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It's Springtime For Happy HourOr: How To Fix That Afterhours Show

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PR overlord Eric Starkman, who lent his name to Starkman & Associates, has some suggestions on how to improve Bess Levin's favorite Fox Business Network show. After the jump, read his memo to FBN uber-boss Roger Ailes.

To: Roger Ailes

From: Eric Starkman

Re: Boosting “Happy Hour” Ratings

Gotta give you credit, Roger, you’re still batting a thousand. “Happy Hour” is another of your strokes of genius. The ratings might be dismal so far, but great works of art sometimes take time to catch on. It took “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” a movie that parodied horror flicks, years before it became a cult classic.

Still, as the pressures of working for Mr. Murdoch must be draining at times, I thought you might appreciate some ideas on how the boost the ratings for “Happy Hour” for your next staff meeting.
The Scores Lap Dance Economic Index>
Let’s be honest here, “Happy Hour” is not exactly a show for puritans. One of the most blatant examples was a recent segment on Rick’s Cabaret, the publicly traded adult nightclub company, featuring some of the company’s “performers”. Why not take it to the next level and introduce the “Scores Lap Dance Economic Index?” Each Friday, Candi, Brandi, and Randi talk about how much they earned on lap dances. Lots of money? The economy must be doing ok. A whole lot of money? Sound the alarm – people are clearly trying to lap dance their troubles away!
Coffee, Tea, or Fox at 35,000 Feet
This weekly segment features a report from a FBN anchor interviewing a corporate executive on his company’s airborne private jet. Think of the exclusive access! Hey, if it worked for Bartiromo…
Wealth Transfer Strategies with Paris Hilton
It’s tough being rich and vacuous, particularly if your mean ol’ billionaire grandfather decides to give away your inheritance. Poor little rich girl Paris Hilton could share her money management tips with the equally downtrodden among us and teach us how to live the good life. Eat your heart out, Erin Burnett!
#@%$#@ with Ken Langone
FBN doesn’t allow technical jargon. So if the network really wants to feature an authoritative market expert who clearly speaks plain English, who better than billionaire investor and philanthropist Ken “they-got-the-wrong-f*cking-guy” Langone? Hearing Mr. Langone wax on about the markets, the economy, and Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson would be the greatest color commentary since Howard Cosell joined Monday Night Football. C’mon, the Nielsen numbers would be soooo worth the FCC obscenity fines!
Around the Water Cooler With Froelich and Kelly
This segment would be co-hosted by New York Post gossip scribe Paula Froelich (who actually once covered business) and Kate Kelly, the intrepid Wall Street Journal reporter who broke the oh-so-hard-hitting story on Bear Stearns chairman Jimmy Cayne and his alleged taste for the “wacky tabacky”. If there’s an unsubstantiated rumor or innuendo around the water cooler, Froelich and Kelly will be first to report it. Mr. Murdoch will love the cross-branding idea!
Enhancing Workplace Productivity with Roger Clemens
Given the recent spate of layoff reports, everyone is looking for an edge in the workplace. In this segment, exclusively sponsored by Cook-Waite Lidocaine, New York Yankees pitching ace talks with business and sports leaders on how best to boost workplace performance.
Corporate Dining with Takeru Kobayashi
Greed is good, but poor table manners are not. With so much business being conducted over a meal, today’s up-and-coming leaders need to know the rules of the table to ensure they don’t blow a big deal or job offer by simply eating with the wrong fork. Culinary dining legend Takeru Kobayashi explains the nuances of combining greed and proper etiquette, and models appropriate bib wear when feasting on $400 crab claws.
Career Counseling with Julie Roehm
In this segment, fired Wal-Mart advertising executive Julie Roehm gives career tips on client entertainment, demonstrating appropriate affection for subordinates, and the perils of trying to shake down a Fortune 500 corporation.
“Do as I Say” with Michael Brown
Remember Michael Brown, the whiz bang FEMA guy with the rolled up sleeves who oversaw the Hurricane Katrina response? Well, apparently he’s hired a publicist to promote him as an expert on crisis management. No doubt he would do a heck of a job talking about how companies in trouble can clean up their messes. Or appear to do so anyway.
Hire Katie Couric
Cody and Rebecca are great, but they appeal to the under-35 crowd. “Happy Hour” could benefit from having an experienced, more “seasoned” journalist like Katie Couric inject some thought-provoking conversational pearls as “Dee-da-dee-da dee” to keep the older crowd’s attention. It’s just a hunch, but I’ll bet you can convince Mr. Moonves to let America’s sweetheart out of her contract.