Fox, Sirius launch headline news service
New York — Fox News is collaborating with SiriusXM to launch a 24-hour news service that will update satellite radio listeners and mobile device users on headlines every 15 minutes.
The service, to launch Oct. 5, is Fox’s most high-profile new business venture since the Fox Business Network was started in 2007. Fox is hiring 40 to 50 new journalists and building a new newsroom for the operation, said Jay Wallace, Fox’s senior vice president of news.
Fox News Headlines 24/7 will introduce Sirius subscribers to a concept familiar to radio listeners in many of the nation’s biggest cities — top stories continuously updated and repeated in 15-minute increments. The station will also be streamed online and available to people through an app that can be paid for separately from Sirius’ main service.
“We’re really trying to make this a news service for the 21st century and not just replicate old radio,” said Wallace, who would not say how much Fox is investing in the service. Fox already has a radio division that provides news to stations across the country, but given the state of the business it’s not a growth industry.
Sirius already collaborates with Fox on three other channels, two that simulcast Fox News and FBN television broadcasts and one that focuses on Fox’s talk-show hosts. The satellite news channel also has three channels devoted to CNN programming.
The main news channels can often latch onto one story for a long period of time; the headline service won’t break its format even for big stories.
“People really crave information and they’re used to getting it when they want it,” said Dave Gorab, SiriusXM vice president who oversees information programming.
Sirius considered proposals from other news organizations to run the new service but was attracted to the “active and vibrant” way Fox presents the news, Gorab said. Fox News Channel personalities Bill Hemmer and Shepard Smith will be on the air the first few weeks to attract listeners.
As a national service, Fox News Headlines won’t rely on the traffic and weather reports that are a staple of the local radio versions. There will be a strong component of entertainment news, and the Internet will be followed closely to keep listeners informed on trending topics, Wallace said.
The service will also be a training ground for new Fox talent and provide reporting on some stories that can make their way to the TV network, he said.
CNN once had a television version of this type of service, CNN Headline News. But it changed its name to HLN and dropped the format for shows that have a heavy social media connection.