Assessing the future WSJ and Fox Business relationship
by Chris Roush
Terry Baker, a former executive producer at Fox Business Network, was interviewed by Joe Strupp of Media Matters for America about issues relating to the business news network, including its relationship with The Wall Street Journal, which is also owned by News Corp.
Strupp writes, “He said a long-time agreement between the Journal and CNBC made it difficult for Fox Business to capitalize on the Journal brand, a situation he predicts will change at the end of 2012 when the CNBC deal ends.
“‘I don’t think this is any secret of what’s going to happen a year from now when suddenly it is possible to pair up the Wall Street Journal and the Fox Business Network. I think strategically you have to ask that question.
“‘And then, frankly I don’t know what the right answer is. Do you throw it all into The Wall Street Journal thing? Do you change the name? Do you get rid of it all together and go completely online? Who knows? But I think that’s an issue. I think, and whether or not it stays, let’s say they can figure out a way that the numbers work and it’s worth continuing the investment because Rupert wants to have a business network. Okay, so do you have the Wall Street Journal people run that and get rid of all the people who are there now? There are a lot of questions. But truthfully, it’s only ever going to be a niche channel anyway because that’s just what business channels are.’
“He also said some Journal staff may be reluctant to be linked to Fox Business.
“‘I don’t think there’s any question that there probably are or have been people at the Journal who didn’t want to be bought by Rupert Murdoch or don’t want to be on Fox Business or Fox News, that wouldn’t surprise me at all,’ Baker said. ‘Whether they’re right or wrong, I don’t know. But just knowing the business as we both do, you can understand why that attitude might exist in some circles. I don’t know whether that gets better. I mean if they marry the two then there’s certainly greater potential for that conflict to be out in the open.’
“Fox Business and Bolling did not respond to requests for comment.”
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