Coming: A Foxy Look at Business News

The Wall Street Journal on line opined today about News Corp’s plan to launch fox business news…soon but not today.

“A former Republican strategist, Mr. Ailes is known for thinking like a political tactician, so his public diffidence about the new venture may well be an attempt to lower expectations. Mr. Ailes said he has urged Mr. Murdoch to stop announcing launch dates. “I keep telling Rupert, ‘Quit saying that,’ ” Mr. Ailes said at the gathering of media executives. “I’d like to do it this year, but I’m not in any hurry just to do it.” He said the channel, to succeed, would have to reach 40 million homes within the first three years. “All these pieces have to come in line,” he said.

Indeed, successfully launching a cable channel has never been harder, given how cluttered the dial has become. Most cable operators will make channels available only at the high end of the dial, on digital channels that reach fewer than half of cable subscribers. Low-numbered channels are prized because they reach all cable homes.

As a result, many new cable networks launch with just a few million homes and never get traction with viewers or advertisers. “You can get on, but if you’re not in the top 100 channels, no one goes there,” says David Bernknopf, an Atlanta media consultant.