FBN Primetime Overhaul…

FBN announced that it’s altering its primetime landscape considerably… (via Mediaite)

FOX Business Network (FBN) will debut a new primetime schedule featuring encore presentations of the channel’s top post-market programs, announced Kevin Magee, Executive Vice President of the network. Starting February 20th at 8 PM/ET, viewers will find additional airings of The Willis Report (5PM & 8PM/ET), Cavuto (6PM & 9PM/ET) and Lou Dobbs Tonight (7PM & 10PM/ET). The new lineup will replace FreedomWatch with Judge Andrew Napolitano, Power & Money with David Asman and Follow the Money with Eric Bolling.

In addition, FBN is developing a new 5PM/ET program hosted by Melissa Francis who joined the network from CNBC earlier this year. The show will debut in the second quarter, at which point The Willis Report will move to 8PM/ET, enabling FBN to be the only business network providing viewers with uninterrupted live coverage of financial news from 5AM/ET to 9PM/ET.

In making the announcement Magee said, “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. In addition to daily branded segments, each of them will be showcased throughout future programming on both networks.”

Currently one of the leading judicial analysts on television, Judge Napolitano will continue his role on both FOX Business and FOX News, providing key legal insights surrounding the growing intersection between Washington and Wall Street. In addition to co-hosting The Five on FNC, Eric Bolling will also lend his unparalleled expertise on oil and energy stemming from more than 20 years on the trading floor to both networks as a commodities contributor. David Asman will maintain his role as co-anchor of After the Bell (4PM/ET) with Liz Claman on FBN, as well as expand upon his platform as a multinational economic affairs expert to provide commentary on the globalization of the business world. Stossel, hosted by John Stossel, will continue Thursdays at 10PM/ET.

This could be interpreted as the latest manifestation of FBN’s “course correction” away from politics and more towards Business News as Napolitano and Bolling are more well known for the ideologies these days than their business acumen (which in Bolling’s case is actually quite considerable). And Bolling has his big hit 4 on 1 The Five to fall back on. The surprise here would be Asman’s show getting axed as it had been on FBN’s air, under one name or another, since the network launched. But Asman still has After the Bell which is a big anchor for FBN’s business day coverage. It’s less clear what Napolitano does. He won’t be going away but he won’t have his own show anymore either. Funny. Just a year ago Napolitano was being touted by many, myself included, as a viable replacement for Glenn Beck. Now he doesn’t even have a show to call his own.

What shouldn’t be surprising here is Melissa Francis getting her own show. You have to figure that this particular carrot had to have been dangled in front of her in order to get her to join FBN from CNBC in the first place.

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14 Responses to “FBN Primetime Overhaul…”

  1. Judge Napolitano and Janet Napolitono should both be canceled.

  2. Now I think Imus’ show is hanging by a thread

  3. It’s been hanging by a thread for a while now. That’s not the issue. The issue is what do you replace it with?

  4. icemannyr Says:

    This is a good move by FBN.
    The 8pm and 10pm had the least to do with business.

    Eric’s show went from business when it started to mostly politics anti Obama stories.

  5. Josh Kaib Says:

    FBN would have to steal Joe Kernan from CNBC, otherwise they won’t have a compelling replacement for Imus. What, are they gonna bring back Alexis Glick?

  6. Josh Kaib Says:

    I suppose Varney could move to mornings but then they’d need to develop a new show in his current spot. Maybe Asman can move there and give Claman two hours to herself?

  7. FBN went the IMUS direction when they realized they couldn’t touch Squawkbox with the trading and investing audience. The thought was –apparently — that IMUS would bring his old simulcast audience (much larger than Squawk) AND FBN would over time piggyback on that by providing some business news during IMUS’ show and then holding the audience till the 9:20 start of its full business coverage.

    The IMUS experiment has been a dismal failure. One of the real ironies — which FBN could not have foreseen when it signed IMUS — is that Squawk’s core audience has become very disenchanted with all the political coverage. That audience is ready to move to any viable alternative that does what Squawk once did. (Bloomberg is now taking some of that audience, but they too are suffering from a “go political” craze.)

    The sooner FBN wakes up and puts a real business and investing show in the 7-9 am slot (nobody really cares about 6 am), the better its chances to do what it thought it could do many years ago: take much of Squawk’s audience.

    If FBN put a Fast Money type show in the morning slot (Jeff Macke would be a GREAT featured commentator, although not an anchor type, but Matt Nesto could capably fill that role — see the Daily Ticker on line for samples of what this team is doing), FBN would consistently BEAT Squawk in both overall viewers and the cable demo within 3 months. (Obviously FBN would need many more contributors to round out the team, but getting quality people for such roles is not as hard as one might think. Looks at the depth CNBC has put together on Fast Money, and its team keeps growing.)

    Will FBN wake up before Squawkbox does?

  8. The one bit about Francis is that this is a return to her past, to a level, since she was a regular host of “On The Money” during the time it was essentially a news roundup program in 2007.

  9. I remember that show , that’s when CNBC PRIME had some sense

  10. To an extent, CNBC’s approach of documentaries in primetime isn’t a bad one – except when they have oddly out of date ones. I haven’t caught many of the 60 Minutes documentaries, but when they advertise up one about Bill Gates, anoher about Facebook, and they appear months, if not years, out of date, it’s troubling.

    Still, how many projects has CNBC birthed and killed in late afternoon/primetime by this point? There was Check Point, Business Center, Bullseye, Kudlow & Cramer/Company (sort of), On the Money, On the Money R2. McEnroe, The Big Idea, and Conversations with Michael Eisner. I’m not sure how many others existed, but those are what I can think of.

    As for FBN, now I’m kind of interested to see what they make Francis do at this point. A Shepard-style business news thing to end the day could be good.

  11. Don’t understand the love for Melissa Franics here.
    She’s nothing special and she doesn;t ply well with others.
    Just ask Contessa Brewer.
    She’ll be going up against Fast Money and that’s no contest.
    I’ll take one Melissa Lee over 100 Melissa Francises.

  12. Something definitely had to be shaken up at FBN. Francis is a great addition.

    On another note…FBN needs a graphics overhaul…even though the current setup looks great, it has not changed since its launch 5 years ago in 2007. That is an eternity in today’s age. It does not provide as much in depth information as CNBC does, and by doing so, it could give day traders a better reason to have FBN on, even if they do have to mute it.

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