OLD Media Moves

Imus benefit to Fox Business will be short-lived

August 27, 2009

Jeff Bercovici of DailyFinance.com writes Thursday that the impending move of radio show host Don Imus to Fox Business Network won’t have a long impact on the business news network’s ratings.

Bercovici writes, “From a branding standpoint, this means Fox Business could soon be in a position where its most popular show is the one that least reflects the network’s mission. You have to wonder if that’s a worthwhile trade-off.

“I put this question to a very knowledgeable business-news insider. He didn’t seem to think it was a problem for Fox Business. ‘All of these brands are flexible,’ he said. ‘CNBC’s brand is flexible enough that they can run infomercials, right?’

“True enough. But that brand has already been established, and effectively. CNBC has been such a cash cow for NBC Universal not because it attracts so many eyeballs — it’s tiny compared to Fox News or CNN — but because the people those eyeballs belong to are executives and financial professionals whom advertisers are willing to pay a premium to reach.

“Imus in the Morning isn’t going to attract those people. Moreover, I’m willing to bet the viewers it does attract won’t stick around for other FBN programming, and won’t stay loyal to the network if and when its deal with Imus ends.”

Read more here.

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