First Business

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First Business
Program logo
Presented by Angela Miles
misc. contributors
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 260/year
Production
Executive producer(s) Harvey Moshman (2008-present)
Running time 30 minutes, inc. advertising
Production company(s) Weigel Broadcasting
Broadcast
Original channel first-run syndication
Picture format 480i SDTV widescreen
Original run 1989  – present
External links
Website

First Business is a nationally syndicated financial news and analysis television program, produced by First Business Network LLC, a subsidiary of Weigel Broadcasting, in Chicago. Anchor Angela Miles, Reporters Chuck Coppola, Bill Moller, and Executive Producer Harvey Moshman bring viewers commentary from the floors of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, and the Chicago Board Options Exchange, as well as from their studios in the West Loop. The program covers the financial and economic markets including equities, futures, options, commodities, foreign exchange and geo-political news.

Syndication[edit]

As of the Fall 2011 season, the program airs daily on more than 100 US broadcast stations and in outlets across 46 foreign countries. The stations include affiliates of ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, The CW, MyNetworkTV, as well as independent stations. Air times vary, though the timeslot for the show in the majority of markets has been either the 4:00am, 4:30am, or 5:00am timeslots leading into the early morning national newscasts or local morning newscasts. The only requirement the show enforces is that the program must air before the NYSE opening bell at 9:30am ET where possible; in Alaska and Hawaii, it airs after the opening bell due to time zone restrictions, while some Pacific Time Zone stations in the continental United States air it as late as a half-hour after the opening bell. The show is syndicated by MGM Television as part of Weigel and MGM's co-distribution effort of the This TV and Me-TV subchannel networks, and sold by Edward.E. Finch & Company.

History[edit]

The First Business program was originally launched in 1989 by BizNet, the broadcast division of the US Chamber of Commerce in Washington, DC. When the US Chamber decided to end its various television productions, rights to the show were sold to CONUS Communications, a joint venture between Viacom and Hubbard Broadcasting.

From 1989 to 1996, Carl Grant anchored the program from BizNet's state of the art studios located in the US Chamber of Commerce building in Washington, DC. The early morning business newscast was created in 1989 following discussions between BizNet and Ian G. Rae, Executive Vice President, News, Fox Television Stations, Inc. At that time, Fox was in need of a commercially sustaining, live, early morning business news and information program to use as a lead in to its planned thirty-minute business program from London. From its inception through its BizNet years with the US Chamber, the First Business program production team was led by BizNet News Director Densil Allen, now head of Miramar Media Productions, LLC. The list of reporters and others who worked on the program is long, a small sampling would include CNBC business correspondent Scott Wapner, Fox News correspondent Steve Centanni, author Warren Corbett, former PBS Nightly Business Report anchor Cassie Seifert, former FNN correspondent Bruce Page, Capitol Hill reporters Jim Nash and Dan Kush, CNN Market Source business reporter Claire Leka, international broadcast producer and business correspondent Everett Banning, and many others.

In 1997, Barton Eckert moved to the anchor chair and continued in that role when the program was sold in 1999 to CONUS Communications, with production now originating from CONUS' Washington Bureau on K Steeet. The program was produced for CONUS Communications by Joel Chalfin and later David Debo. Eckert remained anchor and managing producer until 2002. The CONUS version of the program also featured former CNNfn news anchor Jodi Davis and reporters Trish McShane, Terry Turner and Chris Chmura. The show aired feature packages from over 200 affiliate stations in the CONUS network. While CONUS used its DC studio to host talent, the actual program was cut live-to-tape in their Minneapolis studio. The program was recorded early each morning by utilizing the available analog CONUS satellite transponders, allowing for multiple camera shots to be sent (in near real time) to and from each location. If market conditions were abnormal, or the writers needed additional time, the first airing of the program would be done live for the east coast audience then time delayed for other markets. While called "live to tape," the process was actually recoded on a Grass Valley DDR which allowed for the show to begin playback in other markets before it had actually ended in the first market (tape was typically not used in the production). The show was directed by Bill Carr.

One year before CONUS disbanded in 2002, rights to the program were sold to WebFN.com, a financial news service streaming live news produced in conjunction with Bridge Information Services and the final iteration of the Stock Market Observer, a local Chicago program which aired on Weigel's flagship station WCIU-TV and Milwaukee sister station WMLW-CA throughout the business day. Bridge has since merged with Reuters. First Business was produced out of New York by Arun Khosla, currently with the FOX Business Network, who shifted the programs focus to the stock market. Stephanie Elam hosted the show from the New York Stock Exchange, however all post-production was done out of WebFN's Chicago office by WebFN personnel Scott Christiansen and Philip Richards.

In mid-2003, WebFN.com closed its doors, laying off both its Chicago and New York staff. First Business relaunched production and distribution from Chicago under the newly formed First Business Network, LLC, with Weigel taking control of production of the program. The show was headed by Executive Producer Scott Christiansen, Coordinating Producer Philip Richards and Editorial Director and Anchor Tom Hudson. Michele Steele, currently with Bloomberg Television, was hired on as Associate Producer in the following weeks.

On January 3, 2005, the show was re-branded as First Business Morning News. With a new look and new co-anchor Angela Miles, the show was sold as a lead-in to local affiliates' own morning news programs. The show added 7% of TV households and reached its highest ever ratings with over 400,000 daily viewers. Major sponsorships included Sprint, IBM and Ameritrade. The Morning News moniker was dropped in September 2007, and the show is now available to stations as both a nightly and morning offering. Production continues out of Chicago under the Technical Direction of Paige Blair and Editor Mariko Charvat. Colleen O'Neill is the show's Line Producer.

Tom Hudson did his last spot on the show on November 7, 2009. He is now the main anchor on PBS's Nightly Business Report. Co-anchor Beejal Patel assumed the anchor role through June 2011 when she left to work for Bloomberg TV.

Angela Miles returned to First Business and became Anchor & Managing Editor in July 2011.

Since November 2013, the program has varied between a widescreen or letterboxed format due to most of the program's source video from newswires and VNR providers being only available in 16:9, with graphical elements stretched to fit the screen

Notable former on-air staff[edit]

External links[edit]