Fox Business Network has terminated the contract of contributor Tobin Smith, who was paid $50,000 to tout the stock of Petrosonic Energy, a FBN spokesperson told Business Insider.
Smith’s contract was terminated under the network’s contributor policy, which states 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.”
Smith, in a 20-page news mailer, touted Petrosonic’s stock — from which his company, NBT Equities Research, pocketed $50,000. Some people considered buying the stock “entirely based on Smith’s say-so, and the credibility he exudes in his Fox appearances,” said the story.
Smith was a contributing market analyst for the network and was a regular panelist on the weekly investment program “Bulls & Bears.”
RBR-TVBR observation: FBN did the right thing here. Even though Smith may not have hawked the stock on-air, the credibility of contributors must be kept in tact. While this may happen fairly often in the business, FBN had no choice but to act on it once it heard what was going on.