FBN Gets First Weekly Win Over CNBC

By Chris Ariens 

It took nearly 9 years, but Fox Business Network got its first Business Day win for a full week, over rival CNBC.

Last week, FBN averaged 181,000 viewers between 9:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., to CNBC’s 171,000. This was FBN’s most-watched Business Day week since the network launched in October, 2007.

“I think FBN was the first to re-define what constitutes business news,” says anchor, svp, and managing editor Neil Cavuto. “I like to say we’re not red or blue, just green – just the money, just following who’s spending it, taxing it, and wasting it, and not just on Wall Street. That’s an agenda that transforms elections and markets. It’s helped us get where we are because we get what our viewers need.”

When we asked whether FBN’s success can be attributed to the amount of 2016 politics it has been covering, Cavuto added, “I think you’re generalizing with the word ‘politics.’ The intersection of capitalism and our Capital has never been more important to cover and do so relentlessly, and I mean non-stop. Far more Americans have a stake in what’s going on in Washington than Wall Street. You can’t appreciate one without getting a sense of the other.”

Last week, Varney & Co. had its 9th consecutive weekly win over Squawk on the Street and Squawk Alley, while Cavuto, who is just back from undergoing open heart surgery, had his first-ever win over Fast Money Halftime Report and Power Lunch.

“While I was at CNBC more than two decades ago hosting a show called Market Wrap, I only led with stocks when they were the story, and I didn’t when they weren’t,” Cavuto told us, adding, “You draw more viewers in helping them get the bigger picture than doing the same-old, same-old.”

In addition to the Business Day win, during pre- and post-market hours, Maria Bartiromo topped Squawk Box from 7 a.m.-9 a.m. ET in total viewers and Lou Dobbs was No. 1 in business news at 7 p.m., as he has been for the past 8 months.

The FBN and CNBC averages pale in comparison to the cable news channel averages: last week Fox News drew 1.4 million total day viewers, MSNBC averaged 656,000 and CNN brought in 651,000.