Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Watch out, Money Honey - Rupert's TV Fox Is Prowling; Money Honey: CNBC'S Star Anchor Maria Bartiromo

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Watch out, Money Honey - Rupert's TV Fox Is Prowling; Money Honey: CNBC'S Star Anchor Maria Bartiromo

Article excerpt

Byline: GIDEON SPANIER

RUPERT Murdoch must be hoping October is his lucky month. Today helaunches the Fox Business Network, his long-awaited financial TV news channel,in America. It comes exactly 11 years after he created the Fox News Channel.Then the sceptics thought Murdoch stood little chance of usurping CNN, thepioneer of 24-hour news. A decade later Fox News is number one, with itsunashamedly Right-ofcentre agenda, and Rupert's News Corporation is hoping torepeat the trick again with FBN. He has even got the same man in charge, RogerAiles, who launched Fox News.

Murdoch is trying to appeal to viewers who haven't previously watched businessnews. So FBN will be less focused on the markets"Wall Street meets Main Street" is the advertising pitch.

Arguably the News Corp boss faces a tougher challenge than in 1996 with not onebut two well-established rivals: CNBC, owned by General Electric, andBloomberg. Murdoch will have been wary of what happened to the last businesschannel that tried to bust this duopoly. His old rival, CNN, was forced toclose down its offshoot, CNNfn, in 2004 after a nine-year struggle.

Many think the plight of CNNfn was part of the reason why Murdoch was so keento pay $5 billion for Wall Street Journal publisher Dow Jones in the summer.Murdoch doesn't formally take control of Dow Jones until December but thelustre of its trusted brands such as the Journal, Barron's magazine andFinancial News will give a big boost to FBN, says Alex de Groote, media analystat Panmure Gordon.

Fox itself admits it's a tough market.

"You look at the size of the audience on CNBC, Bloomberg's even smaller," saidPaul Rittenberg, senior vice-president of advertising sales. "So it's, 'Whysplit it up even more?'" Murdoch's 'Murdoch has made a strategic bet thatfinance is now one of the few areas of journalism that will carry a premium inthe digital age' reasons are twofold: First, he has made a strategic bet thatfinance is one of the few areas of journalism that will carry a premium in thedigital age when consumers expect general news to be free.

He is banking on FBN and Dow Jones to give him a "win double". …

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