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Fox set to launch business channel in fourth quarter

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The long-awaited Fox Business Channel will be launched in the fourth quarter of 2007.

The announcement last Thursday came from News Corp. Chairman-CEO Rupert Murdoch, who has long yearned for such a channel, and Fox News Chairman-CEO Roger Ailes, who will develop and oversee the new venture. The new network is currently named Fox Business Channel.

30 million subscribers

The new channel has 30 million subscribers under contract after securing distribution agreements with multiple cable operators, including Time Warner, Comcast and Charter, and satellite-TV company Direct TV.

The network will be housed at News Corp. headquarters in midtown Manhattan. It is expected to launch in major markets across the country, including New York, where it will be seen on expanded basic cable.

"We have long considered the business television market to be underserved," Murdoch said. "Having built Fox News into a cable news leader and a cultural phenomenon against all expectations, I'm confident that Roger Ailes and his team can do the same in business news. I look forward to introducing new competition and a new voice to the business news arena."

NBCU-owned CNBC dominates the TV business news landscape and has been prepping for competition from Fox for the better part of two years.

For Neil Cavuto, Fox News senior VP-managing editor of business news, this will be a second startup alongside Ailes. Cavuto joined Fox News before Fox News Channel was launched in 1996. Under his leadership, Fox News' business unit overtook CNN and CNBC to claim the top five shows in cable business news. "Your World With Neil Cavuto" has been No. 1 in its weekday time slot for 60 consecutive months.

Fox News Exec VP Kevin Magee will be responsible for day-to-day operations of the new channel, while Cavuto will oversee content and business news coverage. Michele Greppi is national editor of Television Week, a BtoB sibling publication.

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