Archive for the FBN Category

The Bolling Situation…

Posted in FBN, FNC on August 11, 2017 by icn2

I have held off writing about the Eric Bolling situation because, frankly, I don’t know what to make of it. Bolling was suspended pending an investigation by FNC after a Yashar Ali article came out in the Huffington Post saying that Bolling engaged in some rather Anthony Weiner like behavior a few years ago with a few FNC/FBN female colleagues.

Bolling has proclaimed his innocence and filed a 50 million dollar defamation lawsuit against Ali.

Usually with this kind of story you can get an idea early on which way things are headed but this time I’m just not sure.

On the one hand we have Ali’s story which allegedly has been corroborated in some way by over a dozen anonymous people.

And yet this story is coming out differently from what happened with the Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly (and even the Charles Payne) stories. In those, either lawsuits were filed (Ailes), legal settlements were paid out (O’Reilly), or a complaint had been lodged with FNC’s outside lawyers (Payne) before the story broke in the press.

But in this case it’s the opposite…the story has come out before anyone apparently filed any kind of complaint against Bolling. And the fact that said alleged photo, if it indeed exists, didn’t leak out after several years is…odd. These types of incidents usually do get out into the public domain by now.

That in itself does not repudiate the story outlined in the Huffington Post but it does make me sit back and go, “Hmmmmm…”

Just as FNC scrubbing Bolling’s name off The Specialists Twitter feed makes me sit back and go, “Hmmmm…”

…though not so much when you consider that The Specialists’ web page is 100% intact.

Update: Not 100% intact. Some changes were made. But not all traces of Bolling were expunged either so…somewhat inconclusive.

In a post Gawker world, the landscape for public defamation lawsuits has changed, particularly where web journalism is involved. Gawker’s demise has emboldened others to take a shot at cases that prior to Hulk Hogan’s legal take down of Gawker would not have been contemplated. Not that this means Bolling’s suit is meritless nor is that what I’m saying. But the idea of multi-million dollar defamation suit as intimidation weapon is a concept we can’t dismiss as easily as before.

One of two things will happen. Either FNC’s investigation clears Bolling (and any clearance better contain details as to why the charges don’t hold up) or the investigation turns up something and then FNC is in a pickle.

Losing Bolling would hurt…especially after Ailes and O’Reilly were forced out and Payne currently twists in the wind. It would permanently damage The Specialists which, despite FNC making this out to be a panel show, is really a Bolling vehicle. He’s the heart of it and if you search Twitter you’ll see a lot of tweets demanding Bolling be brought back.

The lawsuit itself is thorny. Either its an intimidation bluff attempt that will wither and die the moment the discovery process is opened or it’s the real deal and Ali’s in big big trouble. We won’t know for sure which way this is going until/unless it makes it all the way to court.

The lawsuit may actually complicate matters for the network. It would be particularly bad if FNC let Bolling back on the air but the defamation suit went ahead and Bolling lost after evidence came out in court refuting Bolling’s denials. That would put FNC in a bind. This possibility is one reason the investigation may take a long time to resolve itself because FNC may wait to see what happens with the court case.

CNBC is in Trouble…

Posted in CNBC, FBN on January 30, 2017 by icn2

The Wrap’s Brian Flood has a story which is baaaaad news for CNBC…

Fox Business is finally in a position to surpass CNBC as the go-to network for breaking business news.

The network soared above its arch rival in total viewers every hour of the day from 9 a.m. through 8 p.m. when the Dow Jones reached a record high of 20,000 points last Wednesday.

Fox Business averaged 253,000 business day viewers when CNBC averaged only 178,000. Among the key news demo of adults age 25-54, FBN also averaged 41,000, versus 26,000 for CNBC.

(snip)

Fox Business is on pace to close January with the fourth consecutive monthly win in business day in total viewers. Business day is essentially primetime for CNBC and Fox Business, as both networks focus the stock market and financial programming.

CNBC is expected to pick up a monthly win among the key demo, but Fox Business’ four straight total-viewer victories has never happened in the nine-year history of the network.

Though Flood’s opening sentence is dubious at best – ratings success is a separate issue from the one of who is outscooping whom – there’s enough bad news here that Comcast is going to have to take a keener interest in the goings on at Englewood Cliffs.

NBC Universal pulled CNBC out of Nielsen ratings over out of home sampling issues so they can stall for a bit on responding publicly to the fact that FBN may now be a serious threat to the network’s perceived dominance (though I remain somewhat skeptical when FBN does head scratching things like not offering west coast repeats for new episodes of its most successful taped show Strange Inheritance).

Ultimately, however, the fact that FBN is now pulling in big enough numbers to put CNBC into second place in P2+ means the network has a very large PR stick it can swing around and score real blows against its New Jersey based competitor. Out of Nielsen or not, that is something that the folks who run CNBC can’t ignore for long because nobody else is ignoring it. CNBC is in trouble and if things keep going like this much longer, heads are going to start rolling.

Get Well Neil…

Posted in FBN, FNC on June 21, 2016 by icn2

TV Newser’s Chris Ariens reported this morning that Neil Cavuto had open heart surgery. Hope to see Cavuto back on the air soon…

Fox News and Fox Business anchor Neil Cavuto is on the mend following open heart surgery. Cavuto, 57, who has been off the air since May 31, underwent the procedure yesterday.

“Neil Cavuto had open heart surgery yesterday and came through it with flying colors,” a Fox News spokesperson said. “Knowing Neil, he’ll be back as soon as he can, but he is slated to return to hosting his three programs on Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network later this year. Everyone here is wishing him a speedy recovery.”

Money, Money, Money, Money….MONEY!

Posted in FBN on March 30, 2016 by icn2

I’m late to noting this. Ad Age’s Jeanine Poggi writes about FBN seeking higher ad revenues based off recent ratings gains…

Paul Rittenberg, Fox News’s head of ad sales, is gearing up to convince marketers that Fox Business Network deserves an increase in ad dollars. He will cite the results of a programming shift last June and the benefits of carrying presidential debates that drew massive tune-in.

“Fox Business Network is a bigger part of the mix than it has been in the past,” Mr. Rittenberg said. “This is the first time we’ve had a lot to brag about.”

“We will be talking to advertisers about why we think it’s fair that we get an increase in spending on FBN,” he added.

It’s a fair point but also one that’s predicated on the notion that FBN will have future big events to draw big eyeballs in.

The Hazards of Live TV: #25,144

Posted in FBN, FNC on December 7, 2015 by icn2

Elementary Math:

Add this to this and you get this.

Dash is the victim of Peters’ transgression. All Dash did was drop an s-bomb…Bob Beckel had done worse without punishment. Repeatedly. But Peters’ antics on FBN – the far worse offense – occurring on the same day as Dash’s flub forced the networks to take them both off the air.

Roger Ailes on FBN…

Posted in FBN on December 1, 2015 by icn2

AdWeek’s Chris Ariens interviews Roger Ailes about FBN…

Adweek: Do you think Fox Business can truly be in a place where they can overtake CNBC?

Ailes: It’s been a much slower start. If you go back and read the press around the time we launched I was always telling Rupert [Murdoch] ‘don’t do it, don’t do it.’ I dragged my feet for a long time, because I said ‘look we’re walking into a climate on business news where there is simply no demand for it.’ But one of the things I love about Rupert is he’s an eternal optimist. So he signed off on a billion dollars like he was ordering a ham sandwich. He bets on people or he bets on his own vision. And you have to face several problems with business news: Is there an appetite for business news on television? Who is that audience specifically? Do you want a market-oriented operation or a consumer-oriented operation? Do you want a bunch of intelligent former stockbrokers on the air or what do you want? You have to play to the Indiana old ladies investment club and you have to play to Wall Street. So it’s tough. It’s a tough grind.

Some will read this as excuse making but I’m reading it straight because I remember the press on FBN prior to launch and everything Ailes said about dragging his feet was accurate. He didn’t want to do it.

Strange Inheritance Season Two To Launch

Posted in FBN on October 28, 2015 by icn2

FBN announced that season two of Strange Inheritance will debut Nov 11…

NEW YORK, Oct 28, 2015 (BUSINESS WIRE) — FOX Business Network (FBN) will debut the second season of the hit story-driven reality series Strange Inheritance, on Wednesday, November 11 [th] with a four episode marathon from 9-11PM/ET.

Hosted by Jamie Colby, the series chronicles unusual stories of inheritance and debuted earlier this year as the highest rated show launch in the network’s history. This season will feature another 26 episodes ranging from Winston Churchill’s teeth to George Washington’s lost wallet and air back-to-back on Mondays in the 9PM/ET hour, with encore episodes airing Tuesday through Thursday at 9PM/ET.

Strange Inheritance is produced by Towers Productions, which is known for such programs as The History Channel’s Gangland, National Geographic’s Inside 9/11, The Weather Channel’s Storm Stories and A&E’s American Justice.

FOX Business Network (FBN) is a financial news channel delivering real-time information across all platforms that impact both Main Street and Wall Street. Headquartered in New York—the business capital of the world—FBN launched in October 2007 and is available in more than 70 million homes in major markets across the United States. Owned by 21st Century Fox, the network has bureaus in Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, DC and London. On the web at http://www.foxbusiness.com.

Ratings Improvement for FBN…

Posted in FBN on October 26, 2015 by icn2

Talking Biz News writes about FBN’s ratings improving…

Fox Business Network has nearly doubled its audience in the past year.

According to Nielsen numbers, Fox Business Network’s business day has pulled in an average of 102,000 total viewers this month, a 92 percent gain compared to October 2014.

In addition, the 25- to 54-year-old demographic saw a 60 percent increase year to year with an average of 16,000 viewers for October.

“Varney & Company” leads the network in viewers, closely followed by “Cavuto: Coast to Coast” and “The Intelligence Report with Trish Regan,” all of which have earned ratings wins over rival CNBC this fall.

Dobb’s Beats CNBC…And These Numbers Matter…

Posted in CNBC, FBN on September 29, 2015 by icn2

Talking Biz News writes that Lou Dobbs’ FBN show beat its CNBC counterpart in Total Viewers for the first time in September…

The program had previously topped CNBC in the advertising demo of persons aged 25-54, but this is the first monthly win for both the network and the program in total viewers.

Hosted by Lou Dobbs, the program averaged 115,000 total viewers for the 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. time slot compared to CNBC’s 113,000 viewers for September.

I’ve dinged FBN in the past for touting once in a blue moon outliers when long term trend data is what matters. Well now we have some long term trend data and it’s definitely noteworthy.

Spin Cycle…

Posted in CNBC, FBN on September 15, 2015 by icn2

Talking Biz News writes about Lou Dobbs ratings last night…

“Lou Dobbs Tonight,” which airs on Fox Business Network, beat all other business news television shows in terms of viewers on Monday, becoming the first time a Fox Business show has accomplished that feat. (via J$)

Dobbs hosted as special two-hour edition of his show, with the 8 p.m. hour bringing in 291,000 total viewers, beating out “Shark Tank” for the first time ever, according to Nielsen data. “Shark Tank” had 233,000 viewers.

A few points…

1) What happened at 8pm last night? A Donald Trump speech. Without that Talking Biz News has nothing to write about.
2) What happened to FBN’s numbers at 9 when Trump was gone? We don’t know because that data point wasn’t revealed.
3) CNBC ran tape instead of Trump? Seriously?

Ailes and Murdoch…

Posted in FBN, FNC on June 17, 2015 by icn2

New York Magazine’s Gabriel Sherman writes about yesterday’s Ailes news…

Just five days earlier, Ailes released what now appears to be a rogue statement to his own Fox Business channel declaring that he would be unaffected by the announcement that Lachlan and James will take control of Fox as part of Rupert’s succession plan. “Roger Ailes will continue to run the news network, reporting directly to Rupert Murdoch,” Fox Business reported. According to a well-placed source, Ailes directed Fox Business executive Bill Shine to tell anchor Stuart Varney to read the statement on air. “Ailes told Shine to write the announcement of the move for Varney to say,” the source said. “In it, Ailes inserted language that he would report to Rupert.”

This was, apparently, news to Rupert. And now the Murdochs are correcting the record. “Roger will report to Lachlan and James,” a 21st Century Fox spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter.

Change of Plans?

Posted in FBN, FNC on June 16, 2015 by icn2

The Hollywood Reporter’s Marissa Guthrie takes note of the change in reporting structure at 21st Century Fox. If it ever was a change…

Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes will in fact report to James and Lachlan Murdoch when the sons of Rupert Murdoch assume control of 21st Century Fox on July 1.

The revelation comes after the Ailes-run Fox Business Network reported June 11 that Ailes would continue to report to Rupert even after Rupert handed official control of the company to his sons.

“Roger will report to Lachlan and James but will continue his unique and long-standing relationship with Rupert,” 21st Century Fox spokesperson Nathaniel Brown said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.

And what does that mean? Is that PR spin to make it look like Ailes can bypass the sons to go to the father when he really can’t? Or can Ailes truly circumvent them when he wants? My money is on the former.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say we may have just seen the first marker…the very first marker…in Roger Ailes’ retirement laid down. There is kibitzing…just talk amongst the chattering class mind you…of the possibility of an Ailes exit after the 2016 election.

However, unlike Joseph Farah’s apocalyptic Chicken Little outburst on World Net Daily a couple days ago (“Exclusive”, WND? Sheesh), I don’t expect too much of a change at FNC if Ailes exits…provided Bill Shine is named as his successor. Ailes spent 15 years assembling the team behind FNC and FBN. That does not come apart the moment he leaves.

Unless James decides to blow it up; and he’d be ousted by the board and shareholders if he did something that suicidal, FNC should continue along as before for some time to come though talent departures/retirements and unfoerseen massive changes in the industry could alter that prognosis.

Rethinking FBN Getting Burned By CNBC Over The Murdoch News…

Posted in CNBC, FBN, FNC on June 13, 2015 by icn2

It’s been a couple of days since the Rupert Murdoch news knocked the media world sideways. The one storyline that continued to get legs was how the hell did CNBC beat out the entire Murdoch media empire with the scoop? It sure as hell made FBN, The Post, and The Journal look woefully out of it. At first I naturally assumed it was just good old fashioned legwork. Now I’m wondering if it was really the old boy network…

Exhibit A: The news that came out very quickly after Faber’s scoop that Roger Ailes would be reporting directly to Rupert Murdoch, bypassing his sons. Everyone focused in on the fact that Ailes wouldn’t have to be reporting to Rupe’s sons that it showed how much the senior Murdoch valued Ailes.

What nobody seems to have realized is that Ailes had to have known about the change in structure. There is no way Rupert Murdoch is going to make a change like this and then wait until after the news comes out to tell Ailes he’ll still be reporting to him. FNC and FBN are lynchpins in the Murdoch media empire and Murdoch is not going to do anything to churn those waters. Ailes had to have known.

Exhibit B: Because Ailes had to have known, he could have ensured that the news came out on FBN. He didn’t. The question is obviously why? And the answer is just as obvious…because he was essentially under a gag order that had yet to be lifted by Rupert.

Exhibit C: The original Faber story made no mention of Ailes reporting to Rupert. Therefore we could assume that this wasn’t a leak to Faber from inside Ailes’ sphere of influence. If it were the one piece of information we might consider betting the bank on coming out was that Ailes would be reporting directly to Rupert. Of course, because this industry is more conniving than you could possibly imagine, we can’t completely dismiss the possibility that the leak came from inside Ailes’ sphere of influence but left out the Ailes reporting structure precisely to throw the scent off and make it look like it came from elsewhere. But that possibility does stretch the boundaries of plausibility. The odds are stacked heavily that Ailes’ sphere of influence had nothing to do with Faber’s story. Which leads us to…

Exhibit D: Like father (NOT) like sons. It is well known that while Rupert holds a special place in his heart for Roger Ailes, his sons don’t exactly follow in father’s footsteps.

Add up A, B, C, and D and a new picture emerges regarding CNBC’s scoop. What better way to screw Ailes than to leak the story to Faber?

Maybe it wasn’t either James or Lachlan who leaked to Faber. But whoever it was knew what they were doing and how the optics would play out. They were giving CNBC a prize and Roger Ailes the middle finger.

Fisking “Blackfish”…

Posted in CNN, FBN, FNC on June 13, 2015 by icn2

FNC/FBN’s John Stossel writes on Reason.com about his upcoming “Blackfish” fisking. I’ve never been a fan of Stossel’s penchant for attacking something while at the same time sticking his head in the sand regarding the issue being raised…

I don’t presume to know if it’s moral to keep animals in captivity. But I do know that the activists distort the truth.

I’ve always considered that a big time dodge by Stossel. I also think if he’s going to do a proper fisking he should point out what, if anything, the people behind “Blackfish” are accurate about. He always seems too caught up in nailing the other side moreso than doing a proper analysis of the issue at hand.

That all said, his article here raises enough questions in my mind that I’m going to watch this special. I never had any interest in watching Blackfish in the first place. But I do care about accuracy in reporting and if there’s weight to be found in Stossel’s reporting, it puts CNN in a difficult position of defending airing a special its own people did zero reporting for; something that is an inherent risk for airing agenda TV without explaining in advance what the vetting process was, if any. (via J$)

I was most disturbed by a Blackfish scene that plays the mournful cry of a mother whale whose baby was taken from her. But it turns out the “baby” was an adult with kids of her own. Blackfish faked the scene by adding “sound effects that aren’t even appropriate to a killer whale.”

Blackfish also claims captive whales’ droopy dorsal fins indicate that the whales are miserable. But whale expert Ingrid Visser says killer whales in the wild have collapsed dorsal fins, too.

The director of Blackfish and others who appear in the film would not talk to me, but biologist Lori Marino, who’d said that “all whales in captivity have a bad life,” did.

I pointed out that life in the wild is rough, too—there’s competition for food, sex, life itself. She answered, “these animals evolved over millions of years to be adapted to the challenges of the wild, not with living in a concrete tank… They need space… and a social life.”

SeaWorld claims its whales are “happy.” But as Blackfish points out, “we can’t ask the whales.”

Dold replied, “While I may not know what my dog is thinking, I certainly know that he’s happy and that we have a good relationship.”

There have been moments when that human-whale relationship wasn’t good. One whale drowned a SeaWorld trainer. But Clark says there’s no evidence that the whale’s behavior meant that he was frustrated because he lives in a tank.

Finally, Blackfish claims that captive whales die young. But Dold points out, “We have a 50-year-old whale living at SeaWorld… Our whales’ life parameters are the same as whales in the wild.” Government research confirms this.

Rupert Murdoch to Step Down as CEO of 21st Century Fox

Posted in CNBC, FBN on June 11, 2015 by icn2

In an out of the blue bombshell this morning, CNBC’s David Faber scooped the world…including, inexplicably, FBN and the Wall St. Journal…both Murdoch properties…by reporting that Rupert Murdoch will finally be giving up the CEO reigns of 21st Century Fox…

Rupert Murdoch, the 84-year-old chief executive officer and controlling shareholder of 21st Century Fox, is preparing to step down as CEO of the media giant and hand that title to his son James, according to numerous sources close to the Murdoch family.

An announcement is expected in the near term, while it’s unclear whether the reorganization would take place this year or at the start of 2016. Rupert Murdoch will continue to be the executive chairman of Fox, while his son Lachlan would also become an executive co-chairman of the company.

As part of the management reordering at Fox, COO Chase Carey will step down and take on a yet undefined role as an advisor at the company. Carey was widely expected to exercise his right to an early release from his contract, allowing him to leave the company at the end of this year. Now, sources tell me, he is likely to remain in some capacity through 2016. He did not return a call for commen.

For all the talk about CNBC’s woes, for all the talk of FBN’s expansion, particularly its star studded hiring spree the past few years, this is the ultimate black eye for the Murdoch business network.

This should have been a gimme for FBN. If Fox execs knew Faber was poking around, they should have leaked it immediately to someone at FBN…Gasparino, Cavuto, Bartiromo…ANYONE. Anything would have been a better outcome than allowing CNBC to break news in FBN’s back yard.

Instead Faber gets the media scoop of the year (provided Roger Ailes doesn’t suddenly decide to retire) and FBN is left bumbling behind picking up CNBC’s scraps.

There’s one word that best sums up this debacle. That word is “OUCH!”

Update: Howard Kurtz is tweeting some interesting news…

Rupert Murdoch will become executive chairman with two sons, James & Lachlan, in top roles. Roger Ailes will still report to Rupert, co says

So FBN and FNC are cut out of James Murdoch’s purview? That’s like being given the keys to a Lamborghini but handing the engine to someone else.

Piling On…

Posted in FBN, FNC on June 9, 2015 by icn2

MediaPost’s Wendy Davis writes about the latest news in the battle between Fox and TVEyes…

TVEyes and Fox recently submitted their arguments to Hellerstein on that point. Those papers were filed under seal, and aren’t currently available.

But last week, a host of outside companies filed publicly available friend-of-the-court briefs that outline some of the major arguments.

Other TV news broadcasters, including CNN, CBS and NBCUniversal are backing Fox in the battle. “This case is not just about Fox News,” the TV news networks say. “It affects all creators and publishers of broadcast and digital content … who depend on licensing deals and advertising sales to support their continuing ability to provide high-quality news and entertainment content.”

FBN’s New Lineup: Your Reactions

Posted in FBN on June 1, 2015 by icn2

Today was the first day of a post Imus era at FBN as well as the debut of new shows and new timeslots. Overall, what did you think of today’s FBN programming?

The (NSFW) Hazards of Live TV: #25,137

Posted in FBN on May 21, 2015 by icn2

We have our first ever (sort of) NSFW Hazard and it comes courtesy of FBN and some not very well thought out camera angles. I assume there’s an article on the other page and that’s why it was open…

(NSFW Hazard after the jump.)

Continue reading

FBN Finally Goes Head to Head with CNBC in the Mornings…

Posted in FBN on May 11, 2015 by icn2

TVNewser’s Chris Ariens reports that FBN will be making a number of changes. The biggest one for me, the one that has bugged me for the past six years, is the network will finally be going toe to toe with CNBC in the mornings instead of continuing the pattern of nonsensical counterprogramming with something similar to Imus in the Morning.

TVNewser has learned exclusively that Maria Bartiromo‘s show will now air from 6am-9amET, followed by Stuart Varney anchoring from 9am-Noon. Neil Cavuto is moving from prime time and will host a new show called Cavuto Coast-to-Coast at NoonET.

Trish Regan, who joined FBN from Bloomberg in March, will anchor the 2pmET hour. TVNewser hears more changes will be announced this afternoon.

Obviously. There will now be a big hole in primetime to fill with Cavuto exiting to the noon hour.

Imus and FBN Part Ways…

Posted in FBN on April 27, 2015 by icn2

Capital New York’s Alex Weprin writes that Imus and FBN are parting ways…

A Fox Business executive familiar with the situation says that the move has been in the works since January. Imus decided to move to Texas full-time, and after telling his decision to Fox News and Fox Business C.E.O. Roger Ailes, the two sides decided to “amicably” part ways, given the need for the TV simulcast to originate from New York, the executive said.

FBN is also said to have been working on a new dayside business schedule since the decision was made and will be announcing a new lineup sometime in the coming weeks. Imus’ program airs from 6-9 a.m., an important pre-markets time period.

Trish Regan to FBN…

Posted in FBN on March 5, 2015 by icn2

TVNewser’s Brian Flood reports that FBN has signed Trish Regan…

TVNewser has learned that Fox Business Network has signed Bloomberg’s Trish Regan as an anchor and markets reporter. Her first day on FBN will be April 6. In addition to her role at FBN, Regan will also provide financial commentary across Fox News Channel programs and on FoxBusiness.com.

So who, if anyone, gets bumped outta the chair for Regan?

Setting the Record Straight…

Posted in FBN on March 2, 2015 by icn2

The Resident’s Rory Winston profiles Jamie Colby. It’s part of FBN’s push to highlight its hit “Strange Inheritance”, a show I have watched quite a bit and will continue to do so. There have been a lot of Colby profiles now and I haven’t noted them all but I have seen a recurring theme in some of them. And it re-appears here…

When the concept for Strange Inheritance came along both she and the network saw the show as a perfect fit for her. Jamie had the interdisciplinary background to make it work.

She may have had the interdisciplinary background to make it work but this is not an entirely accurate recounting of how this show originally came together. We have to go back a year ago to see why…

Fox Business Network has announced the development of an original alternative primetime program, “Strange Inheritance,” that will debut later this year. The half-hour documentary show, hosted by Tracy Byrnes, will showcase real-life stories of unconventional inheritances.

It wasn’t until later, when Byrnes had to withdraw from hosting the show, that Colby was named to host it.

Naturally, FBN isn’t going to want to play up the fact that Strange Inheritance was originally someone else’s show, especially since it’s a hit. If I was them I wouldn’t. So I can’t fault them for that. I can fault sloppy writers not doing their homework though. If you’re going to get into how this show came together, get it right.

Big Debut for Strange Inheritance…

Posted in FBN on January 27, 2015 by icn2

TV by The Numbers reports that FBN’s Strange Inheritance debut set records for the network last night… (via J$)

FOX Business Network’s Strange Inheritance debuted last night and became the highest rated program launch ever for the network. See below for more:

Kennedy Interview…

Posted in FBN on January 26, 2015 by icn2

Cosmopolitan’s Helin Jung interviews Kennedy on her new FBN show which premieres tonight… (via J$)

Tell me about the new show.

It’s a quirky political talk show where I get to keep an eye on people who are inhibiting others’ freedom and talk with interesting people about subjects that we find mutually fascinating, like music, parenting, economic liberty — the kind of stuff that you talk about with your good friends.

Will it feel like a late-night talk show?

It will definitely have a different and more casual vibe than a lot of stuff on the network. We’ll have a monologue, one-on-one interviews, a panel segment, game elements, man-on-the street stuff, and some segments with me taking on two or three people at a time who totally disagree with me, just because it sounds like a lot of fun. I think they’re really smart about where their audience is going and how they want to consume information. I’m happy to be a part of that. Throughout my career, I’ve been shut down a lot of times by people who wanted me to fit into a certain box, and that breeds a level of inauthenticity and a lack of employment! It’s really great at this point in my career to have someone say, “I believe in you. I want you to be able to express yourself as authentically as possible. Now go work your ass off and put on a good show.”

FBN Screws The West Coast With Strange Inheritance…(Updated)

Posted in FBN on January 26, 2015 by icn2

FBN’s Strange Inheritance premieres tonight but I won’t get to see it. I want to see it. But it’s airing at 9pm ET which puts it smack dab in the middle of the most contested time of day for my DVR…the 6pm PST hour when local news rules. Not a problem right? There’ll be a 9pm PST repeat right?

Wrong. FBN is not re-airing it at 9pm PST. In fact FBN isn’t re-airing it at all after 7pm PST. At 9pm FBN is slotting the Kennedy repeat and after that it’s infomercials. Way to screw the west coast…

Hopefully it will re-air later in the week and not at 6pm PST. Otherwise I’ll never get to see it.

Update: There is some question about whether the schedule I saw last night was accurate or not. According to today’s online FBN schedule it was supposed to re-air at Midnight. My DirecTV schedule said otherwise. Unless someone who saw it air last night at Midnight PST chimes in I’ll never know for sure.

Having said that, the online schedule for the channels are fed to DirecTV and I’ve seen those schedules change and add last second programming changes with less than 12 hours notice. If the show did air at Midnight last night, I find it hard to believe DirecTV screwed it up given what I mentioned earlier. It’s possible, but doesn’t seem likely.

Jamie Colby Interview…

Posted in FBN on January 26, 2015 by icn2

There’s going to be quite a few of these Colby interviews as FBN debuts Strange Inheritance tonight but this Lloyd Grove Daily Beast profile goes a lot deeper than your average interview…

By her early twenties she was married, a member of the California bar, and toiling in the law firm of Henry Bushkin—that is, Johnny Carson’s personal attorney, confidant and tennis partner of “Bombastic Bushkin” fame.

“I’d sent out a billion resumes,” Colby recalls. “I was sitting in somebody’s office and Henry walked in and said, ‘Hey kid, what are you doing here?’ I said, ‘I’m getting ready to graduate and looking to work for a law firm.’

He said, ‘Come see me tomorrow.’ I did, and the next thing I know I’m at The Tonight Show and having lunch with Johnny at The Grill at Table 43”—often accompanied by Bushkin, but sometimes just Carson, America’s biggest TV star.

“He took me under his wing, and I have to say, I was very lucky—I just jumped right in,” recalls Colby, who says she occasionally negotiated on Carson’s behalf with NBC, conferred with Standards and Practices, offered the star business advice, and helped Carson Productions with the acquisition of radio stations and the deal to produce the cult classic The Big Chill.

Colby attended every Tonight Show taping, and greeted celebrity guests while getting to know David Letterman—whom she recalls as painfully shy—and Joan Rivers, a Bushkin law firm client.

Jamie Colby Interview…

Posted in FBN, FNC on January 23, 2015 by icn2

The New Orleans Times Picayune’s James Walker interviews Jamie Colby about FBN’s “Strange Inheritance”…(via J$)

Q: Who are you, where are you from, and what are you doing on Fox Business?

I’m Jamie Colby, and as a Fox News anchor and reporter I was excited to bring “Strange Inheritance” to Fox Business. The network has a niche audience of financial-news watchers, and inheritances have a number of business issues that come up and must be handled. We take that journey in each episode, but also take it a step further in learning where the inheritance began, with whom and why.

What is the origin of this show? Personal interest in the subject? A strange inheritance of your own? Unquenchable curiosity?

As an attorney, accountant and mortgage- and real-estate broker, I encountered a number of clients who had inheritances and found some were beneficial, others a burden. It can be a challenge to carry out a loved one’s wishes, especially if there isn’t a will. One of the things I learned is how helpful a discussion can be before a loved one passes and passes down a family heirloom. I also learned how odd those requests can be! I’ve always had an unquenchable curiosity (you’ve done your homework!) and found this experience of investigating and storytelling to be my most personally rewarding yet.

Not So Fast…

Posted in FBN, FNC on January 16, 2015 by icn2

I referenced it earlier but today’s Mediaite column by Joe Concha on the Dish/FNC spat deserves its own fisking.

When the final gun sounded and scores are tallied up in the dispute between Dish Network and Fox, the only conclusion that can be made is that Dish…got served.

Uh…no it can’t. Not yet anyway and certainly not for most of the reasons Concha cites…

So how did Fox win? Simply put, they had the horses in the form of O’Reilly and Kelly, the message (“censorship”), but most of all, passionate viewers of Fox News voting with their wallets — the kind of viewers who execs even at other networks will tell you are the most notoriously loyal of any out there, free or cable.

Let’s look at these individually…

“The Horses” – That is debatable. If FNC had launched that kind of full court press from the very begining with O’Reilly and Kelly doing the advertising Fox put on its other channels, you might be able to argue they played a key role. But Fox was slow to take that step so their impact in moving things along is ultimately unclear.

“The Message” – Oh please. Censorship? Come on. That dog could never hunt. Nobody at Dish was censoring FNC. If anything, 21st Century Fox censored itself when it yanked the channels. If anyone actually believed that gibberish it’s because they weren’t really paying attention to what was going on. That may have indeed happened – and there’s no way to know for sure – but it wouldn’t have happened because the message was true, it would have happened despite it not being true.

“Passionate viewers” – Well there’s no doubt that FNC viewers are passionate. That was never the issue. The issue was whether there were enough of them to make a difference. That point is open to conjecture. The “tens of thousands” of viewers Dish lost aren’t coming back – Concha is right on that point. But the question is were they enough to make Dish flinch? Even if they were the full 90,000 (as of last available number), something very unlikely, that isn’t enough to move Dish given it’s still 1% of Dish’s subscriber base.

But all of this is tangential to what was the central issue in this spat; Fox wanting to add in Fox Sports 1 and possibly others (FXX) to the negotiation process.

Concha pooh-poohed that today…

Note: There’s always a few demands that are expendable in negotiations like this, and Fox Sports 1 being bundled in (if Dish completely capitulated) would have fallen into the nice-to-have instead of must-have category.

Concha underestimated the significance of the attempt at force bundling by Fox. But you don’t have to take my word for that. You can take Fox’s.

Dish, however, insists it’s Fox that has forced the two sides apart. “It’s like we’re about to close on a house and the realtor is trying to make us buy a new car as well,” said Warren Schlichting, Dish Network’s SVP of programming. “Fox blacked out two of its news channels, using them as leverage to triple rates on sports and entertainment channels that are not in this contract.”

Fox argues Dish has simply failed to change with the times–which are changing dramatically.”When you won’t accept that businesses evolve, that relationships and partnerships evolve. And the way we deliver content changes. And we both need to adapt. Dish hasn’t changed its packaging since 1993. That kind of marketing and that kind of packaging is outdated.”

You see it right there. Fox responded directly to the charge that Dish made that Fox yanked the channels because Dish didn’t want to play ball negotiating for channels that weren’t part of the FNC/FBN negotiation and it did so by saying Dish wasn’t adapting.

If the extra channels were never a sticking point for Fox, the network never would have bothered to call Dish out for not keeping up with the times. If it was expendable, Fox wouldn’t have gone out of its way to make those channels part of its PR campaign to explain why things were at the impasse they were.

To drive this point home, we need to look at what also happened yesterday with the Dish/Fox lawsuit.

In a court document filed on Thursday, the parties say that they believe “it is highly likely that the negotiation later this year of a renewal of their 2010 agreement will result in resolution of this lawsuit.”

My read is by getting Fox Sports 1 decoupled from the FNC/FBN negotiation, Dish and Fox were able to quickly resolve that skirmish and move forward on the real battle. I think Dish was always going to give Fox most of what it wanted on FNC/FBN, though maybe it sweetened the deal to make the other channels Fox brought in go away. And that’s why it was never really about “the horses” or “the message” or “the passionate viewers”. It was about finding a resolution to the lawsuit.

This is why how these upcoming negotiations turn out will be the ultimate decider of who won the war between Dish and Fox. If for example Dish pays a hefty fee to get those channels that are part of this agreement in order to make the lawsuit go away, then Fox would indeed be the clear winner. If Dish ends up yanking The Hopper to settle the lawsuit, Fox would be the clear winner. But it could turn out to be a push…it could turn out that whatever increase Dish pays isn’t such an onerous one that having the lawsuit go away without Dish having to scrap the Hopper means both sides get a significant win.

Either way, what happened yesterday doesn’t indicate who is going to come out ahead nor does it indicate that Fox’s tactics to put pressure on Dish had the desired effect.

FBN Goes All In on Kennedy…

Posted in FBN on January 15, 2015 by icn2

The Wrap’s Jordan Chariton writes that FBN has killed The View like show Kennedy was a part of and is replacing it with a Kennedy-centric show…

But Kennedy will not be leaving the network: On Jan. 26, she’ll debut her own program, self-titled “Kennedy” at 10 p.m. ET on Fox Business. The show will concentrate on water-cooler topics, including politics, business and culture, and will air Monday-Friday.

Dish Wins…Sort Of…

Posted in FBN, FNC on January 15, 2015 by icn2

The Wall Street Journal’s Joe Flint writes about the end of the impasse between Dish Network and Fox…

Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. However, people familiar with the talks said Dish is paying a significant increase for Fox News, which is one of the most popular networks, not just among news channels but entertainment and sports services as well. According to research firm SNL Kagan, the average monthly fee for Fox News is currently about $1.00 per subscriber. Under terms of the new pact, the price Dish would pay would rise to an average fee of around $1.50 per-subscriber, per-month, people familiar with the matter said.

Dish is also going to distribute Fox Business Network to more of its subscribers, the people said, and give it a channel position near Fox News as part of the agreement.

Dish had complained that 21st Century Fox was trying to leverage negotiations for Fox News and Fox Business for better deals for other channels whose contracts weren’t up yet. The new agreement only covers these two channels and no other 21st Century Fox networks.

So who won? Ostensibly, Dish…but the margin of victory was slimmer than you might think. Dish didn’t want any other 21st Century Fox networks part of the negotiation, specifically Fox Sports 1, and it got those terms. No doubt every other distributor will take note of this when it comes time for them to negotiate new deals which won’t give 21st Century Fox any leverage in trying a similar tactic with them.

But FNC got a 50% increase on its subscriber rate and FBN got expanded distribution which I would guess means taking making available on lower priced tiers and putting it closer to FNC on the channel guide.

So both sides make out to some extent.