Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Rupert Murdoch Close to Buying Neil Cavuto a Research Department

News Corp. Chief Rupert Murdoch's $5 billion bid for the Wall Street Journal will be considered by the company's board of directors before going to the Bancroft family for final approval. The pieces are coming together given Murdoch's launch of the Fox Business Channel in October. The talking head of the new channel, Neil Cavuto (formerly of CNBC fame) needs all the research he can get to "out friendly" his rivals in the business news service. The channel will be carried on three cable networks Comcast, Time Warner, and Charter Communications.

Yes, a new station is needed to show the benefits of private equity firm's millionaire executives paying 15% vs. 35% on earned income. Fox Business News can celebrate as the spread between CEO and the lowest paid employee continues to widen. A friendly news channel can bury the stories of corporations entertaining the next round of profit improvement strategies, dumping health insurance and pension plans. But most importantly, it needs to cheer government privatization from health care to transportation to public infrastructure.

One private equity firm benefited mightily from government contracting, The Carlyle Group. It too made media moves the last few years and would benefit from a cooperative business news media. The Carlyle Group with its over 100 affiliate companies hired an-ex Time Warner executive to manage their media strategies. How can the various Carlyle subs buy ad time on the Fox Business Channel in return for kid glove treatment? And what can Carlyle's Neilson Media Group do to inflate ratings for Rupert's new network to drive those ad rates higher?

Anyone who believes Fox Business News will be anything but a shill for corporate interests has another thing coming. The news has become unnewsworthy. So throw open your window and yell, "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore." Then turn off your sets...

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