Apr 26, 2022 - Business

With Trump and Rumble, Florida becomes conservative media HQ

Illustration of a map of Florida, with a social media notifications icon with an elephant pinned on the map.
Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Donald Trump is bringing conservative media β€” a multi-billion-dollar industry β€” to Sarasota County.

Driving the news: Trump Media and Technology Group Corp., which owns social media app Truth Social, registered as a business in Florida earlier this month, using an office building on North Cattlemen Road in Sarasota as its address, per the Herald-Tribune.

  • Just 11 miles down the road, Canadian media company Rumble, a video platform commonly used by conservatives, recently made Longboat Key its U.S. headquarters.

Why it matters: Rumble, which also powers Truth Social's back-end technology, is expected to merge with special purpose acquisition company CF Acquisition Corp, which would make it worth $2 billion.

  • Rumble moved to Longboat Key last month despite Sarasota County rescinding the company's $825,000 incentive grant in response to community backlash over its broadcasting of Russian media after Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The big picture: Florida has become a popular destination for conservative media upstarts β€” Newsmax, the cable network owned by Chris Ruddy, is headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida.

  • Tampa has become a hub for young Republicans and conservative media influencers.
  • Dan Bongino, a well-known conservative podcaster, lives in Palm City.

Plus: Jimmy Finkelstein, most recently the owner of political newspaper and website The Hill, is planning to launch a new media company that will have its base in Florida β€” where Finkelstein now resides.

State of play: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is not generally friendly toward progressive media. Last week, DeSantis asked legislators to repeal a law that allows the Walt Disney World Resort to operate as a self-governing body, in response to Disney's position against a law that he recently signed, dubbed by critics "Don't Say Gay."

Be smart: In addition to Florida, Nashville is proving to also be a center for conservative media companies. The Daily Wire moved its headquarters to Nashville from California last year.

  • Parler, the Twitter alternative often used by conservatives, is based in Nashville.
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