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Posts Tagged ‘Kevin Magee’

FBN Covers California Ballot Initiative News Corp. Lobbying to Defeat

At news organizations, the “boots on the ground” reporters and producers are often not up to speed on what is happening in their parent company’s boardrooms. While that is not unusual for employees in America, it can get awkward when you are supposed to be an objective voice, covering the news.

That is the situation some at Fox Business Network find themselves, covering California ballot initiative 24, which would repeal corporate tax breaks to try and balance the state’s massive budget deficit.

FBN is covering the ballot initiative as part of what it calls its “War on Business,” meanwhile, executives at parent company News Corp. are donating funds in an attempt to defeat the measure, as the New York Times reports.

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FBN’s Kevin Magee: ‘We’re Doing Great’

FBN_Logo090110.jpgTalking Biz News has an interesting interview with Fox Business Network executive VP Kevin Magee.

The interview is pretty wide-ranging, and has a number of interesting anecdotes about his time at CNBC and ABC News, as well as what he is happy with… and not so happy with, at FBN.

We always tweak; that’s what programmers do. I sit in my office with 42-inch monitors all of the time, with the three business networks and Fox News. And most of the time, I’m happiest with what’s on my screen versus CNBC or Bloomberg. It’s a constant operation to put on the best shows that we can.

Inside Cable News also noted that Magee addressed (or rather dodged) the issue of why FBN is not yet rated by Nielsen:

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Liza McGuirk Named EP of Upcoming Eliot Spitzer – Kathleen Parker Show

McGuirk_7.30.jpgOne of the CNN originals, Liza McGuirk has been named executive producer of CNN’s still-unnamed 8pmET debate show with Eliot Spitzer and Kathleen Parker. McGuirk has been EP of “Fareed Zakaria: GPS” since its launch in May 2008.

McGuirk joined CNN as one of the original staffers in 1980. She stayed until 1989 before moving on to CBS News where she worked on “60 Minutes” for four years. McGuirk is married to Kevin Magee who is the EVP of Fox Business Network.

The news was first reported last night by New York Magazine.

> Related: In a recent story on CNN’s ratings, former CNN executive Reese Schonfeld called Zakaria’s show, “by far the most intelligent news talk show on television.”

> Update: Press release after the jump. McGuirk, “After working with Fareed Zakaria, I’m delighted to be working with two people, Eliot and Kathleen, who are truly his equals at exploring the world of intelligent ideas. Most of all, I look forward to bringing that kind of elevated discussion to primetime.”

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FBN Wins FOIA Suit Against the Fed

fbnlogo_3_19.jpgFox Business Network has won a freedom of information act case against the Federal Reserve.

The decision was handed up earlier today by the New York Second Circuit Court of Appeals. FBN filed suit in January, 2009 seeking the identification of the financial institutions receiving funds from Fed programs. Today’s decision orders the Fed to disclose documents identifying which institutions borrowed money and the details surrounding each loan.

Says FBN EVP Kevin Magee, “We are pleased that this information is finally, and rightfully, going to be made available to the American public.”

CNN’s Gerri Willis Signs with Fox Business

gerri_willis_3-15.jpgCNN’s Gerri Willis has signed a multi-year deal with Fox Business Network, EVP of FBN Kevin Magee announced. As we reported, Willis, who was personal finance editor for CNN Business News, left CNN last month after seven years with the network.

Willis will be hosting a primetime weekend program called “Willis Report” and will appear across all programming. She starts today.

“Most of the CNN talent have been restrained from showing what they can do,” said FNC and FBN chairman and CEO Roger Ailes in the release. “We’re looking forward to providing Gerri with a platform at Fox Business to showcase her financial acumen and television expertise.”

Press release after the jump.

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Charlie Gasparino: ‘My Job is to Rip the Lungs out of the Competition for Fox Business Network’

CGaspar_2.16.jpgWow. Charlie Gasparino is not looking in the rear-view mirror. The newest member of the Fox Business team talked with WaPo‘s Howard Kurtz today about his jump from CNBC to FBN.

Gasparino denies that tensions at CNBC were a factor in his decision, saying “newsrooms are generally seething places” and he tends to “wear my heart on my sleeve.” But he did issue a warning to his former employer: “My job is to rip the lungs out of the competition for Fox Business Network.”

The LAT‘s Joe Flint talked with FBN EVP Kevin Magee about the hire, which FOX was able to accomplish when Gasparino exercised a window in his CNBC contract.

Gasparino will make his debut on Fox Business next week and will also pop up on the Fox News Channel as well. Terms of Gasparino’s deal were not disclosed, but it is a wee bit north of $1 million a year, people familiar with the contract said.
“I think this is a better platform for him,” said Kevin Magee, executive vice president of Fox Business Network. Asked if Gasparino’s role on Fox Business would be similar to that of CNBC’s hot-shot reporter David Faber, Magee said, “I’m sorry, who’s that?”

Imus at FBN: ‘I’m More Likely to Believe Shep Smith than Katie Couric or Brian Williams’

Don Imus is back on TV. (Yes, he was on RFD-TV, but even he says his move to Fox Business Network is, “the difference between being on television and being on an Etch A Sketch.”)

Imus talked with WaPo’s Howard Kurtz about joining a team that includes Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity, even though his politics aren’t necessarily theirs. “People think I’m more liberal than I am conservative, which I probably am,” says Imus. And about Fox:

“The perception is that even their news is skewed toward opinion — not when I watch it. It’s a fair news organization. It’s not my job to defend them. But I’m more likely to believe Shep Smith than Katie Couric or Brian Williams. Their news is advertiser-driven.”

And Fox’s isn’t? “We’re better people and have a much closer relationship with our Lord,” Imus deadpans.

His 11-year run on MSNBC came to an end in the spring of 2007 after a racial remark he made about the Rutger’s women’s basketball team. FBN EVP Kevin Magee tells Kurtz, “Don has more than paid his price for that. He was censured by the marketplace.”

One of the NBC anchors who replaced Imus on MSNBC before the slot was given to “Morning Joe,” was David Gregory who Kurtz reminds us asked then-Sen. Barack Obama if Imus should be fired. “I’ve got two daughters who are African American, gorgeous, tall, and I hope at some point are interested enough in sports that they get athletic scholarships,” said Obama. “He would not be working for me.”

Imus says that Obama “was kind of duped into that… He was being interviewed by that backstabbing, pigeon-looking, gut-sucking weasel David Gregory.”

Says Gregory: “Imus used to say those things about me even when he was being affectionate. I always tried to be fair to Don.”

Don’t expect Gregory or any other NBC Newsers on Imus anytime soon. But Imus has kept up with some of his other TV regulars, including ABC’s George Stephanopoulos and CBS’ Bob Schieffer.

“I think it’s an older and wiser Don Imus,” says Schieffer. “Don learned something from that experience, and at heart Don is a fine person. We all make mistakes, and he made a beaut.”

“I had a fairly decent career up to that point,” Imus says. “I didn’t want to end on that note. I’m a great believer in karma and naively think things will work out for the best.”

Biz Nets Thriving “In The Depressed Landscape”

The Hollywood Reporter’s Georg Szalai and Paul Bond take a lengthy look at the current state of the financial news networks, which have “thrived in the depressed landscape, as people on Wall Street and on Main Street alike try to make sense of the money malaise.”

An executive from each network, CNBC, FBN and Bloomberg, is quoted in the story. Here’s some of what they had to say:

• CNBC President Mark Hoffman: “We’ve seen only gains since September. Our strengths have been accentuated during the financial crisis. It’s a real-time story and we’re a real-time network.”

• FBN EVP Kevin Magee: “This [Jim] Cramer thing hurt [CNBC's] credibility. We’ve made mistakes, too, but we don’t create a circus atmosphere over stock recommendations.”

David Rhodes, head of Bloomberg TV: “The story of the last couple of years was the presidential campaign and politics. Since then the economy has totally filled the vacuum.”

— On CNBC’s 20th anniversary Friday, which prominent Fox anchor was shown during a clip of the network’s first day on the air? Take a guess — and click continued to see the answer…

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FBN’s FOIA Fight: “Not A Wild Publicity Stunt”

asman_2-26.bmpColumbia Journalism Review’s Clint Hendler writes about the FBN Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits, of which they have recently seen the first steps toward a victory.

“It’s for you folks, we are doing it for you,” said anchor David Asman in announcing the judge’s ruling on-air. “We are your eyes. We’re looking out for you, literally.”

FBN EVP Kevin Magee tells the CJR the lawsuits are “not a wild publicity stunt.” Instead: “We are trying to differentiate ourselves from that which is out there. One of the ways that we want to differentiate ourselves is to tell our audience that we are trying to protect their interests. We think that’s a wide-open field. CNBC seems to always be the friend of the CEO and that’s fine, nothing wrong with that…But we also believe that as journalists, we have to ask difficult questions.”

Related: FBN’s Sandra Smith was profiled in her hometown paper, The Wheaton Sun (IL). “People that have been victims of fraud and maybe lost their nest egg are devastated, and you realize there are these really sensitive subjects,” she said. “Getting the real story involves somewhat of a balancing act. You have to show the person you care about them and that this isn’t just about fulfilling someone else’s agenda.”

Magee on Sirius XM Decision: “We’re Disappointed, But This Is The Business We’re In”

fbnlogo_1-13.jpgThe Fox Business Network channel was dropped from the Sirius XM line-up on December 27. FBN and FNC EVP Kevin Magee tells TVNewser, “We knew going in there was a distinct possibility of this happening. We’re disappointed but this is the business we’re in. They’re not bad people over there — they had a dilemma and it was last in, first out.” FBN began airing on XM in July.

Tyler Savery writes on Sirius Buzz, a blog about satellite radio, about the surprisingly large response the site received after FBN’s removal. “What we seem to have here is a network that was more popular than many realized, and something that Sirius XM should give some consideration to,” he writes.

“We’ve been heartened by the response,” says Magee. “It may be that somewhere slightly down the line they can add bandwidth or channels and we hope to be asked back at that point.”

We also asked Magee about the recent lawsuits filed by FBN against the Treasury Department and the Fed, and the continued expansion of the network. Click continued to see his comments…

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