Fox Business Network Revamps Primetime Lineup


Placing more emphasis on the genre, Fox Business Network will revamp its primetime lineup, beginning later this month.
Starting on Feb. 20, encores of Fox Business Network's top shows -- The Willis Report,Cavuto and Lou Dobbs Tonight -- will supplant its current lineup of Freedom Watch, with Andrew Napolitano at 8 p.m.; Power & Money, with David Asman at 9 p.m.; and Follow the Money at 10 p.m. with Eric Bolling.
The shows featuring Willis, Cavuto and Dobbs that premiere at 5 p.m., 6 p.m.and 7 p.m., respectively, will repeat, starting at 8 p.m.
Moreover, come the second quarter, FBN, which now counts some 59 million subscribers, will bow a new entry with Melissa Francis that will air at 5 p.m. In turn, that will move The Willis Report into the 8 p.m. hour.
Such scheduling could give the ratings-challenged FBN some traction with the business community and the Nielsens, as it will be the only live business show in that time slot. Both CNBC and Bloomberg Television currently present re-airs in the 8 p.m. hour. As such, FBN will be the only business network presenting uninterrupted live coverage of financial news from 5 a.m. (ET) through 9 p.m.
Although their aforementioned primetime shows are being dropped, Napolitano, Asman and Bolling all will retain significant roles with FBN. Judge Napolitano will continue on both FBN and Fox News Channel, providing legal insights surrounding the intersection between Washington and Wall Street. In addition to co-hosting The Five on FNC, Bolling will also share his expertise on oil and energy steeled from more than 20 years on the trading floor to both networks as a commodities contributor. Asman will maintain his role as co-anchor of After the Bell (4 p.m.) with Liz Claman on FBN, and expand his voice as a multinational economic affairs expert to provide commentary on the globalization of the business world.
"Neil Cavuto, Lou Dobbs and Gerri Willis are the most-trusted names in business news and this new lineup affords Fox Business viewers additional access to their no-nonsense take on the day's financial events. We look forward to Judge Napolitano, David and Eric continuing to make significant contributions to both Fox Business and Fox News," said FBN executive vice president Kevin Magee in announcing the changes. "In addition to daily branded segments, each of them will be showcased throughout future programming on both networks."
Although FBN, which launched on Oct. 15, 2007, has struggled in the ratings battle with the well-established and better-distributed CNBC, Dobbs, for one, has been making Nielsen inroads among viewers and adults 25 to 54, the demo of choice in the news and business sectors. His show topped CNBC's Kudlow & Company in the 7 p.m. hour on a number of occasions in total viewers and the aforementioned demo during 2011 and through the early part of this year, according to Nielsen data.