Donald Trump is embroiled in a battle with a protege. But relations with the first apprentice from the reality TV show are going well, BusinessWeek Capitol Hill correspondent Eamon Javers reports:
Bill Rancic, the first-season winner of “The Apprentice,” says his relationship with Trump has been nothing like Richard Fields’ experience. Rancic say his stint with the master has been terrific: In fact, despite recent press speculation that he would be leaving The Donald’s side, Rancic says he’d like to stay on “in some capacity” after his second contract expires in May. “I’m a small-time entrepreneur, and I’ve gotten to see what the big-time is like,” he tells BusinessWeek. And Rancic insists that the $250,000-per-year apprenticeship he won on the NBC show is no reality TV stunt – Trump really does involve him in the business and let him learn on the job. “I like how he does business,” Rancic says. “He’s above board. He takes the high road. I wouldn’t be here if he didn’t.”
Ultimately, TV’s apprentice says he’d like to do a business deal side-by-side with Trump, which he says would be a “storybook ending” to his experience.
Bill was told “you’re hired” by Trump on live TV in April, 2004. He says the D-Man really has let him get involved in the Chicago Trump International Hotel and Tower deal that he was given on the show. “After the show was over, I wasn’t sure how this would play out,” Rancic says. “But I’ve had total access, and we’ve sold $700 million worth of condos already.”
And that’s another point where reality differs from reality TV: It’s a safe bet that Richard Fields will never work with Donald Trump again.