OLD Media Moves

Cable and Internet pushing business journalism

January 5, 2007

David Lee Smith of the Motley Fool writes Friday that the expansion of business journalism in recent years has been fueled by cable television and the Internet, and that more competition is coming.

Smith wrote, “This is a sector of the news that has been somewhat slow to develop and mature, at least on a standalone basis. But it is now gaining tremendous momentum, thanks at least in part to the emergence of both cable television and the Internet.

Motley Fool“Gone, for instance, are the days when the late Louis Rukeyser’s excellent and long-running Wall Street Week, which aired each Friday evening on the Public Broadcasting Service, was essentially the only televised game in town for market aficionados. It’s now virtually impossible to walk into a brokerage office and not encounter a television set perched high up on the wall and tuned to General Electric’s CNBC business network, with its all-day attention to the ups and downs of the capital markets and the companies represented therein.

“But competition for CNBC may be just around the corner. Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. which for a couple of years has considered launching a business channel of its own, clearly moved a giant step closer to doing so this week when it reached a distribution agreement with Time Warner to make the network available to the company’s 13 million cable subscribers. Time Warner Cable, whose spinoff as a separate entity is imminent, is the nation’s second-largest cable operator behind Comcast’s 24 million-subscriber operation. Comcast already has reached a deal with News Corp. to carry the new network.

“And you wouldn’t be betting the farm in vain if you wagered that satellite operators DirecTV and Echostar will carry the new business network as well. Murdoch and News Corp. technically still own a significant portion of DirecTV, although this year Liberty Media will acquire control of the provider in exchange for Liberty’s $11 billion stake in News Corp.”

Read more here.

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