Tag Archives: Fox Business Network

WSJ journalists should fear Ailes and Cavuto, nut Murdoch


Wall Street Journal reporters and editors shouldn’t fear News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch, their likely new owner, but Fox News head Roger Ailes and Fox Business News head Neil Cavuto, with whom they will be working more closely, writes Eric Boehlert on the Media Matters for America web site.

Eric BoehlertBoehlert wrote, “It will be Ailes who has final say over the new FBN. And a note to Journal editors: Murdoch has already publicly promised that the Fox Business Network will be ‘more business friendly’ than its competitors, and not ‘leap on every scandal.’ Ailes agreed, telling The New York Times, ‘Many times I’ve seen things on CNBC where they are not as friendly to corporations and profits as they should be.’

“As for the day-to-day face of the FBN, that will be Cavuto. When not denouncing Happy Feet, a children’s animated movie about penguins, as being ‘offensive’ liberal ‘propaganda,’ Cavuto recently waded into the Don Imus controversy by asking an on-air guest, ‘I mean, a ho is a ho, right?’ This, from an anchor who once suggested he cannot simultaneously be both ‘a good American’ and ‘a good journalist.’

“Back in April 2003, when Cavuto’s beloved war in Iraq was still flying high, he hit back hard on the air against a journalism professor who had been quoted as saying the FNC anchorman had ‘abandoned objectivity for overt nationalism’ during the war coverage. ‘So am I slanted and biased?’ Cavuto responded. ‘You … bet I am, professor.’”

Read more here. 

Fox Business News will get off to a good start


Kevin Downey of Media Life magazine writes that the upcoming Fox Business Network should have a strong reception when it launches Oct. 15, particularly from advertisers.

Fox Business NewsDowney wrote, “But buyers think FBN should do well even before then, right out of the gate. They believe there’s plenty of room for another business network, judging by the surging ratings at CNBC. (Bloomberg Television isn’t measured by Nielsen.)

“CNBC’s daytime audience in second quarter was up 11 percent from the year-earlier period, to an average 197,000 viewers, according to an analysis of Nielsen Media Research ratings by Turner Broadcasting. The primetime audience for CNBC, which has 93 million subscribers, jumped 35 percent, to 221,000 people.

“And that’s not including the rather sizable numbers, perhaps hundreds of thousands, who watch the network outside the home. They are not now measured by Nielsen but that will change in September when the ratings service begins measuring viewing in places like airports, hotels and offices, where it’s believed business networks generate the most viewers.

“‘This is going to boost the audience delivery of business news networks,’ says Brad Adgate, senior vice president and corporate research director at Horizon Media.”

Read more here.

Fox Biz Network to launch Oct. 15


Fox Business Network will launch on Oct. 15, 2007, according to an announcement Wednesday by Neil Cavuto, Fox News senior vice president and managing editor of business news.

The network currently has 30 million subscribers under contract after securing distribution agreements with major cable operators in top markets around the country, including New York, where it will be seen on expanded basic cable.

Neil CavutoHeadquartered in News Corp.’s street level studios in midtown Manhattan, Fox Business News will also have bureaus in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco (Silicon Valley), Washington, D.C., and London. Fox spokeswoman Irena Briganti told Talking Biz News that she didn’t have any information on new hires for the network in those locations.

It’s unclear whether Fox Business Network will have the resources of The Wall Street Journal staff at its disposal. News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch is negotiating to purchase Dow Jones & Co., the parent of The Journal, and part of those talks apparently are focused on getting The Journal out of its current deal to provide content with CNBC.

In making the announcement, Cavuto said, “I’m extremely excited to be part of such a dynamic venture and I look forward to building on the success of our existing top five business programs in cable news.”

Fox News Executive Vice President Kevin Magee will be responsible for the channel’s day to day operations, while Cavuto will direct content and business news coverage and serve in an on-air capacity. Cavuto will report to Magee and Roger Ailes, chairman and CEO of Fox News and chairman of Fox Television Stations.

Magee added, “We are excited to introduce the Fox Business Network into the financial news arena and look forward to growing our subscriber base to develop a competitive network in the coming years.”

Why a Dow Jones purchase may not pay off for News Corp.


Eric Savitz of Barron’s writes on his Tech Trader Daily blog that Bear Stearns analyst Spencer Wang has crunched some numbers and concluded that a News Corp. purchase of Dow Jones & Co., the parent of The Wall Street Journal and Barron’s, may not work financially for the acquirer.

Eric SavitzSavitz wrote, “Next, he looks at the concept of enhancing Dow Jones’ digital properties, but finds little synergy with MySpace; he comes to the fairly obvious conclusion that the average Myspace user is likely not a Wall Street Journal reader. That still leaves another $1 billion or so in synergies left to find – and he says the only place to find them would be in the yet-to-be-launched Fox Business News channel. Wang’s calculations put the value of that channel at $540 million, based on various assumptions on the affiliate fees the channel will receive at launch – he assume they will get half what CNBC now receives – and an estimated subscriber base to start of 30 million homes. He also assumes the channel will reach ad revenue per subscriber parity with CNBC in three years.

“The point is, to provide another $1 billion in synergies, the value of the channel would therefore have to triple to something like $1.5 billion. ‘While access to DJ’s financial content would give NWS’s Fox Business News channel a jumpstart in competing with CNBC, we would be surprising if the magnitude of the benefit is as large as the $1 billion figure we have calculated,’ he writes. ‘We also note that DJ has an exclusive content agreement with CNBC, which runs through 2012, theoretically limiting intermediate-term synergies.’

“One other factor to consider, which Wang notes in a table in the report on potential outcomes, but discusses only briefing in the text, is the sale of the Ottaway community newspapers, which he thinks could bring about $533 million if sold. That would cut the needed synergies from the television channel roughly in half.”

Read more here. I love the disclosure at the end.

Winners and losers in WSJ purchase by Murdoch


Stephen Foley of The Independent newspaper in London has his list of winners and losers once News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch completes his apparent purchase of Dow Jones & Co., the parent of The Wall Street Journal.

They include:

Bloomberg, Reuters/Thomson: Thanks to the ‘Journal’ and the upcoming Fox Business Channel, News Corp is likely to focus Dow Jones on consumers rather than the data fiends these companies cater to. That may not have been so under a different owner.

‘WSJ’ unions: Murdoch is talking expansion, so ‘Journal’ staffers can feel safer than they might have under a different owner. Then again, News Corp has never been a great friend of labour.

‘BusinessWeek’, ‘Fortune’, ‘Forbes’, Condé Nast portfolio: A recharged ‘Wall Street Journal’ sales team means more competition for advertisers. One possible upside: claiming journalistic high ground over Murdoch’s ‘WSJ’.

CNBC: Remember how upstart Fox News quickly overtook CNN? Then you know why CNBC is nervous. A News Corp acquisition of Dow Jones’s talent could Fox snatch more audiences and ad dollars. Is there room for two business channels?

Read more here.

Rupert and the business side of Dow Jones


Louis Hau of Forbes.com takes a look at what might happen to the business side of Dow Jones & Co., the parent of The Wall Street Journal, if News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch is successful in purchasing the company from the Bancroft family.

Dow JonesHau wrote, “If anything, Murdoch has expressed an interest in reversing Dow Jones’ recent efforts to trim costs. He says he wants to invest more in the company’s overseas editorial operations and in its coverage of Washington. And he’ll clearly exploit the Journal and Dow Jones’ other editorial resources to bolster his planned Fox Business Channel.

“The post-merger transition will also be helped by the fact that Murdoch and Dow Jones’ senior management already appear to be on the same page strategically. In fact, to get a further hint of the kinds of changes ahead for Dow Jones and its flagship publication under the News Corp., it might not hurt to look backward for a moment.

“Yes, there has been a well-documented litany of missteps, including Dow Jones’ epic mismanagement of its acquisition of financial data service Telerate, which weakened the company’s competitive position vis-a-vis aggressive rivals like privately held Bloomberg and left the company with significant exposure to the declining market for print advertising.”

Read more here.

How Dow Jones will help the new Fox Business Channel


Marketwatch media columnist Jon Friedman calls News Corp.’s $5 billion offer to acquire Dow Jones & Co., the parent of The Wall Street Journal, almost a done deal now that the two sides have agreed to editorial safeguards preventing CEO Rupert Murdoch from meddling in the journalism at the paper.

Jon FriedmanSo, Friedman says, it’s time to look at how the Journal will help Murdoch launch the Fox Business Channel.

Friedman wrote, “Since the news of the News Corp.-Dow Jones talks broke on May 1, I’ve been intrigued by the potential battle to come on cable television. News Corp. has maintained that it will roll out the business channel by the fourth quarter of this year.

“I’ve suspected that Murdoch and his Fox chief, Roger Ailes, wanted to have Dow Jones on their side as a content driver by the middle of summer. That way, Fox could begin making serious decisions about programming. For the moment, Murdoch may have to deal with the Journal’s history of providing content to CNBC.

“Presumably, Fox is counting on The Wall Street Journal to show the world it can deliver serious and credible financial news. It’s one thing for TV networks to report on Anna Nicole Smith and Paris Hilton, and another to win over the trust of investors.

“The Journal reeks of respectability. The newspaper’s great strength is its ability to apply the same high standards to a seemingly mundane earnings story as to a front-page ‘leader.’ It approaches every pursuit with a quest for excellence, from its news sections to its online products. In a little more than a decade, the Journal’s online component has amassed nearly 1 million subscribers.”

Read more here.

Pearlstine: WSJ brand won't transfer well to TV


Former Wall Street Journal managing editor Norman Pearlstine, speaking at the PriceWaterhouseCoopers media conference in New York on Tuesday, said he doesn’t beliebe that the newspaper’s brand name will transfer well to television if News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch decides to use the paper to help launch Fox Business Channel.

Norman PearlstinePaul LaMonica, who covers the business of the media for CNNMoney.com, wrote, “Pearlstine said he thinks the WSJ won’t help Murdoch’s plan to start a new business channel since he believes the WSJ brand name won’t necessarily translate to television. He added that if Dow Jones was really such an important asset, then GE, Pearson (PSO), which owns the Financial Times and also thought about a Dow Jones bid before backing out, or even McGraw-Hill (MHP), which owns BusinessWeek and Standard & Poor’s, should have been willing to match, or even top, Murdoch’s bid.

“‘There are some obvious people out there that could have done a deal. You would think Dow Jones would be more valuable to GE in order to protect CNBC,’ Pearlstine said, also noting that private equity shops have been notably absent in the recent round of newspaper consolidation, suggesting that the newspaper publishing business is not that attractive.

Laura Martin, founder and CEO of Media Metrics, a sell-side research firm that covers media companies, agreed with Pearlstine. She has a ‘sell’ rating on News Corp. and said that a deal for Dow Jones would ‘destroy value’ for News Corp. shareholders. Her argument is that by adding Dow Jones, News Corp. will increase its exposure to the slow-growth newspaper business.

“And even though Martin conceded that Murdoch is a visionary who may have a bold multi-year plan for Dow Jones, she thinks that hedge funds and other investors won’t have the patience to tolerate the drag on profits in the short-term that a Dow Jones deal is likely to create.”

Read more here.

Hennessey named managing editor of Fox Business Channel website


Ray Hennessey has been named managing editor and director for the Fox Business Channel website, announced Kevin Magee, executive vice president of Fox  News. Reporting directly to Magee, Hennessey will oversee all editorial content and design function of the website.

The website is expected to launch later this fall when the channel launches.

Ray HennesseyIn making the announcement, Magee said, “Ray has a renowned background in this industry, with a proven track record of journalistic integrity and keen news judgment. We are thrilled he’ll be joining us in this new venture.�

Hennessey, a veteran in business journalism Internet operations, was the editor of SmartMoney.com, where he was responsible for all the financial editorial content, television operations and technology. He also had a weekly appearance on CBS News, providing financial commentary.

Prior to that stint, Hennessey was the news editor for Dow Jones & Co. and CNBC-Wall Street Journal Television from 1998 through early 2006. There, he managed the personal-finance and fund-industry coverage at Dow Jones Newswires and appeared on CNBC’s Dow Jones Halftime Report, as well as serving as a regular guest host of Wake Up Call. Additionally, Hennessey wrote the IPO Outlook column for The Wall Street Journal.

He began his career as a journalist for The Times in Trenton before becoming the managing editor of A.M. Best Co., where he oversaw BestWire and BestWeek, publications that covered the insurance industry.

Hennessey is also a board member of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

CNBC/Financial Times makes a lot of sense


Phil Rosenthal of The Chicago Times writes Friday that in the wake of the decision by their parent companies not to make a bid for Dow Jones & Co., the parent of The Wall Street Journal, having CNBC and The Financial Times work together makes a lot of sense.

Phil RosenthalRosenthal wrote, “Pearson’s Financial Times division faces a much more concrete threat if Murdoch acquires Dow Jones and infuses it with News Corp.’s global reach and ambitions. Pearson already was said to be thinking about whether the Financial Times division meshes with its core educational publishing business. Competing with a Dow Jones on steroids would, no doubt, raise even more doubts.

“So, having decided not to spin off CNBC and Financial Times so the joint venture could make a run at Dow Jones, GE and Pearson are wisely trying to figure out what they can do to help each other in other ways.

“Sources say this could take the form of a Financial Times content deal for CNBC’s international channels and Web site, along the lines of what it has with the Wall Street Journal in the United States. Or, in the event of a negotiated divorce from a Murdoch-controlled Journal, an even more wide-ranging agreement.

“Even if Murdoch doesn’t get Dow Jones, the idea of CNBC and the Financial Times sharing at least some resources frankly makes tremendous sense for both media outlets.”

Read more here.