FBC Set to Debut in Q4

NEW YORK A day after News Corp. chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch told investors that he expected that Fox Business Channel would launch this fall, the media mogul made it official, announcing Thursday that the new venture would debut in the fourth quarter of 2007.

Roger Ailes, chairman and CEO of Fox News and chairman of Fox Television Stations, will oversee FBC.

The network is being positioned as a direct competitor to CNBC for the relatively small but demographically significant business news audience.

At present, the business channel has 30 million pay-TV subs in its sights, having secured distribution agreements with operators such as Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Charter and DirecTV.

In his keynote address at the 2007 McGraw-Hill Digital Media Summit in New York Thursday, Murdoch said that his network would be “more business friendly than CNBC,” charging that the General Electric property has a tendency to “leap on every scandal, or what they think is a scandal.”

The network will be housed at News Corp.’s headquarters in midtown Manhattan. On Wednesday, Murdoch told investors that one of the major initiatives on the launch team’s plate was a matter of “getting the physical studios right.”

As previously announced, Kevin Magee, evp, Fox News, will oversee day-to-day operations of Fox Business Channel, while Neil Cavuto, Fox News’ svp and managing editor, will manage content and business news coverage.

Alexis Glick, who came aboard as director of business news in September, will also appear on FBC in an unspecified on-air capacity. Glick once served as a senior business correspondent for CNBC.