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Posts Tagged ‘Tobin Smith’

Tobin Smith: ‘I am No Longer a Fox Contributor’

Contributor Tobin Smith is defending himself following his dismissal as a Fox News and Fox Business analyst.

“I am no longer a Fox contributor,” he writes on his NBT Equities Research. “I thank them for a 14 year run… but all good things come to an end.”

Smith was shown the door late yesterday following a MarketWatch.com story about conflicts of interest. Smith made $50,000 for pushing a particular stock via email, often called Sponsored Research. But it leaves the impression on Fox viewers that Smith recommends the stock of Petrosonic, an energy company. (The stock is down -23% this morning). But Smith writes that he, “NEVER EVER mentioned Petrosonic on ANY appearance on Fox News or Fox Business News.”

Smith is not be alone, however. While $50,000 to tout one stock is a whopper of a payout, equity analysts, as one-off guests or paid contributors, are the lifeblood of the business networks. Viewers expect it. Producers need it. Networks have disclosures and policies in place for such circumstances whether you’re a guest or host. FBN’s goes like this:

“No Contributor to FBN, nor his/her firm, and/or family members are allowed to accept financial consideration of any kind whatsoever to issue research, advertisements, or to otherwise promote individual stocks or securities.”

But Smith argues that clause was not part of his Fox deal: “For the record, my last contributor agreement with Fox News did NOT include any exclusion from me or my company sponsored research.”

So is Fox making an example out of Tobin Smith? And how many Tobin Smiths are out there?

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Fox Contributor Tobin Smith Paid $50,000 to Boost Stock

MarketWatch calls out Fox News/Fox Business contributor Tobin Smith for blurring the line between being a stock analyst and being paid — in this case $50,000 — for pushing a single stock. Tobin, via a newsletter, touted the stock of Petrosonic, an energy company. MarketWatch’s Chuck Jaffe writes,

This is a unique case because of how recognizable Smith is, and it brings into focus credibility questions that I’ve found most investors fail to answer even as they are deciding who they can trust. Fox’s official policy is that “no Contributor to FBN, nor his/her firm, and/or family members are allowed to accept financial consideration of any kind whatsoever to issue research, advertisements, or to otherwise promote individual stocks or securities,” a spokesman says. However, the network, which was unaware of Smith’s efforts on Petrosonic’s behalf until I contacted them, would not comment on the matter.

Smith’s response when asked if he felt he violated any Fox rules: “That policy was added late last year … my contract was not subject to that clause…”

According to a TVEyes search, Tobin last appeared on FBN, May 28. A spokesperons for the network tells us they’re looking into the matter.

As a side note, Fox Business and MarketWatch are owned by the same company — at least for the next 10 days. News Corp. will split on June 28 and Fox will become part of the new company, 21st Century Fox while MarketWatch, a WSJ brand, remains a News Corp. company.

Bill O’Reilly Unloads on GE, NBC: “A Situation All Americans Should Condemn”

oreilly_4-21.bmpBill O’Reilly has attacked GE and NBC before, even recently. But last night on The Factor, O’Reilly ran the gamut from GE’s ties to the Obama administration and financial woes to Janeane Garofalo to the recent CNBC dinner. He even had some harsh words for Tom Brokaw.

Joining O’Reilly were Fox News contributor Tobin Smith and FBN anchor Stuart Varney. Varney talked about Garofalo’s comments about the tea parties on Countdown last week. “I find that shocking,” he said. “There was no response to that statement from that on-air host.”

Here’s an O’Reilly line sure to draw attention: “They’re in partnership, GE, with the Obama administration on a number of different levels, which makes it imperative that NBC News say good things, and attack critics of the administration.”

Click continued to see the full segment…

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