Fox Business Network hires radio host

Dave Ramsey tapped to host primetime hour

NEW YORK — Fox Business Network has tapped syndicated radio host Dave Ramsey to host a primetime hour.

FBN is tearing a page out of the playbook of Fox News, whose highest-rated hours are hosted by personalities who are also syndicated radio hosts.

“The Dave Ramsey Show,” which has been on the air for 15 years, is carried by 325 radio stations across the country, reaching 3 million listeners a week, according to Arbitron, putting Ramsey among the top 20 hosts in the U.S.

On FBN, Ramsey will host a daily hourlong show in primetime focused on personal finance, a theme that meshes with the net’s “Main Street” approach to business news.

“Our primetime format will offer a new opportunity for Americans to benefit from Ramsey’s practical financial advice,” said FNC exec veep Kevin Magee.

On the radio, Ramsey touts his 13-week program called Financial Peace University, which educates listeners on how to “reduce debt, gain control of their finances and learn new behaviors around money.”

Michael Harrison, publisher of Talkers magazine, noted that Ramsey has built his audience on general-news or talk stations — significant because his show’s content departs from the stations’ overall format.

Fox host Neil Cavuto summarized Ramsey’s philosophy during an interview on “Your World With Neil Cavuto.” “Watch your debt, watch your spending — you are going to make a nation of TV viewers get extremely cheap,” he said.

Hiring of Ramsey reflects the sharply different approach FBN is taking from that of CNBC, whose current offerings such as “Mad Money” or “Fast Money” are geared not toward solving personal financial problems but providing an aspirational entree to Wall Street.

Ramsey’s three-hour radio show originates in Nashville, and that’s where he’s staying. Ramsey has a rudimentary TV studio there, and a spokesman said FBN will build out a more elaborate set for the new show.

Fox News topper Roger Ailes built the news net’s primetime around former radio hosts, including Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity and Alan Colmes, all of whom currently have a significant presence on the radio, which helps boost their profile around the country.

Ailes also exec produced Rush Limbaugh’s half-hour syndicated show, which aired from 1992-96.

CNN’s Headline News has built its opinionated primetime around Glenn Beck, another a top-20 radio host who made the jump to TV in 2005.

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