Tuesday, December 12, 2006

ANOTHER "CNBC IS HIP" STORY



I stumbled across this article from Newsweek about the state of things at CNBC. You read that account about all the changes and the makeover over there, and you think things look pretty rosy. They did a big remake of the shows that air during the daytime hours and they added some hip new anchors. That article declares Erin Burnett, "30" (that must be her age), to be the new "money honey".

Try that on for size, Maria Bartiromo (pictured).

Well, certainly the state of affairs over there with CNBC's business programming is a lot better than it is with, say, CNN's business department. And Bloomberg can get boring to watch.

The main reason why CNBC had trouble was because of the tech bubble crash. In fact CNBC is still in the doghouse with a lot of investors over the supposed cheerleading they were accused of doing to hype the tech stocks. (I think a lot of these folks simply weren't listening to what bearish anchors like Ron Insana had to say, though. He was going on TV and calling this tech boom a bubble, and nobody listened to him.) So lots of folks got mad at CNBC and blamed everyone at the network for losing them their money. Yet this channel is still going strong. The reason anyone is still watching CNBC, though, has a lot to do with one program, and one man. Jim Cramer. It's a mad mad mad mad world in the stock market, and he's got a mad show about mad money. So I think a lot of the credit goes to him. Plus, they haven't gone mad at CNBC throwing reporters onto the streets, unlike some other cable networks ( CNN ).

But that article conveniently ignores the mess that is the rest of the CNBC lineup outside of business hours. Has anyone seen their weekend programming? All those infomercials. What junk! But yes, their anchor team is pretty smart. And they are now streaming all their programming on their new relaunched website, www.cnbc.com.

I wonder what is in store in the new year with potential rival Fox Business News. CNBC had better stay on its game. I wouldn't be surprised if Roger Ailes and Neil Cavuto try and stage some talent raids. I'm sure they'll be giving some phone calls to a few of the victims of NBCU 2.0, which I am sure will affect CNBC before it is done. Hey, they are building talent over there right now, they hired ex-CNBC Alexis Glick (referred to on one of these blogs as "eye candy") and I'm finding out that that babe has a lot of fans among the TV viewers on Wall Street. So CNBC had better be on their toes.

I don't know if Fox will try and steal Ron Insana, though. Last I heard he was starting up some "fund of funds" and trying to get rich. Heck, that's what I would do. Ron Insana is getting rich AND he's on the air. Way to go.

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