Charles Payne Shifts From Contributor to Anchor at FBN

By Merrill Knox Comment

Charles PayneWhen Charles Payne gets recognized on the street, he often gets told something along the lines of, “I love you on TV, but I’m not in the stock market.”

“Everybody’s in the market,” Payne told TVNewser this morning, citing examples of people who use Apple laptops or drive Ford cars. “What you have to figure out is – do you always want to be on the consumer side of it?”

Bridging the divide between Main Street and Wall Street is a cornerstone of Fox Business Network, and it will be one of the “great goals” of Payne’s new show, “Making Money with Charles Payne,” which debuts tonight at 6pmET.

“There’s a distinction between Wall Street, the physical place downtown … and Wall Street, the place where you can go and start to pick out great American companies to become a part owner of,” Payne said.

Payne says he sees a “two-pronged challenge” for himself: bringing down the intimidation factor of Wall Street and convincing people that it is still worthwhile to invest. He says he will accomplish this without falling victim to some pet-peeves of business television, including “an obsession with fast money, crazy terms you don’t know, someone telling you you’re going to crash.”

To that end, he says, he would describe the show as “very optimistic, even though I’m the biggest critic in the world of a lot of [current] policies.”

In the many years he has been contributing to Fox, Payne says he has looked up to Neil Cavuto, who he calls his “greatest influence,” and Stuart Varney.

“He and I have an honest relationship,” Payne says of Varney. “We talk, we’ve had some battles, but we have a tremendous respect for each other, and I love his attitude. He loves his show, and that’s what I love about Stuart.”

As he makes the transition from frequent guest to anchoring a show of his own, Payne doesn’t expect viewers to be too surprised: “I’m going to be the exact same, except I’m going to have more time to explain it,” he said.