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Fox Business News Takes Aim at CNBC on First Day

Oct 15, 2007  •  Post A Comment

Neither the economic realities nor the occasional opening-day glitch seemed able to dampen the mood as the Fox Business team took the wraps off its business-news lineup, cranked up the red and gold crawls and graphics and began to introduce some of the elements meant to distinguish the new channel from its competition—chiefly NBC Universal’s CNBC, which purchased some self-promotional commercial time on FBN—or to mock its competition.
In the first hour, “Fox Business Morning,” co-anchors Nicole Petallides and Jenna Lee presided over a wheel of news, sports, weather and business headlines and examples of how FBN intends to work around the exclusive news partnership CNBC enjoys until 2012 with Wall Street Journal owner Dow Jones & Co., which was acquired by News Corp. this summer.
The written and spoken headlines frequently cited the Wall Street Journal, and one of the early-morning analysts was an associate editor and columnist with Barrons, another Dow Jones publication.
“Money for Breakfast,” the 6-10 a.m. show co-anchored by Alexis Glick and Peter Barnes, made insider jokes with stocks editor Liz MacDonald, who started her day on predawn assignment in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., outside the headquarters of CNBC, former employer of both Ms. Glick and Mr. Barnes. Ms. McDonald made cracks about it being Peacock hunting season and trying to cover the stock market from a “sleepy, bucolic” location on the other side of the Hudson River.
What followed were more headlines and a “roundtable” that included Eric Bolling, a former CNBC star who reportedly is unable to sign a contract or regularly appear with FBN for the time being, and the first edition of Fox Business’ “Squawk Box,” which is the long-standing title of a signature CNBC show. There were no immediate answers to questions about the rights to the title, a reference to brokerages’ conference-call equipment.
There also were introductions of the Fox Fifty index of big-cap, big-brand stocks that likely are part of viewers’ everyday lives, and the no-jargon approach to covering business news. The anchors and correspondents regularly told viewers the abbreviations for stocks under discussions, and the Fox Translator opened up in the graphics at the bottom of the screen to explain such terms as “Dow Jones Industrial Average.”
The first big-name “Money for Breakfast” guests included Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Clinton, whose interview with Ms. Glick was ended in mid-sentence by a commercial. Ms. Glick later promised the entire interview would be seen Tuesday.
Interviewed live were former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina (with no reference to her controversial exit from the company) and entrepreneur and former boxing champ Oscar De La Hoya (no mention of his recent Internet photo imbroglio).
Ms. Fiorina declined to comment on recurring rumors about an HP-Kodak deal. However, she noted Kodak’s announcement that it will no longer be an Olympics sponsor after next year’s Beijing Summer Games on NBC Universal’s networks suggests that a sponsor’s $200 million-plus investment “is not as proven as it used to be.”
She also plugged her memoir, “Tough Choices,” and likened its mission to that of FBN: “to make the world of business more fun and interesting and accessible and exciting for Main Street America.”
How much insight like that will mean to viewers on Main Street remains to be seen. By the time “Money for Breakfast” had wrapped its first show, Mr. Barnes had failed to start a very expensive car parked at Times Square, where Ms. Glick interviewed a throwback to Times Square’s seedier days. It seems the Naked Cowboy, who works the crowded intersection every day in his tighty whities, cowboy boots, hat and guitar, is an example of how to turn a small business into a big money maker.
Live markets coverage is scheduled through 5 p.m. weekdays (although the schedule posted on FoxBusiness.com Monday listed three afternoon hours as “empty”).
The late afternoon lineup will start with “Happy Hour” at 5 p.m. Neil Cavuto, the FBN executive who will continue to anchor “Your World” on Fox News Channel at 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, will anchor a self-titled FBN show at 6 p.m. weekdays. He’ll be followed by “America’s Nightly Scoreboard With David Asman” at 7 p.m. and “The Dave Ramsey Show” at 8 p.m. Repeats of the “Cavuto,” “Scoreboard” and “Happy Hour” shows fill out the lineup through midnight.

60 Comments

  1. The explination of business terms and such was nice, but the new network still follows the loud, crude Fox formula. The lower third graphics are even worse than on FNC, a scrabble board mess.
    The other thing that disturbs me is the anchor/commentator lineup. There seem to be a large number of very attractive women of a certain age. They’re nice to look at, but are they really the most qualified to present business news?

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