President-elect Donald Trump is to retain an executive producer credit on the NBC show The New Celebrity Apprentice when it returns on January 2 with Arnold Schwarzenegger as the new host, and Trump will still be paid by NBC.
The surprise news broke last night (December 8) as Trump arrived at another thank you rally in Iowa.
While he was host - of The Apprentice for a remarkable 14 seasons - Trump had been listed as an executive producer in official press materials for the NBC series. But an August press release announcing the premiere for the new season with former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger previously featured in a list of executive producers however Trump was not included.
Trump was the star of the original Celebrity Apprentice for seven seasons. One commentator said: “A sitting President being paid an exec producer credit on a TV show is one of several potential conflicts of interests that exist for Trump as he transitions from being a businessman and reality star to becoming the 45th President of the United States.”
The Trump news, first reported by Variety and confirmed by sources at NBC and the Trump campaign, means the president will be paid by a media company that also reports on his presidency - a major conflict of interest for the network, said Fox News.
As producing studio, MGM pays producer fees, which typically are in the low-five-figure range per episode for an executive producer on a successful show like Celebrity Apprentice.
NBC will premiere the new Celebrity Apprentice at 8 PM on January 2, with the show originating for the first time from Los Angeles.