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CNBC: Don't Sweat the Coming Fox "Business" Network

Reported by Melanie - September 6, 2007 -

A few months ago when News Corp. announced that it would debut a new "business news" network on October 15, 2007, I read several articles that said it would "compete" with CNBC. Later, when Rupert Murdoch's purchase of the Wall Street Journal was approved, there was talk of how that would be a "perfect fit" for his new "business news" network. But if the new "Fox Business Network" is based on Fox's "premiere business news" show, Your World w/Neil Cavuto, CNBC doesn't have a thing to worry about -- it delivers actual business news. As for the WSJ, I'm sure the guys on the editorial board will fit right in at Fox but as for the actual business news reporters? I don't imagine we'll be seeing much of them.

I say that because, well, take today (September 6, 2007) for example. I hadn't watched or heard any news prior to sitting down to monitor Cavuto. I had no idea where the Dow closed or what was up with the "subprime mortgage mess" or the "credit crunch." So I watched:

Cavuto opened with a Fox News Alert and went to a report about "Henriette bearing down on flood-weary Texas," and then to an interview with a former Homeland Security guy about whether or not "weather is a bigger threat" to the "U.S. economy than terror?" After that, a Fox weather guy came on to talk about a low pressure system off the coast of the Carolinas which could dump a lot of rain there in the coming days.

Next it was on to Catherine Herridge for a report about "an Islamic website" that warns of an attack on the anniversary of 9/11. From there we went to John Meacham of Newsweek for a discussion about how Fred Thompson is the "most well known figure" in the presidential race. Next came actor Ron Silver who told us that Rudy is "toughest on terror," and then Kinky Friedman came on to talk about who he likes. Next came a roundtable about the "best way to fight terror," the free market or the government?

It is now 4:30 p.m. EDT, half way through the show and I still haven't heard anything about what the Dow did today. Yeah, I can look at the itty bitty box in the lower right-hand corner and see the itty bitty numbers but hey, I'm watching a "business news" show, right? I want more. I want NEWS!

Next came the CEO of Sun Microsystems about how "tech stocks are on a tear," and then Cavuto went to a break, which included a "news update," which didn't include any business news. After the "news update" it was back to Cavuto at 4:40 p.m. and ah ha! He aires a shot of the NYSE "big board!" We're gettin' there!


Stocks on the rise today on proof that consumers are certainly holding up more than well today. The Dow jumping about 57 points. Retailers racking up sales as back-to-school shoppers get down to business. The numbers are out and almost every major retailer from Wal-Mart all the way up to Saks and Nordstrom seeing their August sales soar.

Aside from the 90-second "Fox Stox" segment, during which Cavuto gives the rundown about what select stocks are doing, that was it as far as "business news" was concerned.

These are the headlines on Bloomberg.com right now:

-Stocks in U.S. Climb as Retail Sales Top Estimates; Saks, Target Advance

-Apple's Jobs Apologizes to Early IPhone Buyers, Offers $100 Store Credit

-ECB, Bank of England Leave Rates Unchanged, Push Aside Inflation Concerns

-Lehman Brothers, National City Eliminate Jobs as More Home Loans Turn Sour

-Foreclosures, Delinquencies in U.S. Increase to Record, Bankers Group Says

-U.S. Service Industries Expanded at a Faster Pace Than Forecast in August

-Four Fed Bank Chiefs Decline to Endorse a Rate Cut as Credit Rout Assessed

-Bin Laden Will Issue Video on Anniversary of 9/11 Attack

-Web Site Reports Iraq Troop Pullout Could Start Next Year, Report by U.S. Commanders Says

Again, if the new Fox Business Network is anything like Fox's current, "premiere business news" show, the big boys at CNBC have nothing to worry about. Then again, the good business news reporters at the WSJ might -- their brains might very well atrophy.