Varney talks about 10th anniversary of Fox Business
Stuart Varney joined Fox Business Network as an anchor in 2007 and is the host of “Varney & Company.”
Varney also serves as a business contributor and substitute host for Fox News Channel’s “Your World with Neil Cavuto.” Since joining the Fox News business team in 2004, Varney has contributed to the network’s weekday and weekend business programming including: “Your World with Neil Cavuto,” “Bulls & Bears,” “Cavuto on Business” and “Cashin’ In.”
Prior to joining Fox News, Varney served as the host of CNBC’s “Wall Street Journal Editorial Board with Stuart Varney.” Before that, he was a co-anchor of CNN’s “Moneyline News Hour.” Varney helped launch CNN’s business news team in 1980 and hosted many of their financial programs including, “Your Money,” “Business Day” and “Business Asia.”
His reporting and analysis of the stock market crash of 1987 helped earn CNN a Peabody Award for excellence in journalism.
A graduate of the London School of Economics, Varney began his broadcast journalism career as a business anchor for KEMO-TV in San Francisco.
Varney spoke with Talking Biz News by email about the 10th anniversary of Fox Business, which has now been ranked the No. 1 business news channel by Nielsen for the past four quarters. What follows is an edited transcript.
(Varney and Fox Business President Brian Jones also spoke with USA Today about the network in a video here.)
What attracted you to joining Fox Business Network in 2007?
I was attracted to Fox Business by the opportunity to do something really new. Something that had not been done before. Attracting, hopefully, a broader audience.
What did you see as its differentiator from CNBC, where you previously worked?
On my program we do not use any kind of jargon. I think that separates us from the viewer and makes things clear. We are interested in the issues of the day like taxation, employment wages, and the growth of the economy. We are very different in this respect from CNBC.
What were the biggest hurdles for Fox Business in its beginning?
The biggest early hurdle was finding a format that worked.
When did you think Fox Business started to achieve traction with viewers, and why?
We started to get traction about three years ago. We had figured out what worked and developed new ways of covering the interesting stories of the day. We were helped by the election and also by this new candidate Donald Trump who was a business guy. That was intriguing. Our audience liked it.
How has business news changed in the past decade?
Business news has changed enormously. We rarely do CEO interviews. We do not use jargon. We do not cover the intricacies of the Federal Reserve. We do not cover earnings reports or analysts’ expectations. There is less coverage of Wall Street and much more coverage of Main Street.
What are your main goals for your show each day?
My goal is that every show is energetic, humorous, direct and very live.
What to you attribute the growth of viewers in the past few years to?
We have grown because we have attracted a new type of view to the broader coverage of money. We have extended the audience for business news into new areas.
What’s been the coverage or event at Fox Business you’ve been most proud of in the past 10 years?
We broadcasted live through much of the night and into the morning of the day of the Brexit vote. Because I was born in England, I had a connection to the story, and we covered the financial markets which were also directly tied into the vote. The result came as a very big surprise and immediately had a profound impact on money and politics. I was very happy with our coverage.
What changes do you see for Fox Business in the next 10 years?
What changes do I expect in the next 10 years? I have no idea. After all the changes we have seen in the last 10 years I find it impossible to predict or even guess at the future for business news. But it will be exciting, fresh, new and Fox Business will be leading the way!