Fox Business Network had some business advice for Tobin Smith today: Find work elsewhere. A Fox network spokesman confirmed to Business Insider that Smiths’ contract had been terminated under the network’s contributor policy, which states that “no contributor to FBN, nor his/her firm, and/or family members are allowed to accept financial consideration of any kind whatsoever to issue research, advertisements, or to otherwise promote individual stocks or securities.” The Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch reported earlier in the day that the investment manager and author, who has been a familiar face on Fox News, was in hot water over “sponsored investment research.” His NBT Equities Research collects checks to tout the stocks of small companies via such paid research, which the businesses count on to boost their share price and volume. And last week, Smith – a regular panelist on Fox News’ Bulls & Bears – sent out an email and ad flier via his new Next Big Thing newsletter touting Petrosonic Energy. The campaign came with a disclaimer saying it was paid advertising, for which NBT banked $50,000, and he did not mention Petrosonic on the air at Fox News. But some investors who bought into the company based on Smith’s recommendation contacted WSJ‘s Market Watch blog, apparently not having read the disclaimer. Market Watch alerted its News Corp sibling Fox News and was told that was the first it had heard of the matter. The network has a rule that “no Contributor to FBN, nor his/her firm, and/or family members are allowed to accept financial consideration of any kind whatsoever to issue research, advertisements, or to otherwise promote individual stocks or securities.” The blog quoted a network spokesman as saying the rule also applies to research not presented in FBN’s air. Smith, author of the best-seller ChangeWave Investing, told Market Watch “that policy was added late last year … my contract was not subject to that clause.”
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