Back in the fall, I wrote about News Corp.'s
Come on, guys, what's with the indecision? Why ya flippin' and floppin'?
In the Reuters article, Ailes is quoted as questioning the feasibility of a new dedicated business channel: "The question is, does an audience for business news really exist? Have they gone on the Internet?" Buddy, believe me -- there's an audience for business news. Consider a more specific way of thinking about it: There are always people out there who want to make money by investing in stocks.
I think News Corp.'s cable portfolio would benefit tremendously from pursuing the stock zeitgeist that is growing every day. Yes, I do sometimes overestimate people's interest in making money off the markets (read here to see what I mean), but no one is ever going to convince me that the distribution of information on the equities universe holds no increasing value over time. It just doesn't compute. Let's face the facts: The ownership society will become more expansive, especially if President Bush succeeds in establishing a system of private Social Security accounts. Ailes isn't being judiciously forward-thinking; the time to capitalize is now, and if CNBC is having its problems, then Fox should be thinking about a new presentation for the genre.
Take a look at Jim Cramer's new show, Mad Money. Whether you think the guy is a messiah of the marketplace or an annoying, caterwauling maniac, you've got to admit that he passionately believes people want this information -- and it's obvious he's aware that the key lies in the delivery system. His particular delivery involves high-decibel screaming about P/Es, supply/demand, and buy/sell/hold. People love raw, kinetic bombast, something Cramer embraces -- he isn't worried about whether there are investors in Peoria and whether investors in general should be second-guessed. He goes with his gut, improvises on the spot, and makes it work. Ailes should think about Fox News financial pundits seen on Saturday mornings as potential drivers of programming vehicles. Many of them might bring viewers to the table, since they don't deliver the stereotypical drab commentary that a lot of people associate with the subject.
Granted, statistical surveys and demographical data might tell you that a new business channel would be a difficult initiative to undertake. Plus, Time Warner
More Foolishness on News Corp. and General Electric:
- Fox Throws, and Takes, a Block
- Murdoch Eyes New Prey: CNBC
- GE's Electrifying Prediction
- Stock Madness 2005: General Electric vs. Diageo
If you have any thoughts about News Corp.'s indecision, let us know at the company's Foolish discussion board.