Fox Business Cracks On Cramer's Credibility -- But Should Get Own House In Order

At Fox Business Channel, it's all about dirty sexy money.

The upstart financial network has taken Jim Cramer of CNBC's "Mad Money" to task concerning his call on the Bear Stearns situation. The network took out a print ad in The New York Times, and other places, saying, in essence, that Cramer was wrong.

But Fox Business News didn't give Cramer's typical emotional diatribe any context.

Cramer offered a not-too-specific comment on March 11, before things went south for the company: "Bear Stearns is fine. Don't move your money from there. That's just being silly. Don't be silly."

Cramer was referring to consumers' money that is invested with Bear Stearns financial accounts -- not its common stock, which sank to $2 from a high of around $60. As a banker, Bear Stearns' accounts are guaranteed 100% by the Federal Reserve.

If there was one error Cramer could be accused of making, it was not discussing the problems with the company's common stock -- though he did mention the banker was likely to be taken over, which looks to be true.

Still, the aggressive Fox Business Channel -- looking for any way to gain on TV financial news giant CNBC - showed no mercy. It didn't bother to explain the difference between the two different investment activities.

The print ad ends by saying "Turbulent Times Call For a Credible Network."

I guess that means Fox Business -- now, all of five months old.

This youth doesn't get by some media agencies, who need stronger audience data to verify the "credibility" of Fox Business as a TV network. According to Starcom USA, Fox Business Channel doesn't have national ratings yet from Nielsen Media Research -- and that's a problem when it recommends networks for its clients to purchase.

Starcom won't buy Fox Business unless it agrees to be measured by alternative ways - such as new set-top-box data the agency acquires through deals it has with a local cable company, a satellite TV distributor, and a media researcher.

Perhaps Fox won't have to wait. Sixty percent of ardent TV news viewers, according to a poll, expect the Cramer print ad to give Fox some major ratings benefits



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