Fox News Channel CEO Roger Ailes and News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch spoke with Multichannel News editor of digital news Steve Donohue and news editor Mike Reynolds last week about a wide range of topics, including the impending rollout of the new Fox Business Channel, slated for 2007.
What’s below is an excerpt from the interiew.
MCN: Whatâ€™s the channelâ€™s name?
Murdoch: At the moment, itâ€™s the Fox Business Channel.
MCN: Youâ€™ll have 30 million homes â€” is this a go now?
Ailes: Weâ€™d like to have 25 to 30 million homes to launch, and I think thatâ€™s about where weâ€™ll be. It will be a strong launch.
MCN: Mid-next year is the time frame?
Ailes: Thatâ€™s the target. We hired [Today co-host] Alexis Glick. Sheâ€™s working with [vice president of business news] Neil Cavuto and a couple of my executives.
We have to build another studio and control room and a couple of things like that, so we are in the planning stage now, and weâ€™re optimistic about some kind of launch next year.
MCN: You built Fox News with people that werenâ€™t necessarily household names. Can you do the same with the business channel, or will you go after some of CNBCâ€™s talent?
Ailes: I wonâ€™t go after anybodyâ€™s talent. I donâ€™t think thatâ€™s right. But Iâ€™ve certainly had people call me. There are only a few people at CNBC that I think really are strong, but I have a track record of trying to find new people and present them.
MCN: Are you taking CNBC Mad Money host Jim Cramerâ€™s call?
Ailes: Jimâ€™s had a problematic relationship with everyone heâ€™s ever known â€” Iâ€™m no exception. On the other hand, he and I get along fine; he did work here for a while. If he called me and wanted to have lunch, Iâ€™d do it. Thatâ€™s not to say one way or the other whether Iâ€™d be thinking about that.
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