Media Moves

The real test for the Fox Business Channel

February 12, 2007

Jonathan Berr, writing on bloggingstocks.com, makes the point that whether the upcoming Fox Business Channel is successful depends on how well it attracts viewers during slow business news days.

Neil CavutoBerr, a former reporter for TheStreet.com and Bloomberg, wrote, “The real test for Fox Business News won’t be how it reports earnings, corporate scandals or mergers and acquisitions. It will be whether people tune in when the market is quiet.

“The Achilles heal for all-news networks, like Time Warner Inc.’s CNN, is that many people only want to watch them when there’s big news such as the death of Anna Nicole Smith, the president’s State of the Union speech or Hurricane Katrina. When it’s a slow news day, viewers go elsewhere.

“Part of the success of News Corp.’s Fox News is that people tune into ‘The O’Reilly Factor’ and ‘Hannity and Colmes’ when there’s nothing going on. Jim Cramer also attracts viewers to his show on General Electric Co.’s CNBC when the market is dull. (I used to work for TheStreet.com, which Cramer co-founded.).

“I am not sure whether people are going to be tuning into Neil Cavuto in droves, but the question investors need to ask is whether there is enough business to support a second cable business news network. CNBC’s struggles are well-known and other cable news channels have failed, but it still remains a decent money-maker.”

Read more here.

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