Well this news kind of snuck in under the radar during the Christmas break. Alexis has left Fox Business Network. I think it's one of the first signs that the network is not really working out as Fox had hoped for. Alexis was brought in as the brain behind the outfit along with Cavuto. She was supposed to originally only run the show behind the camera but of course that she needed to be in front of the camera for the net to have any kind of success. I suppose the formula seemed alright at the time; use Fox's patented blend of legs and conservatism and set to a business-oriented beat while focusing more on Main Street than Wall Street. But something seems to have gone amiss since then. The signing of Imus and the total scuttling of the early morning schedule was a sign that Fox was realizing that the original plan wasn't working. I'm not sure that the new plan is going to work any better. One wonders what the ultimate fate of the network is going to be. I wonder how long Fox will let it go without any significant improvement in ratings. For the first year or so, they didn't really try to even make a comment on it as the network was still getting onto most cable systems. I'm pretty certain that it's fairly widely available now, although for Comcast, it's on a digital tier package, not basic like CNBC.
However it doesn't seem like they've done a whole lot to really distinguish themselves from CNBC and Bloomberg. Their weekday shows look fairly similar with a mix of anchors, in-studio experts and guests, along with exchange floor reporters. CNBC just looks to have too much momentum built up, and Bloomberg has the built in name recognition from years of financial markets and business reporting. I really wonder if Fox really had their heart set in this venture. When I first heard about their plans for the network way back, I was skeptical. I didn't really see where Fox could really grow the viewership and exploit CNBC's weaknesses. Sure they would have siphoned off some people but really not enough to make that much of a difference. Now mind you, I never really thought Alexis was all that. I thought that she was damaged goods after her fall from grace at NBC where she went from being a candidate to replace Katie Couric to being out the door. I thought she really revealed her weaknesses and limitations fairly early on. I think maybe her recruitment by Fox was partly taken out of a desire to get a measure of revenge on NBC, as FBN would be targeting her old employers. But now it appears that Alexis has seen the original vision kind of dimming, and her role shrinking and wondering why should she bother to be around anymore. She claims that she has some other new venture. We'll see. I think she's ultimately rather limited as a TV personality. She either comes off too chummy and kind of tom-boyish (which is endearing when she's hamming it up with the guys and talking sports) or far too mannered in her vocal delivery especially when reading off the teleprompter. Sure she's nice looking and all and I'm going to miss her legs, but since I never saw them anyway after Imus took over, I guess I'm not going to miss it.