Fox Business Network Launches Today

Like business news on television but don't like CNBC's association with the left-dominated NBC News? Then the newly launched Fox Business Network is probably for you:

Rupert Murdoch has entered a dark horse in high-stakes races before, and won. On Monday, the News Corp. media titan trots out the Fox Business Network.

Two years in the making, the channel will challenge General Electric Co.'s highly profitable CNBC network as it seeks to redefine business news for average Americans faced with increasingly complex decisions about their financial futures.

Murdoch already has knocked CNN off the cable news throne with Fox News Channel. Can he do the same to NBC Universal's profit machine, whose audience of affluent professionals is one of the most sought-after advertising targets? [...]

Although CNBC says it's not worried - "The question isn't whether we're ready for them, but whether they're ready for CNBC," said network president Mark Hoffman - it has already made changes that some see as a reaction to Fox. CNBC has added a business newsmagazine, retooled its pre-market show "Squawk Box" and added the personal investing program "Fast Money." Personal finance guru Suze Orman has been hired for a weekend show.

Bloomberg TV, the only other dedicated business network, also has recently spruced up its shows, putting more anchors on TV and less scrolling data.

The tactic of selling business news to the consumer has failed before - CNNfn folded two years ago. Roush said CNN didn't invest enough time or money in the channel, a mistake Murdoch is not likely to repeat.

Magee wouldn't disclose any cost figures or a timeline for reaching profitability at FBN. SNLKagan media analyst Derek Baine estimates FBN will lose about $185 million over four years before posting a profit in 2011. But Murdoch has shown he is willing to spend heavily over long periods to get what he wants.

Murdoch recently surprised the newspaper world with a rich, unsolicited bid for Dow Jones & Co., netting him the crown jewel of business news publications, The Wall Street Journal. He was derided 11 years ago when he started Fox News Channel, but it charged past industry leader CNN in six years and hasn't been caught since. Fox News averages 1.5 million viewers a day, while CNN draws 758,000 - virtually the same number as when it had the field to itself.

Read the whole thing. This article is very lengthy and worth it. CNBC has a lot to fear.

Here's the FBN web site.

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