In a recent development regarding the inner workings of Fox News, the network has fired paid contributor and market analyst Tobin Smith for receiving compensation to hawk the stock of Petrosonic Energy.
According to a report from Media Matters, Smith also received compensation to promote numerous other companies though his website and conservative newsletters, using his Fox credentials to promote the volatile stocks to conservatives.
MarketWatch reported that Smith issued “sponsored investment research” to promote Petrosonic’s stock in a 20-page mailer, for which his company NBT Equities Research received $50,000. The paid endorsements are in violation of Fox’s policy that says “no contributor to [Fox Business Network], 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.”
Posting on his website today, Smith acknowledged that he is “no longer a Fox contributor,” but defended his “business of sponsored research for uncovered emerging growth companies.”
“For the record, my last contributor agreement with Fox News did NOT include any exclusion from me or my company sponsored research,” Smith wrote. “But that is water under the bridge.”
Other stocks that Smith hawked in conservative newsletters gave a misleading edge to stocks from volatile companies with low share prices. At least two of the stocks Smith promoted are now virtually worthless.