First Impressions of Fox Business

Okay, having seen about five minutes of Fox Business programming over the web, as well as scanning the just-launched corollary website, I’m going to cheerfully wax opinionated. The upshot: I am considerably less impressed than I thought I would be. I was expecting something smoother and more fun, with fewer suits, fewer talking heads, and generally less C-SPAN-feeling (and less like the reincarnation of CNNfn).

For example, despite having surely been in the works for ages, the site feels somewhat slapdash, with supposedly embeddable video that is missing the correct tags to make it embeddable. The front page feels very 1998, with a huge banner, minimal live content, a few wandering headlines, and that’s about it. Where is the live content? Where is the “you are there” feeling? Where is the sense that we are in a post-YouTube, post-Ze world? Fox Business’s site has done the near-impossible: It has made the cluttered CNBC website seem darn good.

Turning to the clips I have watched from the broadcast itself, there is little on-screen to show that we are seeing anything new and different. No futures/indices, no scroll, few on-screen graphics bugs, and little that seems either mainstreet or subversive. An interview with Fox analyst Carly Fiorina immediately descended into business speak and qualifiers, with little punch and little to open up the conversation and make it more interesting and accessible to anyone off Wall Street.

I’m sure things will get better, and it will be great when they do — the competition is sorely needed — but for now Fox Business doesn’t do much for me.

obDisclosure: I’m woefully conflicted as a sometime CNBC contributor and analyst, most recently on the dearly-departed “On the Money”.


  1. The only difference I see on their website so far is a burgundy color scheme rather than blue. All else is same old, same old.
    That said, it’s too early to rule them out completely. You can’t write something off in the first iteration. It will take some time to get it right, if they do at all.

  2. But paul — It’s not from 1998; they use prototype.js, and divs instead of tables, so they should be able to spin it out in 6 months for a half a billion!!11! :)

    Also, it looks better with adblock plus (or equiv) enabled. The ugly banner ad is gone. I can’t believe anyone uses the web without adblockers in this day and age…

  3. Two thoughts:
    1) Fox Business News is awful. I’m watching it on DirecTV, and they’ve really outdone themselves in trying to make CNBC look good (which is a very difficult job)
    2) Surprised this hasn’t been mentioned before, but Fox launching a business news channel… sure sign of a market top if ever there was one. Maybe that is why we are tanking today.

  4. @ Mike B, you are probably right about the market top, but FBN may well pay off for investors like Long or Short who are long blonde anchorwomen with D-Cups.

  5. Just for the record, I am long on blonde anchorwomen with D-cups.

  6. I’ll still be watching CNBC and flipping to the others during commercials and boring patches. The FBC ticker is less efficient but also less distracting.
    But I’m grateful to FBC for getting me to switch from Comcast basic cable to direcTV which gives me CNBC World and two flavors of Bloomberg as well not to mention a superior service in general.

  7. Peter Warne says:

    I just clicked on the link and the site was down. Way to go, Fox!

  8. Yes, opening day was a disappointment but let’s not forget that Murdoch has seen a lot of projects through years of hard times before they blossomed. And then there’s that, uh, Dow Jones integration thing…

  9. Larry Levine says:

    The world needs fox to have a business channel just like the world needed microsoft to make a mp3 player. Seriously – this is about ego.

  10. >>>just like the world needed microsoft to make a mp3 player.
    Not an equivalent analogy. Having a music player identical to everyone else’s can be an advantage.
    But if you are seeking trade ideas, you are better off with information unlike that heard by the largest mass of traders.
    The stock picks from talking heads and the big breaking news that appear on both channels contemporaneously may be roughly equivalent in value.
    But the odd bit of news that provides insight and appears only on the more obscure channel can have a greater value and be the more contrarian play.
    If both channels have an equal audience, the one that first breaks the news that causes a stock to pop or drop gives a definite edge.

  11. FOX Business Channel certainly can do better than that website they have up can’t they? For the record I also think CNBC’s site is pretty poor, but its a little better than it used to be.