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"DJ purchase would help Fox biz channel"

Written By mista sense on Tuesday, May 1, 2007 | 8:52 PM



That's the headline atop Paul J. Gough and Georg Szalai's compelling story in Friday's Hollywood Reporter.

Here's the good stuff about the News Corp's possible purchase of Dow Jones, which owns The Wall Street Journal:

While News Corp.'s uninvited cash offer to buy Dow Jones & Co. might satisfy Rupert Murdoch's long-standing desire to own the Wall Street Journal, the acquisition would immeasurably boost the future success of the Fox Business Channel.

The channel will launch this year in about 30 million homes through carriage deals with big MSOs, with lots of work going on behind the scenes to hire on-air talent and prepare studios and a newsroom in News Corp.'s headquarters in New York. But while Fox News Channel CEO Roger Ailes could bring his considerable talents to bear on the production and distribution of the business channel, his main rival -- CNBC -- still held at least one significant card: the long-term deal with Dow Jones & Co. that gives CNBC access to the financial news giant's considerable data stream and on-air talents of journalists.

But that could change if News Corp. successfully buys Dow Jones with its $5 billion cash offer. It isn't clear how News Corp. could or would change the contract, which was signed in 1997 and runs through the end of 2012. An NBC Uni executive said Tuesday that the CNBC-Dow Jones deal isn't affected by a change in ownership at Dow Jones.

"It's a bold and brilliant move. ... They'll get the most important asset in financial journalism, they'll launch the Fox Business Channel with a real bang and they'll deny their competitor, CNBC, of talent," said Michael Robinson, senior vp Levick Strategic Communications in Washington.


And The Cable Gamer would add this: The owners of the Journal would be crazy to turn this deal down. The outlook for newspapers is terrible--the outlook for synergistic media is great.

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