Fox Business to focus coverage next week on government spending
TALKING BIZ NEWS EXCLUSIVE
Fox Business Network will spend the bulk of its coverage next week exploring the increase in government spending to prop up the economy and what that means to the average consumer. They’re calling it “Red Ink Week.”
Leading that coverage will be anchor David Asman, who will have special reports on his “America’s Nightly Scoreboard” show each day. Asman has investigated the effects on the economy, the taxpayer and individual states, interviewing politicians, industry experts, business leaders and small business owners.
Asman talked Friday afternoon to Talking Biz News about the upcoming reports. What follows is an edited transcript of that conversation.
1. Why did Fox Business decide to give some much time to this topic?
The sort of philosophy behind Fox Business is you have to stay within your means, whether it’s on a personla level, which Dave Ramsey addresses better than anyone else does, and if it’s good enough for the individual, it should be good enough for the government. What we’re saying is that the government is no longer repsentative of the advice it’s giving to individuals about being more careful with their money.
It’s more than just sort of the traditional looking at pork projects and waste and fraud. It’s saying that we have to restructure, in a very fundamental way, the way government works as a representative of the people and people’s desires. That hasn’t been addresed by either party. Republicans can spend as frivolously as Democrats.
The whole ides of what the government has been doing and what it feels it’s entitled to do needs to be addressed. On “Scoreboard,” we’re going to start by describing the problem, the way the federal government has gotten out of control. On the next night, we’re going to focus on state spending. And then we’re going to work our way into how to deal with all of this, both as a nation and as an individual. We don’t just want to explain the problem; we want to offer some solutions.
2. Were you surprised by anything that you discovered in the reporting?
We’re still reporting. We’re laying out the architecture for the week. I grew up in Washington, so it’s not unfamiliar territory for me. I have a background in covering this whole area, and it’s one of Roger Ailes’ favorite topics. It’s something that he loves to talk about and thinks is really critical to talk about.
3.Â How can you tellÂ this complicated story effectively?
The great thing about television news is that you have the time to do it. My father was a television producer who worked for NBCÂ from 1961 to about the mid-1990s. Before that, he was with CBS News and Walter Cronkite. So I grew up with television news, but I was dissatisifed with it because of the superficial nature,Â so I avoided it. It’s why I focused first on print with magazines and The Wall Street Journal. It wasn’t until Roger came to me in 1996 and said he was starting Fox News and said he was going to get in depth on topics. I wasn’t quite convinced. I did make the jump in 1997.
With a new channel, particularly one focused on business, we have so much time in the course of a day, you can really get in-depth with subjects. It will culminate with the “Scoreboard” show at the end of the day.
4. What was your personal interest in covering the story?
I did grow up in DC. Like most teenagers in the ’60s and ’70s, I was more of a liberal than I was a conservative until I began to see where all of the money was going. Building after building after building with bureaucrats shoving paper around. Â There is such a vast bureaucracy that sucks money. It may start out as a well-meaning idea or project, but at the end, the idea has been compromised by the bureaucrats and the interest groups who see a way to make money for themselves. So many of our tax dollars are going right into their pockets.
5. You used to work at The Wall Street Journal. Compare and contrast your reporting there to what you do now at Fox Business.
There is such a difference. Television is a different medium to work in than print. You use twice as much energy in television as you do in writing. Roger has us working 14 hours a day, so by those calculations,Â I am working more hours a day than there are. You have to multitask. I am working on three shows during the course of the day, so you know how to divide your attention in a way that you don’t when you’re working on one article. You use a different area of your brain.
6. What’s your impressions of how Fox Business is doing?
I think it’s doing great. I saw the startup of Fox News, and we’re exceeding all of our projections in terms of how many homes weÂ want to be in and how many viewers we have. There are times when we are beating CNBC. In terms of our reach andÂ our market share, I think we’re doing great. In terms of the content, I think we’re doing great as well. Roger is a very hands-off kind of guy. He hires who he likes and then he lets you go.Â He is a lot like Bob Bartley, formerly editorial page editor of The Wall Street Journal.
7. What do you think Fox Business does better than CNBC?
Thinking of people than just other than those folks on Wall Street. We love capitalism. I think most of the people here do. But I also love the guys who are not as empowered as the billionaires and the millionaires. I like folks who are just starting out, but they don’t have the money. They have the enthusiasm and the ideas. We’re trying to broaden the idea of what is business news. I don’t think the other folks really care about anyone else than the people who care about what stocks are doing during the day.
When a lot of people are getting out of stocks, it’s even more important to broaden the base.