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First Business is a nationally syndicated business news television program, produced by First Business Network LLC, a subsidiary of Weigel Broadcasting, in Chicagomarker. Hosts Tom Hudson and Beejal Patel bring viewers commentary from the floors of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Chicago Board of Trademarker and the Chicago Board Options Exchange, as well as 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.


As of the Fall 2007 season, the program airs on 182 broadcast stations, reaching 76.443% of US television households. Affiliates include ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, WB, CW and independent stations including the America One television network. Air times vary, however stations are required to run the show before the financial markets open in New York. First Business is also carried internationally, on the commercial free Voice of America satellites. The show was syndicated by Timeless International, and sold by TVi Media, now is by MGM Television.


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 News Director Densil Allen. 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, FNN Corespondent 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 Street. The program was produced for CONUS Communications by Joel Chalfin and written by Barton Eckert with David Debo, among others. The CONUS version of the program also featured former CNNfn news anchor Jodi Davis and reporters Trish McShane, Terry Turner, Marti Johnson 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). Technical direction of the show fell under the guise of lead director Benjamin Higginbotham who was later succeeded by Jeremy Elfering.

One year before CONUS disbanded in 2002, rights to the program were sold to WebFN was a financial news service, streaming live news produced in conjunction with Bridge Information Services, which 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 Exchangemarker, however all post-production was done out of WebFN's Chicago office by WebFN personnel Scott Christiansen and Philip Richards.

In mid 2003, 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. 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 Brady Hyde.

Notable Former Talent


The website is no longer connected to the show, and the name "First Business" is also used by an unrelated investment firm in Madison Wisconsin.

Tom Hudson did his last spot on the show on November 7, 2009.

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