CNBC and SALT

I meant to get to this when I read about it yesterday but other things took up my time. CNBCFix writes about CNBC and the SALT conference…

Business feuds can be entertaining.

The frostiness between Carl Icahn and Bill Ackman accusing each other of trying to be the other’s friend at an Italian restaurant ended in a hug and a T-shirt distribution moment (wonder what’s happened to those) for Scott Wapner on an episode of CNBC’s Fast Money.

But other times there is only unnecessary aggravation, as seems to be the case with the recent revelation by Linette Lopez of Business Insider that after years of being the exclusive television partner, CNBC will not be broadcasting from Anthony Scaramucci’s SALT Conference in May.

This curious rift, which must be unprecedented — a financial-television guest developing his own TV franchise — stems from the purchase by Scaramucci’s SkyBridge Capital of the classic “Wall $treet Week” brand a year ago, a move that evidently came as a surprise to Englewood Cliffs.

TV’s a feisty business.

That something as dormant as “Wall $treet Week with Louis Rukeyser” could disrupt a valuable partnership is a testament to the fierce battle for the limited but elite turf that television has always represented, perhaps now more than ever in the Internet age.

However lofty its own status, CNBC guards it like a pit bull. Numerous news articles have suggested a constant game of hardball with elite guests who tend to be told, “First here or else.”

It would not be unprecedented for an NBC Universal network to blacklist someone on account of a turf war. Years ago TMZ’s Harvey Levin was a regular guest on MSNBC talking about celebrity gossip. Then Levin launched TMZ TV…a direct competitor to NBC Universal’s Access Hollywood. Suddenly Levin stopped appearing on MSNBC’s air. After a month or so of no Levin I got curious and dug around. I eventually got confirmation through unofficial channels that Levin’s disappearance was directly tied to the threat TMZ TV posed…or should I say was viewed to pose.

This spat is a little different from that though. To me this smacks more of sour grapes more than viewing a new Wall Street Week as a direct threat to CNBC.

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