Fox Business Goes Into Review Mode

By Alex Weprin 

It has been an interesting few weeks for Fox Business Network. A number of shows have been canceled, including the afternoon program “Happy Hour.” The network has also ordered a few new shows, like a weekend program with Andrew Napolitano. One thing is clear: FBN is in the midst of refreshing its on-air product.

Inside Cable News reports that Roger Ailes and senior staffers sat down recently and carefully watched FBN’s programming, looking for changes that could be made.

Still, Spud writes that the network is in something of a holding pattern until Dow Jones’ deal with CNBC expires, allowing FBN to tap into its resources.


Regardless of how the critics and outsiders judge FBN now, News Corp. will remain unfazed until FBN can tap in to Dow Jones. Only at that point, when FBN is considered a complete entity by News Corp., will it really start judging the network on a success/failure basis. That’s also when the real fight with CNBC begins.

We have another other helpful tip for FBN. After the jump.

FBN is not just competing with CNBC and Bloomberg, but also Fox News. It needs to offer a product that is substantively different than what the sister network offers. This is something CNBC and MSNBC do very well, and FBN and Fox News do not.

A good example is last week when the space shuttle Atlantis took off for the last time. FBN covered it live, and did not even attempt to tie in a business angle. CNBC and Bloomberg did not cover it, because they knew it wasn’t a business story, and their audience couldn’t care less. FBN regularly covers non-business news stories, as ICN has noted a number of times.

If FBN is trying to appeal to Wall St, it needs hard business news coverage during the day. For bankers and professional traders, time is money.

Update: as a tipster pointed out, CNBC did, briefly, cover the space shuttle launch. According to TV Eyes CNBC covered the first three minutes before breaking away to business news coverage. Whoops.