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Fox Business Network sets launch date

July 12, 2007|Josh Friedman | Times Staff Writer

Rupert Murdoch's long-anticipated Fox Business Network will be open for business Oct. 15.

In announcing the launch date Wednesday, parent News Corp. said its rival to General Electric Co.'s CNBC had distribution deals in place with leading U.S. cable operators that would make the channel available to 30 million subscribers.

Headquartered in New York, the network has set up news bureaus in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Washington and London.

Murdoch, meanwhile, is pushing his $5-billion takeover offer for Dow Jones & Co., publisher of the Wall Street Journal. On Wednesday, the Associated Press quoted Murdoch as expressing frustration with Dow Jones' controlling shareholders during investment banker Herbert Allen Jr.'s annual media conference in Sun Valley, Idaho.

"They keep changing their minds," the AP quoted Murdoch as saying of the Bancroft family.

Landing the nation's leading business newspaper could provide the upstart network an army of journalists to help it compete with CNBC and Bloomberg TV.

Murdoch suggested as much two months ago, when his Dow Jones bid became public, telling Fox News host Neil Cavuto, who will oversee the channel's content, "We just want to have a business channel that lives up to the quality and traditions of the Wall Street Journal, and we think that if we can do that, we will do very well."

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josh.friedman@latimes.com

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