“I agree with everything NBC, Univision, Macy’s are saying – I think those comments are ridiculous, We couldn’t disagree with them more,” Reelz CEO Stan Hubbard said this afternoon of Donald Trump’s “rapists” immigration position, hours after announcing his network will televise Trump’s Miss USA Pageant on July 12 after it was dumped by NBC and Univision.
“Our carriage of this event should not be construed as anything political. It is anything but – it is television, it is entertainment … We do not condone or agree with, in any way, any of these comments that Mr. Trump has to say,” Hubbard insisted on CNN, explaining he took the pageant broadcast for the sake of the women.
“This will be the 54th year of the Miss USA pageant. And none of those contestants, none of the people in Baton Rouge, none of the little girls at home who aspire to this, [and] want to watch it, none of the people at home who have been watching this on television for decades had anything to do with this. The Miss USA pageant is about as non-political as anything could possibly be.”
CNN’s Kate Bolduan played for him some of Trump’s zingier quotes from his now infamous POTUS candidacy announcement speech and follow-up interviews, wondering how Reelz can dis-entangle the broadcast from the man, when NBC and Univision can not. “I think those kind of comments are completely ridiculous, and I think most of America thinks the same way.”
But Reelz, being an “independent company” instead of a large media conglom with all of their “entanglements,” is able to “get our arms around the good part of” the situation and bring the pageant to television, Hubbard said. He wanted viewers to know all the commercial break ad dollars will go to Reelz — none to Trump; there is no barter, or revenue share element to this license fee, Hubbard stressed. Even so, he said, he’s having a tough time selling ads for the pageant, going into a holiday weekend. “We knew going in we may have no advertisers.”
On the bright side, he said, he paid a “very small” license fee. When Bolduan asked if it was $100,000, he said if she guessed that amount, “you’d be pretty close to right.”