Taking a page from their playbook might be a little generous, to look at the promo for CNBC’s Opportunity USA Tour.  It immediately harkens you back to September when Fox Business Network launched a four-day road trip to explore cities that have bucked national economic trends for the better in their “Open For Business: Houston” and “Open For Business: Cleveland” specials. To say “borrowed” is to use the word loosely, it looks like downright theft. They even went so far as to use a former FBN anchor to precipitate this “shared” idea and used Houston to kick off their “own” three day tour just as Fox Business Network did before them.

cnbc open for business



Last September, Melissa Francis, Host of FBN’s ‘MONEY’ took to Houston to highlight, over the course of two days, why Houston is one of America’s most successful cities. A city which has recovered every job lost to the most recent recession. In her blog post promoting and previewing the show and the city of Houston, Francis highlighted the secrets to Houston’s success and even solicited dining advice from readers. The post also provided a roll-call of area politicians, entrepreneurs and CEO’s that the two-day trip would interview. Ironically, or perhaps not, one of the restaurants most suggested to her by readers of the post was The Pass and Provisions on Taft near downtown Houston.

The irony or “coincidence” is the fact that that is precisely where former Fox Business Network anchor Brian Sullivan broadcast his show “Street Signs” live from today.

“You guys make it easy to do business here,” said Sullivan. “Just trying to find places around America to change the way people maybe view a certain way. I think Houston maybe was pigeon-holed into being the oil capital.  In reality, there’s a lot of cool stuff happening here and we’re trying to show it off.”

I would go so far as to say that not only do the “guys” make it easy to do business in Houston but that both FBN and Melissa Francis made it really easy for you.

My pointing out of this blatant plagiarism of “Open For Business: Houston” and “Open For Business: Cleveland” under its new name is not meant to detract from the people nor the business atmosphere and environment in America’s fourth largest city.

In CNBC’s defense they won’t be following FBN anchor Liz Claman’s cue by road tripping off to Cleveland next but, rather, will be taking FBN’s format to Minneapolis and San Diego in the next two days.