Broadcasting & Cable reports that Fox News chairman Roger Ailes is downplaying reports last week that the Fox Business Channel was getting ready to launch later this month.
B&C reported, “Hoping to reel in the rumors, Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes tells Flash! that heâ€™s not even closeâ€”no programming plans, no staff, nada. ‘If itâ€™s imminent,’ he says, ‘itâ€™s imminent without me.’
“The idea for the channel has been gestating since 2001. News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch began pushing for it in 2004, but Ailes is reluctant to proceed unless wide distribution is assured: ‘Iâ€™m not interested in wandering around in the wilderness for a long time trying to beg people for subscribers.’
“Negotiations are tied up in renewal deals for the core channel. Fox Newsâ€™ initial 10-year deals, at 25Â¢ monthly per subscriber, are expiring, and the network wants to up its license fee, big time: $1 per sub.”
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