Friday, February 09, 2007

News Corp Business Channel Business Friendly?

News Corp (NYSE:NWS) controlling shareholder Rupert Murdoch claims that the about to be launched Fox business channel will be more business friendly than the GE (NYSE:GE) controlled CNBC offering. Mr. Murdoch feels that CNBC jumps on every scandal.

Many investors feel that there have been a lot of scandals and therefore a lot of news stories about scandals. It becomes a circle. The financial equivalent of the “if it bleeds it leads” approach to television news is well entrenched.

I am sure we will all watch the new channel for some time. (At least one or two earnings cycles) A news medium needs to provide critical evaluation or it risks just becoming another corporate mouth piece. The investment community talks amongst itself constantly. You cannot shut us up. In the internet age with the democratization of information and investing another top down information source does not bode well. The investment community is not waiting for Rupert Murdoch's view on any particular investment.

The one area that I would like the media to improve is to provide more emphasis on total corporate reporting rather than just a fixation of earnings and guidance. Cover the labor situation, supply chain issues, marketing challenges and so on rather than just chasing the headline and tut tuting the very latest. But that is called research. Can business television with an implicit attention deficit disorder really achieve this? This will not be a major profit contributor for News Corp.