Fox Makes Business News

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For an entity that still has yet to give the official go-ahead on its own business channel, which could launch next year, Fox News Channel has been conducting a lot of business about business news these days.

The cable-news leader last week became the premier video provider of business news on Yahoo! Finance, via a co-branded video gambit, “Fox Business Now.” The collaboration, which debuted Dec. 4, is manifesting in the form of nine two-minute market reports weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

In addition to the original market reports, Fox News will provide business-news segments, investment programming and personal-finance content.

Combining TV and original Web content, Fox Business Now is now on the home page of Yahoo! Finance; it can also be accessed on FOXNews.com. Fox News is also benefiting from additional promotional placements on Yahoo!, and the cable-news network is touting the relationship on its air.

“This new deal brings together two market leaders, providing the No. 1 cable-news channel a unique platform to deliver original business content on the No. 1 financial Web site,” said Jeremy Steinberg, Fox News vice president of digital media ad sales and business development, in a statement.

The news of the Yahoo! Finance deal, terms of which were not disclosed, follows the prior week’s announcement that Fox News vice president and managing editor of business news Neil Cavuto will begin anchoring a financial newscast on Fox News Radio next year.

Starting Jan. 15, The Cavuto Money Report will comprise a trio of one-minute weekday segments — one pre-market, one at the opening of the market and the other at its close. The reports will cover business news beyond Wall Street and will be offered to radio stations around the nation.

On Fox News’s air, Cavuto anchors a weekday one-hour program, Your World With Neil Cavuto, and the weekend program Cavuto on Business.

Despite support from News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch, there has been no definitive word about a debut date for a Fox News-led business network, although some believe a rollout could commence by the middle of 2007.

Fox News officials have stated that Fox Business Channel would not debut without sufficient carriage, which most observers figured would have to include Time Warner Cable and Cablevision Systems, which serve the New York market, home to this country’s financial capital.

Last month, Fox News struck a deal with Comcast to make the business channel available to 12 million subscribers should the service — which would also have placement on DirecTV — launch. The direct-broadcast satellite leader is 38% controlled by News Corp., which owns Fox News.

At the UBS Global Media & Communications conference in New York last week, News Corp. president and chief operating officer Peter Chernin reiterated that the company would not launch the business service until it has enough carriage. In the past, News Corp. said that meant about 30 million subscribers.

“We believe in it, we are working on it,” Chernin said. “When we have the appropriate number of subscribers locked down, we’ll commit to our launch. I would hope that would be in calendar 2007.”

Mike Farrell contributed to this report.

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