Rupert Murdoch is heading towards a new cable news service in the US to take on CNBC in the business news space.

This (member only) story from The New York Times has confirmed previous reports that Murdoch and his Fox cable news group are thinking about adding business to their product list.

Whether that will be any more believable than Fox News, only the future knows. But Murdoch, as many Australian investors know, has quite definite views on business, especially his family’s business.

You can imagine the cheer squad sucking up to the boss at Fox Financial News or whatever they call it every time News Corp reports.

But as The New York Times makes clear it’s not the financial news that’s attracting Murdoch, it’s the $US250 million in profits CNBC contributed to its parent, General Electric last year.

That money came on an average audience that reaches a peak of only 200,000 people, and is shrinking as US investors remain estranged from a eager involvement in the market. That in turn is impacting the industry.

CNN’s financial service CNNFi went belly up a year or so ago, Bloomberg TV struggles on and Reuters has basically abandoned the area. There is also considerable personal animosity between CNBC people, people at NBC, GE and Fox over a number of issues.

Roger Ailes used to run CNBC but left when he didn’t get a promotion and poached a lot of people from CNBC when starting Fox News.

Then there’s the links between GE’s former chairman, Jack Welch and Fox. Welch is sort of estranged from many people at GE and NBC because of the way he divorced his wife and married an editor at the Harvard Business Review after an affair. It could be a classic media battle!

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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