Money talks

FOX "Empress of Energy" Melissa Francis focuses on Houston economy in live broadcasts

FOX "Empress of Energy" Melissa Francis focuses on Houston economy in live broadcasts

Melissa Francis, FOX Business News, studio
Melissa Francis will be broadcasting her Fox Business Network program live from Houston Thursday and Friday at 4 p.m. Courtesy Photo

Melissa Francis is one child actress who diverged from a self-destructive path. After an early start playing Cassandra Cooper Ingalls on Little House on the Prairie, Frances pursued a degree in economics from Harvard University, then combined her monetary smarts and on-screen charisma for a career in broadcast journalism. 

From the newsrooms of regional television stations, to the floor of the New York Mercantile Exchange, at CNET and during a nine-year-stint at CNBC, and now with Fox Business Network, which she joined in January, Francis has demonstrated that business is her forte.

 "Houston has always had a special place in my heart," Francis — the "Empress of Energy" — told CultureMap.

 "Houston has always had a special place in my heart," Francis — the "Empress of Energy" — told CultureMap.

She will broadcast her program, aptly named Money with Melissa Francis, live from Rice University and the George R. Brown Convention Center Thursday and Friday, speaking with local business leaders and energy notables about what makes the Bayou City stand out in the national economy. 

Francis described Houston as an up-and-coming metropolitan area, and an example of what other cities want to be. It's vibrant, it's attracting businesses and it's calling to young professionals

"I think Houston sets the example in a lot of different ways," she said, explaining that the business-friendly climate draws entrepreneurs in and the can-do attitude encourages risk taking — especially at a time when other cities are struggling with stagnation and rising unemployment. 

While she's in Houston, Francis hopes to showcase a cross-section of the city's business community. She will interview CEOs, academics, energy experts and politicians to show her viewers why industry thrives here. 

Among her guests are Rich Kinder, CEO of KinderMorgan; Joe B. Foster, chairman of TPH Partners; Mike Yeager, chief executive of BHP Billiton Petroleum; Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison; Rick Slemaker, publisher of Energy Magazine; David Leebron, president of Rice University; Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst; Skip Wagner, Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo president and CEO; Tilman Fertitta, sole owner of Landry's; Tad Brown, CEO of the Houston Rockets; and George Postolos, president and CEO of the Houston Astros.

Tune in to FBN on Thursday and Friday at 4 p.m. CST for a closer look at business in the city.

 

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