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Fox News Channel’s EVP Kevin Magee comes out swinging at NBCU CEO Jeff Zucker. Magee talked with B&C‘s Marisa Guthrie about the three-week-old network, and the criticism of it:
Q: What’s your reaction to Zucker’s recent comments that Fox Business is not for viewers who actually want information about investing?
A: Jeff really hasn’t had any success since the Today show, so I’m not sure he’s the best barometer for what’s good for TV. Our people look like they’re very happy to be on TV. And over at CNBC, they look miserable. If I were working under Jeff, who sort of failed upward, I’d be miserable, too. The fact is, he’s liable to get more shrill as we go along because he’s got all of the resources of NBC behind this. When they went into NBC 2.0 [cost-saving restructuring], the only exemption was CNBC because they knew we were coming. Anything that they wanted, any project they wanted to do, got funded. And if we get any kind of foothold or make any inroads after all of that, I think it’s going to reflect very badly on Jeff.
Magee, who once worked at CNBC himself, talked up the two on-air personalities who made the channel change: Liz Claman and Eric Bolling.
On Claman: “They’re all good at CNBC, and they all deserve a place at the table. But I didn’t want this place to look like that place. Liz and I worked together a few years back. She’s smart as a whip, she fills the screen and she brings great energy to every project she does.
On Bolling: “[He] is sitting out a non-compete. I wouldn’t want to say anything that would make all the lawyers jump up and down.”