NewsCorp Unveils Business TV Channel Plan

12 February 2007

NEW YORK: News Corporation has unveiled plans to launch a Fox-branded business television channel towards the end of this year. The new offering, which professes it will be more "business friendly" than extant rival, the dominant CNBC, will compete for the small but advertising dollar-rich audience interested in financial news.

What exactly is meant by 'friendly is not entirely clear, but the new channel's management avers it will not "leap" on bad news or scandal.

At its helm will be Fox TV chairman Roger Ailes, whose Fox News has been frequently accused of ultra-conservatism and pro-Republican bias.

The new channel aims will be available to around 30 million US homes when it debuts via cable operators such as Time Warner and Comcast.

Ailes is bullish about its prospects and believes it could overtake CNBC's 90m homes reach within five years.

He adds: "There are a lot of people out there interested in making money. And I think there are a broad number of things you can cover on a business channel."

Ailes remains zip-lipped on details of programming, but suggests that Fox will focus on retail investors.

He is supported by NewsCorp chairman/ceo Rupert Murdoch who says: "Having built Fox News into a cable news leader and a cultural phenomenon against all expectations, I'm confident that Roger Ailes and his team can do the same in business news."

Data sourced from Financial Times online; additional content by WARC staff