BusinessWeek’s Ron Grover examines the launch of the new Fox Business Network and concludes that despite a few glitches, the launch has been a success.
Grover wrote, “Sure, the News Corp. offering has the look, feel, and gravitas of the other business news channel, the incumbent CNBC, controlled by General Electric. Fox has its own ‘Money Honey’ reporting from the New York Stock Exchange floor in Nicole Petalides, who doesn’t have the stature of CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo but works the floor with the same gusto. Yet Fox Business, which promotes itself with on-air promos that declare ‘finally, a second opinion,’ also has a guy named Cody Willard.
“Co-anchor Willard, a former hedge-fund trader, is Fox Business’ long-haired, all-black-wearing alter ego. Along with longtime Fox News correspondent Rebecca Gomez, Willard patrols the Bull & Bear bar at Manhattan’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel grinning through FBN’s after-market-close show, Happy Hour. Mixing interviews with out-of-nowhere investment pearls, Willard chomps cheese during one segment, flaunting his, shall we say, romantic abilities while crowding a table of friends. Willard also ogled Ivanka Trump in a segment in which she talked about real estate, The Apprentice, and those gaudy baubles.
“Does Fox Business have a chance? You bet. And if I were top NBC executive Jeff Zucker I’d be hustling full-time to stay ahead. FBN may have just a third of CNBC’s households (for now, FBN is available only on a little more than 30 million households served by the country’s satellite or cable TV systems), but that’s temporary. Especially since Murdoch is famous for spending and spending big to launch his progeny.”
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