Fox Business Network celebrates its 15th anniversary on Saturday and original anchor Neil Cavuto believes its “no-nonsense, no-jargon” approach to covering the business news helped democratize an entire industry.
“We don’t just cover stocks in this country. We take stock of the country. For too long, business channels failed that test to cover the entire big picture. I like to think we changed that,” Cavuto told Fox News Digital.
Cavuto, who wears many hats at FOX News Media, is the anchor of Fox Business Network’s “Cavuto: Coast to Coast” in addition to Fox News Channel’s “Your World with Neil Cavuto” and “CAVUTO Live.” He is also the managing editor of business news at both Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network.
We caught up with Cavuto for his thoughts on his time at Fox Business Network and how the industry has evolved over the past 15 years.
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Fox News Digital: What is your most memorable Fox Business Network moment?
Cavuto: The very first day of the network on October 15, 2007! Talk about baptism by fire! This new business channel was debuting in the middle of what would become a meltdown. Earlier that summer two big hedge funds failed, succumbing to something called subprime loans. Capitalism itself seemed on the brink and the markets and our very economy were cascading in real time.
Fox News Digital: What about your proudest moment at the network?
Cavuto: I like to think the way we handled that whole market collapse and the ensuing collapses worldwide. Looking back at it, that fall of 2007, we remained remarkably calm and focused. We didn’t scream or panic. We offered perspective and a sense of history others missed in the heat of the moment. Maybe because they were all heat and only in that moment. We chose a different approach.
That’s because even 15 years ago I was old! But I had some perspective on what was unfolding at the time. I had covered the 1987 stock market crash when the Dow famously lost nearly a quarter of its value in a single day. I reminded viewers then, as I do to this day, that the trajectory of stocks is volatile, but over time, rewarding. I shared how we as a country had come through much worse — a depression, seemingly countless recessions, oil embargoes, scandals, wars, assassinations — and through jagged and wrenching experiences, we ended higher than where any and all these crises began. I believed then, as I believe now, that America is better than the sum of its fears, and defined more by the resolve of its convictions.
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Fox News Digital: How has the industry of covering business news changed or evolved over the past 15 years?
Cavuto: It’s much more mainstream now, much more ubiquitous now, much more Main Street than Wall Street now. More individual investors than ever before are playing in this market. Some don’t even know it, but through pension funds and their own funds, they are players. Key players. Important players. We owe them a no-nonsense, no-jargon view of this world. It’s their world. Their future. I think one of the things of which I’m most proud, “we” are most proud, is how FBN democratized business news, and not just through the prism of our financial capital, but our nation’s capital.
We recognized early and often that even if you don’t own stock, you own stock in this country. You pay taxes. You pay into programs that you hope and trust will be there for you. We got that. We get that. We police that. We continue to pound that. I often tell people we’re not red or blue, we’re green. Just green. Just money. Who is spending it, and who is wasting it? We don’t just cover stocks in this country. We take stock of the country. For too long, business channels failed that test to cover the entire big picture. I like to think we changed that.
Fox News Digital: Why should someone who isn’t particularly interested in Wall Street check out what FBN has to offer?
Cavuto: For one thing we won’t bore you. Everyone wants to do well and for their children to do well. We focus on the dollars “and” SENSE. It’s why we explain everything. It’s why we leave out arcane acronyms and focus on real words, and the real world. They say the best question is the one “thought,” but never asked. I am happy to admit that I’m not afraid to ask dumb questions. In fact, I built a career on it! It helps me make sense of what’s going on and help my viewers make sense of what they’ll do next now that they do too.
Fox News Digital: What do you expect from FBN over the next 15 years?
Cavuto: We won’t let our success go to our heads. It’s the same thing I tell my kids and I suspect we all tell our kids. Assume nothing. Do everything. Don’t take anything for granted. My Italian dad used to tell me growing up, “Neil, stay humble, because in your case, it will come in handy.” We’d laugh, but I knew full well what he was saying. Life is full of those who work for that moment they get that big office, or big paycheck or big opportunity. And then, inexplicably, they stop. Office secured, they feel secure and they just… stop. That’s why my dad advised that I always look over my shoulder, “because people really are gunning for you.” His not-so-subtle message was that the more you take for granted, the less you’ll have to show for it. It’s like winning the Super Bowl. An amazing achievement, but even more amazing when you do it again, when you challenge yourself and the odds again, and again.
My Irish mom used to have a different twist on this — “Neil, the biggest sin in life is when your get-up-and-go, packs up and leaves.” It’s ingrained in me now, and I know it’s ingrained in all of us at FBN now. We take nothing for granted, least of all our audience. It’s not just in our programming. It’s in our DNA.
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