Fox Business (officially known as Fox Business Network) is an American pay television business news channel owned by the Fox News Media division of Fox Corporation. The network discusses business and financial news. Day-to-day operations are run by Kevin Magee, executive vice president of Fox News; Neil Cavuto is the vice president and managing editor for the network and business news operation overall. As of February 2015, Fox Business Network is available to approximately 74,224,000 pay television households (63.8% of households with television) in the United States.
News Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch confirmed the launch at his keynote address at the 2007 McGraw-Hill Media Summit on February 8, 2007. Murdoch had publicly stated that if News Corporation’s purchase of The Wall Street Journal went through and if it were legally possible, he would have rechristened the channel with a name that has “Journal” in it. However, on July 11, 2007, News Corporation announced that the new channel would be called Fox Business Network (FBN), a name chosen over Fox Business Channel due to the pre-existing (though seldom used) legal abbreviation of “FBC” for the co-owned broadcast network Fox Broadcasting Company.
The channel launched on October 15, 2007. The network is placed on channel 43 in the New York City market in the basic-tier pay-TV package, which is home to the NYSE and NASDAQ stock exchanges. It is paired with sister network Fox News Channel, which moved to channel 44 (CNBC is carried on channel 15 on Time Warner Cable’s New York City area systems). FBN received carriage on Cablevision channel 106, only available via subscription to its IO Digital Cable package. According to an article in Multichannel News, NBC Universal paid up to “several million dollars” in order to ensure that CNBC and Fox Business would be separated on the dial, and in order to retain CNBC’s “premium” channel slot. At the time FBN was carried on Time Warner Cable only on its analog service in New York City (most systems have since switched to digital-only); in other markets, the channel’s carriage was limited to premium digital cable packages at extra cost. Verizon’s FiOS TV also carries the network on its premier lineup (SD channel 117 and HD channel 617). Dish Network began carrying FBN on channel 206 on February 2, 2009. FBN also received carriage on DirecTV channel 359. As its prominence grew, some providers indeed moved the channel to their basic package, and some have paired Bloomberg Television, CNBC and FBN next to each other as part of ‘genre’ channel maps.
On May 12, 2008, Fox Business Network revamped its daytime lineup, which included the debut of two new programs, Countdown to the Closing Bell and Fox Business Bulls & Bears. On April 20, 2009, Money for Breakfast, The Opening Bell on Fox Business (both hosted by Alexis Glick), The Noon Show with Tom Sullivan and Cheryl Casone, Countdown to the Closing Bell, Fox Business Bulls & Bears, and Cavuto all moved to the network’s new Studio G set. All six of those shows shared the same set in Studio G, which was unveiled on Money for Breakfast the same day.
On September 17, 2012, FBN switched to a letterboxed format on its standard definition feed; simultaneously, all programs began being shown on its HD feed in a full 16:9 picture format, resulting in the removal of the right-side content wing. The network also debuted new graphics on the same day.
On February 24, 2014, Opening Bell with Maria Bartiromo debuted on FBN in the 9 a.m. ET timeslot, replacing the final 20 minutes of Imus in the Morning (which itself was truncated from 200 minutes to 180 minutes) and moved Varney & Company (which also expanded to the full 2 hours) down to the 11 a.m. ET time slot.
On May 29, 2015, Imus in the Morning ended after a 5 1⁄2-year run, as Don Imus retired from television, thus resulting in major changes to FBN’s daytime programming lineup on June 1, 2015. Best of Imus in the Morning, which aired from 5-6 a.m. ET, was replaced with a new early-morning business program, FBN AM. Maria Bartiromo, whose Opening Bell program was also cancelled on May 29, debuted her own new morning program, Mornings with Maria, in the time slot previously occupied by the aforementioned Imus in the Morning (6-9 a.m. ET). Varney & Company was moved up to the 9:00 a.m. ET time slot and also, was expanded to 3 hours from 9:00 a.m. to noon ET. FBN AM and Mornings with Maria were among the four new programs that debuted on June 1, with Cavuto: Coast to Coast and Intelligence Report with Trish Regan being the others.
On November 10, 2015, Fox Business Network, along with The Wall Street Journal hosted its first Republican presidential primary debate, setting a ratings record for the network with 13.5 million viewers. The debate also delivered 1.4 million concurrent streams, making it the most livestreaming primary debate in history and beating out the 2015 Super Bowl by 100,000 streams. Fox Business Network hosted its second Republican primary debate on January 14, 2016 in Charleston, South Carolina with Neil Cavuto and Maria Bartiromo serving as moderators. Both of these primetime debates also included earlier debates featuring presidential candidates who were not ranked as highly in the national polls as well as those based in Iowa or New Hampshire.
On December 14, 2017, 21st Century Fox announced it would sell a majority of its assets to The Walt Disney Company in a transaction valued at over $52 billion. Fox Business Network was not included in the deal and was spun off to the significantly downsized Fox Corporation, along with the Fox Broadcasting Company, Fox News Channel and Fox Sports 1 and 2. The deal was approved by Disney and Fox shareholders on July 27, 2018 and was completed on March 19, 2019.
On September 29, 2019, Fox Business Network unveiled a new slogan, “Investing in You”, a new on-air graphics scheme based on one recently adopted by Fox News Channel, and updated digital platforms. The channel also announced the new Friday-night program Barron’s Roundtable.
The high definition simulcast of Fox Business Network is broadcast in 720p. Programming shown on this feed was originally produced in high-definition, but was cropped to a 4:3 image and pushed to the left side of the screen, with the extra room used for additional content, such as statistics and charts, and a wider ticker with more room; the information sidebar was named “The Fox HD Wing” (competitor channel CNBC HD used the enhanced HD format until October 13, 2014, when it was discontinued altogether).
The sidebar graphic was dropped as a result of the network’s switch to a 16:9 letterboxed format on September 17, 2012, ending the enhanced HD format altogether. The enhanced ticker and headlines, which were previously seen in the old sidebar graphic, were moved to the lower-third of the screen. Both the SD and HD feeds now use the same exact 16:9 letterbox format, just like its other Fox-owned sister networks.
Competition with other business and financial news channels
Studio F, the previous (now a FedEx Office) studio for Fox Business Morning and Fox Business
Before the network premiered, few specific facts were made public as to the type of programming approach Fox Business would be taking. However, some details emerged as to how it would differentiate itself from its main competitor, CNBC.
At a media summit hosted by BusinessWeek magazine, Rupert Murdoch was quoted as saying CNBC was too “negative towards business”. They promised to make Fox Business more “business friendly”. In addition, it was expected that Fox Business would not be “poaching” a lot of CNBC’s on-air talent in the immediate future, as most key on-air personalities had been locked into a long-term contract. However, that still left open the possibility of the network taking some of CNBC’s other staff, including editors, producers and other reporters.
Programming and on-air staff
FBN’s control room
David Asman, Maria Bartiromo, Cheryl Casone, Dagen McDowell, and Stuart Varney are anchors for Fox Business Network; they also appear on Fox News Channel. In addition, Brenda Buttner was also on the roster on FBN until her passing in 2017.
Other anchors include Peter Barnes, Tom Sullivan, Jenna Lee, Nicole Petallides and Cody Willard. Reporters include Jeff Flock (a CNN “original”), Shibani Joshi (from News 12 Westchester), and Connell McShane (from Bloomberg Television). The network also added former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina. In an October 10, 2007 article in Daily Variety, it was reported that Fiorina had signed with Fox Business Network to become a frequent business commentator on the newly formed cable network, intended to be a competitor to the CNBC cable network. as a contributor to the network.
Dave Ramsey had a one-hour prime time show, similar in format to his syndicated radio show, until June 2010. Tom Sullivan broadcast his Tom Sullivan Show on the radio, with plans to syndicate the show nationwide with the assistance of Fox News Radio. Adam Shapiro (formerly with Cleveland’s WEWS-TV and New York City’s WNBC) was added to the Fox Business Network to report from the Washington, D.C. bureau. On October 18, 2007, former CNBC anchor Liz Claman joined the Fox Business Network as co-anchor of the 2-3 p.m. portion of the dayside business news block with David Asman. Her first assignment for FBN was an interview with Warren Buffett.
In April 2008, Brian Sullivan (no relation to Tom) joined the Fox Business Network, coming over from Bloomberg Television. Sullivan, who reunited with his Bloomberg colleague Connell McShane, anchored the 10 a.m.-12 p.m. portion of the business news block with Dagen McDowell.
In September 2009, Don Imus and FBN reached an agreement to carry his show, Imus in the Morning, on Fox Business. The show began airing on October 5, 2009. Fox had previously been in negotiations with Imus to bring his show to the network. In November 2007 (when Imus was just returning to radio, and Fox Business was just starting), negotiations fell through and Imus instead signed with rural-oriented network RFD-TV.
On December 23, 2009, Alexis Glick left FBN. Announcing that that day’s episode of The Opening Bell would be her last, she said “I know this is not the norm, but I don’t believe in abrupt departures.” The only reason given by Glick for her departure was that she was leaving to “embark on a new venture,” but a number of sources have noted that Don Imus’ new morning show had a significant effect upon Glick’s screen time since he signed with the network.
Maria Bartiromo, formerly of CNBC, joined the Fox Business Network as anchor in February 2014. She is reunited with Liz Claman, Melissa Francis and Charles Gasparino, all 3 of whom worked with Bartiromo during her 20-year tenure at CNBC. Trish Regan (another CNBC alum), who was previously at Bloomberg, joined FBN in March 2015.
Most recently, former UK Independence Party head Nigel Farage was announced as a commentator on January 20, 2017, the day of Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration. Farage will provide political analysis for both Fox Business and Fox News.
Fox Business Network has occasionally served as an overflow channel for Fox Sports telecasts in the event of programming conflicts across Fox, Fox Sports 1, and Fox Sports 2, particularly college football. For instance in 2017, a game between Baylor and Oklahoma State aired on Fox Business due to a weather-delayed game on FS1. It was reported in May 2018 that, following a controversial decision in November 2017 to move the first quarter of a Pac-12 football game between Washington and Stanford from FS1 to FS2 (which does not have wide carriage) due to a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series overrun, that Fox would prefer the use of FBN for future Pac-12 overflow situations, as it has significantly wider distribution (if not slightly wider than FS1 in terms of total households) than FS2, and that it would carry minimal impact to programming.