. TV series and then by Harrison Ford [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content