OLD Media Moves

Nocera baffled by Fox Business Network strategy

October 19, 2007

Posted by Chris Roush

New York Times business columnist Joe Nocera writes for Saturday’s paper that after one week of Fox Business Network, he’s baffled by its strategy, which seems to be solely to make fun of rival CNBC.

Joe NoceraNocera wrote, “Clearly, Fox is aiming for a different, broader audience than CNBC — perhaps the same conservative audience that propelled Fox News. Mr. Ailes and Mr. Cavuto both seem more than a little contemptuous of the core CNBC audience — ‘I’m not going to be satisfied saying I wooed some day traders,’ Mr. Cavuto said.

“But business news is much harder than political news to transform into the blue state-red state divide that Fox News has always trafficked in. More to the point, perhaps, for the vast majority of people who are interested in business news, their initial point of entry is the stock market. And that is still what they mainly care about. What CNBC offers is information that the day trader — and Wall Street professional — can act on, while also giving the rest of us a mix of white noise and real news that allows us to at least feel as though we know what is going on in the market, where our retirement funds reside. Mr. Cavuto likes to say that the stock market is not always the most important business story on most days. He’s right — except if you’re running a business channel. For someone in his job, the stock market is always the most important story.

“Which, I’m guessing, Mr. Ailes will eventually figure out, and which is also why it would be foolish to discount the Fox Business Network based on its first week. The real question is what will happen once Fox Business realizes that the stock market is the only road that makes sense, Mr. Cavuto’s sensibilities be damned. That’s when the battle will start.”

Read more here.

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