Stick to What You’re in Business For…

Ok, everyone has been watching CNN, MSNBC, and FNC’s coverage of this runaway balloon story. Sounds reasonable right? News channels covering a news story. So what was FBN doing covering it? In the last hour of the market day when trading is going on FBN’s business viewers get to watch video of a hot air balloon flying across Colorado. I only bothered to check the network after the balloon landed just to make sure it was covering business news. It wasn’t. Brilliant. If CNBC did it too they deserve the same amount of scorn but I have not been able to verify yet that CNBC did or didn’t cover it.

Business networks are there to cover business news. What’s a flying balloon with a 6 year old boy supposedly inside got to do with NASDAQ? Or the Dow? Oil Futures? Are mylar producers going to take a hit if the boy was ever actually inside (which as of this writing we’re still not sure)? Is that your business tie in to this sensational live video pandering?

This isn’t the first time FBN has held up doing what’s it’s supposed to be doing for something it’s not supposed to be doing. It interrupted its business newscast to talk about Michael Jackson’s autopsy results.

Business viewers who want to watch stuff like that already know they’ll get it in spades on MSNBC, CNN, and FNC. They have no need to see their business coverage interrupted like this.

10 Responses to “Stick to What You’re in Business For…”

  1. Interesting that you mention this… Cavuto was just talking about that, and saying that on the floor of the stock exchange, traders had one eye on the numbers, and one eye on the story. He said they were paying attention down there too… and things slowed down a bit as they watched.

  2. Why is Fox Business News even bothering to put “Business” in the title? They should just shorten it to a meaningingless HLN-like FBN and be done with it.

  3. Interesting that you mention this… Cavuto was just talking about that, and saying that on the floor of the stock exchange, traders had one eye on the numbers, and one eye on the story. He said they were paying attention down there too… and things slowed down a bit as they watched.

    What are you inferring INB? I’m not sure what your point is here…

  4. biznews247 Says:

    I’m sick of FBN and FNC’s “BREAKING NEWS” which is generally something they have reported for the past 12 hours or more. I don’t even pay attention to the words “Breaking News” anymore. That actually goes beyond just FOX, the other’s do it too.

  5. I agree, Biz, and it’s a real bone to pick with me. I remember when “This is a Special Report” would stop anyone in their tracks. I came downstairs today to see “Breaking News” on my TV, and I was like, “What, Anna Nicole Smith again?” It’s ridiculous.

  6. bushleaguer Says:

    Yeah, they get carried away and thus water down the “fox news alert.” It seems that Your World w/ Neil Cavuto starts off every night with an alert about the mere news of the day.

    As for the topic, FBN shouldn’t have been covering the balloon story. They should stick with the rationale they used when Fox network proper didn’t cover Obama’s speech to the Congress….that they did so on FNC.

  7. Cavuto’s point about the traders was that while they were trading and keeping an eye on the numbers, they were also heavily involved in the news of the day. Remember, some corporate businesses and higer end companies leave business channels on the whole day without changing the dial at all. It might give them a break to see something a little different that no one has ever seen before (i.e. a flying saucer shaped balloon) than constantly having to see tickers and graphics with numbers all over it. Good move by FBN.

  8. It was a lame move by FBN. They can run a blurb at the bottom alerting viewers to news they may want to turn to. Many businesses don’t show reruns of I Love Lucy, either. Should FBN run that, too?

  9. Cavuto’s point about the traders was that while they were trading and keeping an eye on the numbers, they were also heavily involved in the news of the day. Remember, some corporate businesses and higer end companies leave business channels on the whole day without changing the dial at all. It might give them a break to see something a little different that no one has ever seen before (i.e. a flying saucer shaped balloon) than constantly having to see tickers and graphics with numbers all over it. Good move by FBN.

    And you think they don’t have one of the “straight” news channels on down there and only have business channels on? I don’t think so. FBN should stick to business news and leave the non-business news for FNC.

    Now, one way FBN could have tapped into this story, which I would have no problems with, would be to note the story and then go down to the floor for a report on how the traders are splitting time between trading and watching the story and how that’s slowed things down a bit. I would consider that to be appropriate coverage because there’s a market factor in there.

  10. CNBC did covered the balloon story. On Oct. 16, a day after this post was published, Allen Wastler, Managing Editor for CNBC wrote Balloon Boy: Not Your Average Business Story.

    Wastler addresses the issue of whether or not to cover the story in question.

    Lucky for Web sites like ours, we can present multiple news-offerings. Covering the balloon’s flight yesterday, which we did, didn’t mean sacrificing our market coverage or ignoring the business news of the day. We could do it all and let readers decide what they wanted to pay attention to.

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