It was the worst kept secret in broadcasting, but now Fox Business Network (FBN) has confirmed that it will be the new cable simulcast home of the “Imus in the Morning” radio show, syndicated by Citadel Media. The debut is set for October 5th.
From the time it was announced that September 1st would be the last day for Imus to air on RFD, it was widely rumored that he had been wooed away by News Corporation to boost the still-young FBN. It is now official that Imus will be carried live on FBN 6-9 am ET, replacing “Money for Breakfast” in the 7-9 slot. However, “Opening Bell” hosted by Alexis Glick will continue in the 9-10 slot, so the final hour of Imus will be on radio only.
“I love Fox. Roger Ailes is the preeminent genius of American Broadcasting. Who wouldn’t want to do this?” said the I-Man in the announcement from FBN.
As it adds the FBN simulcast, the Imus in the Morning program will incorporate additional business news into its current format – described by FBN as “a mix of current affairs, politics, entertainment and sports as discussed amongst Imus and his genius cast of characters including: Charles McCord, Bernard McGuirk, Rob Bartlett, Lou Rufino, Tony Powell, Warner Wolf and Julie Kanfer.”
In addition to the Imus team, FBN’s Jenna Lee, Connell McShane and Ashley Webster will continue co-anchoring “Fox Business Morning” 5-6 am ET and appear frequently on Imus in the Morning to report on breaking financial news as well as pre-market action. Lee, McShane and Webster will also co-host a live online news morning program for viewers to get up-to-the-minute stock reports and financial news updates. The program, entitled “Foxbusiness.com Live Morning Edition,” will be presented Monday-Friday 6-9 am ET on foxbusiness.com.
RBR/TVBR observation: Just like Imus’ former cable home, RFD-TV, FBN is not available on many cable systems, or is only available on a specialty digital tier. RFD had some success signing more cable MSOs when it had Imus. No doubt the folks at FBN hope to have even more success in expanding their national footprint.