Someone’s Being a Bit Too Foxy

Ah, there’s nothing like full disclosure.

Take this email, forwarded to us from an insider at Fox Business:


From: douglas mcintyre
Sent: Monday, April 06, 2009 7:07 AM
Subject: Fox Business exclusive video provider to 24/7
If Fox Business would be interested in being the
exclusive provider of video business news for
24/7 Wall St, we should talk this week.


Well, so what, you say? Just a standard business proposal.

It was.

Until Monday morning, when financial blog 24/7 Wall Street had this post from Douglas McIntyre titled, “Fox Business Still Taking On Water.”

In a nutshell, McIntyre writes, "Fox Business is clearly in trouble.”

McIntyre’s main point: In the last 11 months, since published reports putting Fox Business at 6,000 average weekday viewers, the numbers have “hardly budged … Average hourly viewership runs between 2,000 and 8,000 during most hours from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. The network’s most watched prime-time shows rarely pull more than 15,000 viewers per hour.”

Since the network’s ratings are too low to be covered by Nielsen — a digital station, Fox Business is still only in 50 million households — McIntyre claims to have gotten the information from, among others, a former executive with the network.

Fox Business, naturally, disputes the numbers — a fact McIntyre did put in his blog. But an insider at the station (a real one, at least in this case) insisted to TheWrap that not only are the numbers wrong but that the company went through its HR files and found that: “There were absolutely no former executives that would have had access to this information.”

But it’s not really the pissing contest that concerns us. Indeed, McIntyre might even be right.

It just seems that when a writer makes a business proposal to a network, and that proposal is rejected – as this one was – it might be worth mentioning when the writer does a subsequent slam on that network.

And if Fox Business is in such trouble, why was McIntyre so anxious to align with it in the first place?