Murdoch aims to conquer world of business news

NEW YORK, July 13, 2007 (AFP) – News magnate Rupert Murdoch will expand his media empire with a business news channel to challenge industry leader CNBC, as he presses on with a bid to add The Wall Street Journal to his portfolio. The global media mogul has set October 15 as the launch date of the new Fox Business Network, a project Murdoch has coveted for years and that aims to compete directly with CNBC, a branch of NBC Universal (owned by General Electric).

CNBC dominates television screens in most Wall Street offices, and has maintained a grip on the market since CNN shuttered its business channel, CNNfn in 2004.

But Fox Business Network, or FBN, is already confident of widespread distribution, because major US cable operators Comcast and Time Warner have pledged to broadcast it, according to Fox.

The new channel comes amid his hostile bid to buy Dow Jones & Co., which is controlled by the Bancroft family and includes the prestigious financial daily The Wall Street Journal.

“With News Corp. moving forward on FBN with or without DJ (Dow Jones), it sends a clear message to the DJ Board and the Bancrofts that News Corp. does not have to own DJ,” said analyst firm Pali Research.

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