OLD Media Moves

Fox Business Network unfazed by slow start

January 4, 2008

Posted by Chris Roush

Both Howard Kurtz of The Washington Post and Phil Rosenthal of The Chicago Tribune also examined the Fox Business viewers numbers on Friday and came away with the impression that executives at the network weren’t worried about the slow start.

Neil CavutoKurtz wrote, “‘It’s absolutely no surprise,’ Kevin Magee, Fox’s executive vice president, said yesterday of the Fox Business numbers. ‘This is the way you build a network. You get on the air, build your shows and hope the audience finds you. It’s still incredibly early.’

“The NBC unit has more established stars, such as Maria Bartiromo, Jim Cramer and Erin Burnett. CNBC also reaches 90 million homes, about triple the number of Fox Business. In every market except Manhattan — including the Washington area — the new Fox channel is on digital cable systems rather than basic cable.

“Fox executives see a few bright spots. For instance, a third of the 6,000 average viewers were in the coveted 25-to-54 age group. For the week ending Dec. 16, 8 p.m. anchor Dave Ramsey, who also hosts a business talk show on radio, averaged 27,000 viewers. The 2 p.m. program hosted by Liz Claman, who defected from CNBC, and David Asman, who remains a Fox News Channel anchor, is averaging about 16,000.”

Rosenthal wrote, “Like any 11-week-old, it’s too soon to know what this one will grow up to be. Its bloodlines point to it maturing into an extraordinarily strong, swift and sly competitor, running with the best, yet it is naive to expect News Corp.’s Fox Business Network to do more than learn to crawl at this point.

“‘I don’t know that I’ve seen a baby written about so much while still in the carriage,’ Neil Cavuto, a Fox Business senior vice president as well as anchor and managing editor, said Thursday. ‘I just don’t have a sense of how you can grab any meaning in something so young.'”

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