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Upfronts / Newfronts

Pushing for an interview with the pope

Published on . 0

Neil Cavuto, anchor and managing editor of business news for Fox News Channel, is set to play a large role in News Corp.'s latest venture, Fox News Business Channel. Mr. Cavuto talked to Advertising Age's Claire Atkinson about the upfront as an economic indicator and his views on business stories. Below is an edited transcript.

Is the upfront a major economic indicator or a little bubble out there on its own?

It's a little bubble on its own, but it's a good barometer. Normally, people who put more money on the table are betting that there's going to be [a strong economy], but there is ongoing skittishness about war and oil and rates. I think there'll be some surprises with the upfront. I'm noticing more optimism now; we're seeing more optimism from Dell, Microsoft and Alcoa. They're seeing demand picking up in regions of the world ... when a company puts out more optimistic statements, they don't do that cavalierly.

What's Fox's angle on business news? How do you do it differently?

We tend to look at the whole picture. I'm guilty of being an optimist and being positive because I see good numbers. You predict enough crashes and real estate fallouts, and eventually, like a broken clock, you'll be right.The pessimists have been woefully wrong.

How is the tone different though?

Economic news has been reported in a very monotone way-if it's about numbers, it's automatically dull. It's assumed you don't have a personality if you're interested in this stuff. ... This stuff jazzes me.

Who is your next big get?

I've been fortunate to talk to every president since Jimmy Carter. I'd love to talk to the pope, that's a tough booking. The pope has so much influence without any army or state leadership.

Have you called him?

Oh yes, we've tried for Pope Benedict, but I'm not holding my breath.
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