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By Chris Roush
Oct. 8, 2007
The Fox Business Network launches Oct. 15 and promises to provide competition to CNBC, the other business news cable network.
So far, Fox has been tightlipped about its plans for the network’s content, but if it were up to me to decide what to put on the air, here’s what I’d like to see that neither of these networks is doing -- or has said it will do in the case of Fox:
1. Give me a show about M&A. Deals are announced every day, but frankly when I want news about mergers and acquisitions, I don’t go to TV, I go to The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times or the hometown papers of the companies involved. I envision an hour-long show each day that takes a look at the pros and cons of the deals that have been announced in the past 24 hours. Deal junkies, and investors, will eat it up.
2. Focus more on Wall Street players as THE story. I’m tired of just seeing investment bankers and analysts being used as talking heads as they pontificate about certain stocks or industries. What I’d really like to see – and which could be educational to business news viewers – is a show that examines the behind-the-scenes actions of people with these jobs. Follow them around. Examine how an analyst report is put together, or how an IPO happens from the perspective of the Wall Street players who do these deals on a regular basis.
3. IPOs. IPOs. IPOs. Since I mentioned initial public offerings, why not a show that takes a look at them when they are first filed with the SEC? Let’s get into the nitty gritty of these companies and why they want to go public and whether they’re a good investment. A show like this fits the “news you can use” niche for professional and amateur investors that both CNBC and Fox should be focusing on. Web sites devoted to IPOs are among the best in disseminating information about these deals, giving readers the information to determine whether they are good or bad investments, but TV does a bad job with this story.
4. The Economy for Dummies. When I watch a lot of the economics reporting on television, it makes my eyes glaze over. It’s too obtuse for the average viewer. But a regular economics show on TV that delves into what a higher or lower interest rate from the Fed means to average, every-day people – with plenty of real life examples – would seem to have a built-in audience that needs to understand how the government’s decisions affect their wallets. Right now, there’s nothing that fills that void.
5. Green and Socially Responsible Business. With more and more companies paying attention to how they fit into society and the environment, there could be a regular show that focuses on these strategies. It could also include socially responsible investors. I find more people are purchasing products from companies with a social agenda, so it seems that these people want more information about what companies are doing in this regard. I wish more newspapers and business magazines focused on this increasingly important business news story.
Maybe Fox Business Network has already thought of some of these ideas and will surprise viewers.
Copyright © 2008 Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism