Inside Move: A kit of Foxes?

Cable net mulls jump into new channels

Visiting Gotham last week, News Corp. chief operating office Peter Chernin confirmed that the conglom is thinking about expanding the Fox News Channel franchise.

Speaking at a Goldman Sachs media conference, Chernin wouldn’t elaborate, only saying that Fox News topper Roger Ailes is looking “in a few broad areas” for potential net spinoffs.

No one can accuse Ailes or Chernin of being brash or boisterous in planning a franchise expansion, considering the wild success of Fox News Channel. Ailes’ news net has enjoyed an eye-popping run that has sent every other cable news net scrambling.

Just last week, Nielsen Media Research reported that Fox News was the only cable news net to post ratings growth during the third quarter of 2003 and into the summer. Viewership was up across all Fox News programming, and not just here-and-there.

Buzz is that one of the spinoffs might be an entertainment news channel, competing with E! Entertainment. Another idea is to launch a financial news channel that would go up against NBC News cabler CNBC.

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