Lou Dobbs joins FBN…

The LA Times Joe Flint writes this morning that Lou Dobbs will be joining FBN…

Just about a year to the day that he left CNN, Lou Dobbs is returning to cable news, this time as host of his own show on News Corp.’s Fox Business Network.

DOBBS Fox Business Network is expected to announce that it has signed Dobbs as early as Wednesday afternoon. It’s the latest high-profile hire for the cable network, which launched a little over three years ago and is in 57 million homes. Although that is far fewer homes than its chief rival, CNBC, Fox Business last week managed to beat CNBC on election night, both in viewers and the key adults 25-54 demographic.

Dobbs’ show will premiere in early 2011. He will also appear on other Fox Business programming.

FBN is creating an “all first run” primetime. FBN debuted with a primetime full of mostly re-airings of Cavuto and America’s Nightly Scorecard. Now with Freedom Watch debuting M-Fr next week at 8pm ET and Follow The Money following at 9 (presumably), that just leaves 10pm as a re-run. I expect that will change when Dobbs’ show premieres, though the lineup may switch around as a result.

Update: Mediaite’s Steve Krakauer has an interesting tweet to go with his article on this news…

Fox Business Network is becoming not a biz network, but an overflow network for Fox News-type talent

It’s not quite accurate but it’s sort of going in the right direction. The real story here is how FBN has embraced politics and political themes for its business news. This is something that really started on FNC when it ruined the Saturday Business Block by turning it into the Saturday Politics with a bit of Business Block. But it’s a blueprint which FBN has been following the past year or so with increasing intensity during early prime and primetime. The days of “Main Street, not Wall Street” are over as far as primetime is concerned.

You really can’t separate politics from business since the government has a lot to do with how business functions or doesn’t, but FNC and FBN’s approach to the subject is rather interesting. Rather than take a straight on look at the relationship between the two the networks opt for more of a “talk radio” approach which jettisons rationality in favor of jingoism, rhetoric, and a very low signal to noise ratio as far as getting into the causality of business and government – which would of course be boring TV to everyone except maybe economists.

Ratings are the reason for the hiring of Dobbs, the movement of Freedom Watch to five nights a week, and the existence of Follow the Money. FBN prime is taking a page from its bigger sister and is hoping for similar ratings success. The question is will there be enough viewers to go around between two networks that are trying to corner the same space and cater to the same viewers? Or will one end up cannibalizing the other?

Update 2: I would be remiss if I didn’t add that FBN’s dayside trading hour programs are still solidly business oriented. But primetime, even at FBN’s launch, was less so. And it’s getting lesser all the time.

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21 Responses to “Lou Dobbs joins FBN…”

  1. FBN’s spent a lot of money on high dollar talent. What happens when they still don’t bring home the bacon?

    IIRC, the only cable/satellite/iptv system that carries FBN on a “basic” or “standard” package is Cablevision in the NY area.

    Do they really think people are gonna shell out extra coin just to watch FBN?

    I said a long time ago FBN should be trying (paying?) to get on lower packages across the nation.

  2. Let’s not forget, Dobbs did start as a money guy, didn’t he? So this makes sense on a few levels.

  3. Dobbs doesn’t talk about money anymore. That’s not why FBN hired him. And we all know it.

    BTW, I’ve got my stopwatch going until Starbroker shows up to tell me how wrong I am and how this is just the latest anti-FBN piece that the MSM just loves to write…

  4. I tend to side with blue on this one. Dobbs is very good with moneytalk.

  5. Well, he doesn’t talk about it “any more,” but that’s not saying he couldn’t. I’m sure hepis new program will be a combo of money and politics.

  6. starbroker Says:

    Calling yourself part of the MSM instead of just another blogger? 😉

    I’ve got my stopwatch going until Starbroker shows up to tell me how wrong I am and how this is just the latest anti-FBN piece that the MSM just loves to write.

    The real MSM even writes how FBN beats CNBC in the ratings!

    GASP FBN having some business opinion at night. Sure beats Movies, Deal Or No Deal, The Apprentice, McEnroe and all the things we’ve gotten from CNBC. After 20+ years they still can’t program.

  7. Calling yourself part of the MSM instead of just another blogger?

    17 minutes. Not bad. BTW, I don’t call myself part of the MSM. I just point out that you rail on the MSM for beating up on poor FBN.

    The real MSM even writes how FBN beats CNBC in the ratings!

    Which just goes to show how STUPID the real MSM is for going on numbers that aren’t valid!

    GASP FBN having some business opinion at night.

    Business opinion? Is that what you’re calling it now? When do we start seeing the business part of the business opinion? I’d like to have some show that shows how to be a better investor rather than to hear the latest gloom and doom about government interference this and TARP that. Currently my FBN watching stops at 5pm. I’d like them to give me a reason to stick around.

    After 20+ years they still can’t program.

    Does that 20 years include the time Roger Ailes was in charge? Just wondering…

    You won’t see me defending CNBC prime. It sucks. And if FBN does get it together in prime with an all opinion lineup, CNBC could be in real trouble. And if prime falls to FBN, CNBC will be facing the same thing CNN is facing with MSNBC.

    Of course FBN would have to stop hiding behind that “we’re not rated by Nielsen” wall of theirs first…

  8. clindhartsen Says:

    To be honest, this doesn’t amaze me one bit. I watched the Saturday Business Block for at least two years and, in short, the programs could be written by a monkey with a couple words. In short, all you really had to do was plug in the words ‘liberal,’ ‘taxes,’ ‘bad,’ ‘failure,’ and a handful of other elements, and tada you’re a producer of two hours of programming!

    Like you said, it looks like the FOX model all over again, straighter news programs during the day [argue if that’s true of FNC], and opinion loaded stuff in the evening. The truth is, I hope and pray CNBC doesn’t take a sideways path towards this, watching ACTUAL coverage of markets, trading, and the related is much more interesting than hearing the same old “liberals will destroy industry” lines we’ve heard from FNC for years now.

  9. I agree that FBN prime is awful right now, with the exception of Cavuto at 6PM, but America’s Nightly Scoreboard and Follow the Money is just awful. Even The Willis Report at 5PM is pretty dreary. Business block throughout the day is solid, but they are still missing something that I feel CNBC has. CNBC focuses on the real traders, real numbers, and hardcore market reporting. FBN does this sometimes, but at other times, fails and as icn2 says, goes off on tangents about TARP and government destruction and what not.

    I think first there has to be a revamp of the graphics package because it simply does not offer as much info as CNBC does and that is what the daily trader wants. Not weather and info about the “intelli-ticker.” The package itself looks great and appeals visually, but information wise, falls very short of its competitor.

    I love to watch FBN throughout the day and they are pretty much all that I do watch (with the occasional flip to FNC), but they have got to shake up prime time and maybe, just maybe, Lou Dobbs is the answer.

  10. I’m sorry, I don’t get “business opinion”. There’s only two options: Regulation that controls its excesses, or “free trade, free markets”. How many ways can you yell about that? The only way to change it up is to get more and more left/right about it until you move on to other left/right issues. Which leads to what Lou Dobbs was doing on CNN..which had nothing to do with business. Right now we have a left channel, a right channel, and the middle ground CNN is trying – and failing –

  11. Oops..dang phone.

    …what CNN is failing to get ground on. FBN will end up doing a junior version of what Fox does. Who needs that?

  12. It’s funny how FBN has decided to hire all these washed up rejects that couldn’t make it big at other networks, or were fired. I mean, come on… Don Imus (is he a business expert of some sort?)? Gerri Willis? Lou Dobbs? Dennis Kneale? It’s basically bringing in Fox News’ second stringers to try and report business when all they will want to do is rant about an anti-Obama agenda, complain about not having tax cuts for the super rich, and have debates with f-words and cursing all over the place. You might as well watch “Jackass”.

    On the other hand, while CNBC’s ratings are abysmal, they are known worldwide, and that’s where people go for real business news on other continents, including the US. I could really care less what ratings FBN gets for the elections (which is ONE day) when they can’t get jack for a regular day. Why would anybody even brag about that? It’s pointless.

  13. Lou is back. I will be happy to watch him again!!

  14. Judge Nap’s show is going to be at 8pm, don’t know if this is true but he’s been saying or news sites has said his show is like the #1 rated on FBN. Of course that is only once a week so let’s see how it does now when it goes daily.

    Cavuto and Asman’s show must be doing pretty good since they haven’t changed since the beginning.

    Bolling’s show already had a name change and a couple direction moves for the show and now he’s being moved to 9pm. I probably agree with Bolling 95% of the time but I like him better talking about stocks than getting political.

    They should’ve gave Bolling the 5pm slot to go up against Fast Money with the same type of show. I’ve read Fast Money sucks now without a lot of the old regulars there including Ratican. Bolling imho would easily get people to switch over.

    FBN during business hours is pretty solid. The most political hours is probably during Varney and Co. and Bulls and Bears at 4pm.

    FBN is slowly getting there, CNBC should be worried

  15. Lurker, so I take it ya think hiring Gerri Willis was an asinine move?

  16. ProgLib Says:
    November 11, 2010 at 4:39 am

    It’s funny how FBN has decided to hire all these washed up rejects that couldn’t make it big at other networks, or were fired.

    By that definition, aren’t most folks on television “washed up rejects?” Olbermann was fired from ESPN, Greta left CNN, Shuster was fired from FNC, and Maddow was on the failed Air America. BUT, as that has shown us, previous failure (or lack of outstanding success) does not necessarily mean future success is impossible.

    …all they will want to do is rant about an anti-Obama agenda, complain about not having tax cuts for the super rich, and have debates with f-words and cursing all over the place.

    I’m going to go out on a limb here, and say you’ve never actually watched FBN… right? Your broad statements and misrepresentations, make it pretty clear that your opinion has been formed without watching, and is just an extension of your already well known hate for all things FOX.

    You might as well watch “Jackass”.

    That reminds me, have you put up that J$ on your blog yet?

    On the other hand, while CNBC’s ratings are abysmal, they are known worldwide,

    Because they’ve been around for a long time.

    …and that’s where people go for real business news on other continents, including the US.

    Really? I assume you have stats for that, right?

    I could really care less what ratings FBN gets for the elections (which is ONE day) when they can’t get jack for a regular day.

    And if they got great ratings, like FNC, I’m sure you’d stop complaining? Naaaaah.

    Why would anybody even brag about that? It’s pointless.

    Because the fact that a much bigger and more powerful international network (as you just said), was defeated by a much smaller unknown network hosted by a bunch of “washed up rejects,” is noteworthy. Don’t you think?

  17. Guys, the truth is that business IS pretty boring, and political discussions are not.

    If people craved financial ratios, charts and legislation and other actions that affect business, FBN would be all over it. But that is apparently not the case.

  18. terance

    Not a fan of Willis. I said they should’ve tried out Willis on weekends, that’s what she was hired for, a weekend show before going all in and giving her a daily.

    Boring show, anyone can host that show, I think Tracy Bynes did a better job when she was subbing for her lol

    That spot should go to Bolling, ditch his political show and develope a Fast $$$ clone.

  19. Just out of curiosity:

    When they say FBN is “available” in 50 million homes or so.. Does that mean 50 million people can tune in if they wish? Or does that mean its “available” if they wanna upgrade their package?

    I always assumed “available in 50 million homes” meant some of those people would have to upgrade in order to receive the channel.

    That said, perhaps I’m wrong and maybe someone can clear this up for me, eh?

  20. Ack. I hate it when Missy is right. Business is BORING.

  21. By that definition, aren’t most folks on television “washed up rejects?” Olbermann was fired from ESPN, Greta left CNN, Shuster was fired from FNC, and Maddow was on the failed Air America. BUT, as that has shown us, previous failure (or lack of outstanding success) does not necessarily mean future success is impossible.

    Um, no, because all those people went to networks that were around for a long time before they arrived. All these people at FBN seemed like they were picked out of a hat and decided to hire them because they were a new network and just wanted personalities.

    I’m going to go out on a limb here, and say you’ve never actually watched FBN… right? Your broad statements and misrepresentations, make it pretty clear that your opinion has been formed without watching, and is just an extension of your already well known hate for all things FOX.

    Well, then you, obviously, don’t go out on a lot of limbs or know what you’re talking about (SHOCKING!). What things did I misrepresent, INB? Are you going to deny that they complain about Obama like FNC does? Are you going to claim that their hosts stick up for middle-class Americans and are in support of taxing the rich? Go, ahead, put your foot in your mouth for the millionth time, INB, and defend that dead beat network. Be my guest.

    That reminds me, have you put up that J$ on your blog yet?

    I’m making you, Koldys, and the other jackasses sweat it out… it must be making you so antsy, INB. How much longer can you wait? Are you going to confront me about it? Will Koldys ban me from there? Should I be afraid?

    Because they’ve been around for a long time.

    Yet, FBN has been around for more than 3 years now, and they STILL can’t get good enough ratings to be tracked on Nielsen and shown to the public. They only like to talk about their ratings when they do well every once in a blue moon. That’s pretty sad.

    Really? I assume you have stats for that, right?

    Actually, I went to a website called CNBCworld.com. Ever been to it, INB? I know research isn’t your strong suit, but why don’t you actually try, for once? According to their official world website, they cover business worldwide in continents like Asia, Europe, and Australia, and countries like Poland, Russia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, India, China, etc. Sorry, I didn’t have any “stats” for you, INB. I have FACTS… you know, those pesky little things.

    And if they got great ratings, like FNC, I’m sure you’d stop complaining? Naaaaah.

    How about this? Once they manage to break the 50k/300k average demo/total barrier (or whatever the average should be), I’ll stop complaining. But, until that point (which I’m sure will be quite a while), I’ll keep hounding them just like your ilk hound MSNBC for their 2nd place ratings. How does that feel?

    Because the fact that a much bigger and more powerful international network (as you just said), was defeated by a much smaller unknown network hosted by a bunch of “washed up rejects,” is noteworthy. Don’t you think?

    Hey INB, did you consider that maybe people weren’t watching CNBC because they cover BUSINESS news (seeing as how they are a business channel) and viewers wanted coverage of the election? I didn’t watch CNBC on election night, but I’m sure they knew the other sister networks were doing the elections already, so why should they? On the other hand, FBN was showing victory speeches from Marco Rubio, and others, while Fox News was, too. So, no, it’s not too noteworthy for a business channel to switch over, and do exactly what its sister channel is doing, just to get ratings.

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