A perfect match

A PERFECT MATCH…. After nearly two years of broadcasts, the Fox Business Network is missing an important element: viewers. In June for example, between 5 a.m. and 9 p.m., Fox Business averaged 21,000 viewers. For a blog, 21,000 readers isn’t bad. For a cable network that reaches 49 million households, 21,000 viewers is a colossal failure.

So, the Murdoch-owned enterprise decided it was time to adding some higher-profile conservatives to the FBN team. Last week, Don Imus struck a deal to simulcast his radio show on the struggling network. Today, we learn that ABC’s libertarian activist/television personality John Stossel is also making the jump.

John Stossel, the longtime ABC News correspondent and co-anchor of “20/20,” is leaving ABC to join Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network. TVNewser has learned Stossel will host a weekly, one-hour program for the 2-year-old business channel. He’s expected to signed a multi-year deal with Fox which will include regular appearances on Fox News Channel during daytime and primetime. He’ll also host four, hour-long specials on Fox News, much like the business/consumer specials he’d hosted for years on ABC.

Stossel, a libertarian, has been appearing on Fox News for years as a guest on shows including “The O’Reilly Factor,” “Hannity & Colmes” and “The Big Story.”

Stossel joined “20/20” in 1981 and was upped to co-anchor in 2003. TVNewser has learned there was a window in Stossel’s ABC contract which allowed him to jump to Fox.

In a blog post, Stossel said he intends to “dig into the meaning of the words ‘liberty’ and ‘limited government.'”

At the risk of being unkind, I think ABC is getting the better end of this personnel change. Jamison Foser had an item this afternoon, highlighting some of Stossel’s recent gems, which included reports defending price-gouging, denying global warming, denouncing Medicare, and rejecting evidence that women get paid less than men for the same work.

As Foser noted, “ABC’s John Stossel is headed for Fox News, perhaps the only ‘news’ outlet in America that won’t immediately take a hit to its credibility by bringing him on.”