Each day, Benzinga takes a look back at a notable market-related moment that occurred on this date.
What Happened? On Oct. 7, 1996, Rupert Murdoch launched The Fox News Channel.
Where Was The Market? The S&P 500 closed around 703.34, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed around 5,979.81.
What Else Was Going On In The World? President Bill Clinton was facing off against Bob Dole for his second term in the Oval Office, Nintendo 64 had just debuted in the U.S., and the Spice Girls were preparing to drop their first album.
Murdoch Launches America’s Conservative Media: Rupert Murdoch had become an American citizen just 11 years before he launched one of the nation’s most influential partisan news outlets. With The Fox News Channel, the News Corp Class A (NASDAQ:NWSA) founder kicked off a conservative cable station meant to provide alternative commentary to rival CNN.
Following its launch, Fox News changed hands from News Corp to 21st Century Fox to the Fox Corp Class A (NASDAQ:FOXA), but it never lost momentum. The channel grew to dominate its field after a 440% boost in viewership during the 2000 presidential election.
Last year marked 72 consecutive quarters at the top of prime time. Its 2.431 million viewers crushed MSNBC’s 1.532 million and CNN’s 1.037 million, and Fox News led peers in the most coveted demographic.
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