Media Moves

News Corp. executives: Fox Business is beating CNBC

August 10, 2011

Posted by Chris Roush

News Corp., the parent of Fox Business Network and The Wall Street Journal, reported its quarterly earnings on Wednesday, and during the question-and-answer period with management, president Chase Carey and CEO Rupert Murdoch made remarks about how Fox Business was doing against rival CNBC.

The question came from Citigroup analyst Jason Bazinet, who said, “Just had just a question on one of your cable channels, Fox Business. It seems like there’s quite a bit of excitement about the asset. A number of years ago I think you got carriage in New York, which was a key gating factor. You seem to have hired quite a bit of talent from CNBC. But it doesn’t seem to show up on the ratings and you don’t even mention that one of the under monetized assets at least in your prepared remarks. So can you just give us an update on where you are.”

Murdoch: Yes, the ratings are in fact improving. And certain times of the day we’re head-to-head with CNBC. We’re beating them. We do need more distribution that’s true. As for regards to performance, it is now a catch for beating them.

Carey: And in fact it’s got great growth. It’s a better channel today than it was 12 months ago. They’ve done a good job. Fox News didn’t grow overnight. Fox Business doesn’t grow overnight. I think trailers made real headway and really actually I could have put it on the list but I was getting selective. It was more an example why it’s not all-inclusive. To say the ones I didn’t mention by excluding them wasn’t saying that we’re not excited by them and we really are.

Fox Business has made great strides as Rupert said. We got a couple of holes in distribution that we got to fill. One, which we got a handle on. And we think this channel really is an exciting growth area for us as well and I think really adds some exciting dimension to Fox News business.

A CNBC spokesman replied, “CNBC is far and away the leader in viewership, revenue and operating profit in the U.S. and around the world and no one else even comes close.

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