Archive for the CNBC Category

The case for why CNBC was the best viable option for Shepard Smith

Posted in CNBC on July 8, 2020 by icn2

Today’s news that Shepard Smith is joining CNBC appears on its face to be a head scratching move of the highest order. Short of joining the constantly self-remaking-itself/can’t-stick-to-a-plan-for-long HLN, there wouldn’t seem to be a worse possible career move Smith could make for an anchor of his stature.

The network doesn’t bother with news on weekends or at night. Smith’s 7pm show will the latest CNBC has flirted with a newscast since The News with Brian Williams occupied the 9pm slot (moved eventually to 8pm) nearly two decades ago. And that was back when CNBC had an actual live evening lineup with The News, Rivera Live, and Hardball.

And then there’s the rumors that newly minted NBC Newsgroup Chairman Cesar Conde wants to put in a conservative leaning prime time slate of shows which raises the obvious question about how Smith’s liberally leaning newscast is going to work as a lead-in to a block of conservative programming.

It would seem Smith to CNBC really doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Now, having said all that, here are the arguments for why CNBC was Smith’s best option. Things become rather self-evident when we look at the networks Smith had to choose from:
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CNBC is in Trouble…

Posted in CNBC, FBN on January 30, 2017 by icn2

The Wrap’s Brian Flood has a story which is baaaaad news for CNBC…

Fox Business is finally in a position to surpass CNBC as the go-to network for breaking business news.

The network soared above its arch rival in total viewers every hour of the day from 9 a.m. through 8 p.m. when the Dow Jones reached a record high of 20,000 points last Wednesday.

Fox Business averaged 253,000 business day viewers when CNBC averaged only 178,000. Among the key news demo of adults age 25-54, FBN also averaged 41,000, versus 26,000 for CNBC.


Fox Business is on pace to close January with the fourth consecutive monthly win in business day in total viewers. Business day is essentially primetime for CNBC and Fox Business, as both networks focus the stock market and financial programming.

CNBC is expected to pick up a monthly win among the key demo, but Fox Business’ four straight total-viewer victories has never happened in the nine-year history of the network.

Though Flood’s opening sentence is dubious at best – ratings success is a separate issue from the one of who is outscooping whom – there’s enough bad news here that Comcast is going to have to take a keener interest in the goings on at Englewood Cliffs.

NBC Universal pulled CNBC out of Nielsen ratings over out of home sampling issues so they can stall for a bit on responding publicly to the fact that FBN may now be a serious threat to the network’s perceived dominance (though I remain somewhat skeptical when FBN does head scratching things like not offering west coast repeats for new episodes of its most successful taped show Strange Inheritance).

Ultimately, however, the fact that FBN is now pulling in big enough numbers to put CNBC into second place in P2+ means the network has a very large PR stick it can swing around and score real blows against its New Jersey based competitor. Out of Nielsen or not, that is something that the folks who run CNBC can’t ignore for long because nobody else is ignoring it. CNBC is in trouble and if things keep going like this much longer, heads are going to start rolling.

CNBC Really Screws Up…

Posted in CNBC on April 1, 2016 by icn2

I don’t know what’s worse; that CNBC set up a stupid password testing page, which not only stored the password but sent it to 3rd parties to boot…OR…that CNBC has tried to pretend like the whole thing never happened. Engadget’s Violet Blue has more

But rather than respond directly to researchers or critics, CNBC deleted the entire page without a peep. The article was removed and the page left as “not found,” all without leaving a note in its place explaining what happened to the content. The CNBC Twitter account removed its original tweet about the article in an attempt to pretend like nothing happened. On top of it all, the article’s author made his Twitter account private.

According to ad-industry platform Thalamus, gets around 6.6M unique visitors a month and 204M monthly page views. While it’s unknown how many people were affected by this incident, it’s safe to say that some people seriously need to be told by CNBC to change their passwords, ASAP.

It goes without saying that this “password tester” should never have been made — and no one should have been told to use it.

NBC vs Dish Network…

Posted in CNBC, MSNBC on March 15, 2016 by icn2

Welll…it’s been a while since we had someone threatening to black out someone. This time its NBC and Dish Network. The LA Times’ Yvonne Villareal has more

Dish Network subscribers who want to tune in to NBC’s “The Carmichael Show” or the breakout hit “Little Big Shots” might be out of luck this weekend.

A blackout of NBC-owned TV stations and some of NBC Universal’s cable channels is on the horizon for millions of Dish subscribers Sunday if the two companies fail to ink a new carriage contract.

NBC on Monday launched a broad-based messaging campaign to inform the public that Dish could drop its portfolio of networks. The campaign features a website where Dish subscribers can learn more about the dispute, as well as TV commercials, social media alerts, radio spots and text crawls at the bottom of the TV screen that will run during network programming.

Affected channels would include MSNBC and CNBC. I saw an ad on MSNBC this morning telling viewers to call in to Dish and complain. Like that ever works…

NBCUniversal vs. Nielsen: Round 3

Posted in CNBC, MSNBC on January 13, 2016 by icn2

And the heat gets turned up a little more. The Wrap’s Tony Maglio writes about more shots fired Nielsen’s way from the NBCUniversal camp…

You better step your game up, Nielsen — because other TV ratings options are gunning for your gig.

NBC Research President Alan Wurtzel endorsed three alternatives to Nielsen on Wednesday, as the industry’s leading audience-measurement company has been considered antiquated and slow to adapt for quite a while — but has remained the top dog thanks to no real competition.
Wurtzel told critics and reporters in attendance to pay attention to the following options: Symphony Advanced Media, TiVo/Reality Mine and Rentrak/ComScore.

Wurtzel praised the first two Nielsen alternatives for providing true cross-platform measurement and requiring no third party intermediary. Symphony, which uses audio recognition via a consumer’s cell phone microphone, specifically is “generating industry interest,” he said.

NBCUniversal vs. Nielsen: Round 2…

Posted in CNBC, MSNBC, Ratings Related on January 7, 2016 by icn2

Variety’s Andrew Wallenstein writes about comments NBCUniversal Chairman of Advertising Sales and Client Partnerships, Linda Yaccarino, made about Nielsen…

She issued a call to action for the entire industry to make their frustrations known. “It’s unfair to marketers, it’s unfair to content creators, and it’s up to all of us in this industry to take a stand,” said Yaccarino. “If Nielsen isn’t up to the job, we need to walk away and reach beyond a C3 rating.”

Yaccarino cited NBCU’s move last October to take CNBC Business Day off of Nielsen as an example of the industry not having to fear negative repercussions.

“Nothing bad happened,” Yaccarino noted. “The sky didn’t fall. The network didn’t go off the air. In fact, marketers love that they’ve finally got an accurate picture of their audience. And there’s no reason we can’t do that across our entire industry.”

If Nielsen’s move toward introducing a Total Audience Measurement solution that adequately tracked viewing across platforms was supposed to satisfy NBCU, Yaccarino didn’t seem too impressed. She cited Nielsen’s expansion from 25,000 to 40,000 homes to measure wasn’t enough considering offices and bars still aren’t being monitored.

“Yes, Nielsen just debuted their Total Audience metric, but progress is slow, and we have some serious questions about their methodology,” said Yaccarino. “There’s nothing ‘total’ about that metric if you ask me.”

Mandy Drury Leaving Power Lunch…

Posted in CNBC on January 6, 2016 by icn2

TVNewser’s Chris Ariens writes that Mandy Drury is leaving Power Lunch and heading back to Australia…

After almost 6 years in the U.S., CNBC’s Mandy Drury is returning to her native Australia to be closer to family. She will continue as a CNBC contributor from Sydney.

Drury had stints with CNBC in Sydney and Singapore before moving to Englewood Cliffs in 2010. Currently, Drury is co-host of Power Lunch

Hmmmm…is this where Susan Li will slot in? Is Li going to take over for Drury on Power Lunch?

Worldwide Exchange Comes to the USA

Posted in CNBC on January 6, 2016 by icn2

I missed this news but it has ramifications here. News on News writes that CNBC International’s (yes that’s a new name but this suggests it could happen) Worldwide Exchange has come to Englewood Cliffs…

Current host Wilfred Frost is heading stateside to remain at the helm, and will be joined by Sara Eisen in Englewood Cliffs.

The move will mean that the programme will no longer fall under the remit of CNBC’s London headquarters to produce, and further cuts back the number of live television hours produced by CNBC EMEA in London.

In addition to Frost, Susan Li is also headed to the USA though it’s not clear where she’ll land at CNBC. She was part of Worldwide Exchange before the move and it’s not clear to me whether that’s still the case or she’s headed to another show.

I’ll be @CNBC NYC starting in mid-January

The Day After…

Posted in CNBC on October 30, 2015 by icn2

CNN’s Brian Stelter writes about CNBC the day after the debate from hell…

There was simultaneous crowing and cringing on Thursday. Employees who spoke on condition of anonymity for this story wished for a “do-over” and pointed fingers of blame for the chaotic production. Some pointed all the way up to CNBC president Mark Hoffman, who was also aboard Wednesday night’s charter.

“Everyone feels pretty embarrassed,” one veteran staffer said.

But some of the same employees also said they were proud that the moderators had pointedly challenged the GOP candidates and potentially changed the course of the presidential race.

They wondered aloud: Will people remember the gripes about Quintanilla, Quick and John Harwood? Will they remember the audience’s boos and the analysts’ comments that CNBC “lost control” of the debate?

They second-guessed the opening question of the debate, when Quintanilla asked each candidate, “What is your biggest weakness and what are you doing to address it?” Did it start the debate off on the wrong track?


As the day went on, there was less and less talk about the debate on CNBC. According to one of the employees, producers were given internal guidance to move on.

At CNBC’s sister news outlets MSNBC and NBC News, producers were advised not to “pile on” the moderator controversy, according to people there.

CNBC’s Debate Coverage Plans…

Posted in CNBC on October 22, 2015 by icn2

CNBC announced its coverage plans for its GOP Presidential debate…


Debate Moderated by CNBC’s Carl Quintanilla, Becky Quick and John Harwood and Broadcast from the Coors Events Center at the University of Colorado Boulder

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J., October 22, 2015— CNBC, First in Business Worldwide, today announced coverage plans for “The Republican Presidential Debate: Your Money, Your Vote” on Wednesday, October 28. Moderated by CNBC’s Carl Quintanilla, co-anchor of “Squawk on the Street” and “Squawk Alley,” Becky Quick, co-anchor of “Squawk Box” and Chief Washington Correspondent John Harwood, the RNC sanctioned debate will be held at the Coors Events Center at the University of Colorado Boulder and broadcast live on CNBC.

As previously announced, the event will be divided into two parts with two groups of candidates debating the key issues that matter to all voters—job growth, taxes, technology, retirement and the health of our national economy. One grouping will include candidates with an average of three percent in a specified group of national polls. Those 10 candidates will take the stage shortly after 8PM ET for a two-hour debate. The other grouping will include candidates who meet the minimum threshold of one percent in any one of the specified group of national polls. Those four candidates will take the stage at 6PM ET. The full criteria may be found here. During the debate, moderators Carl Quintanilla, Becky Quick and John Harwood will be joined by a panel of CNBC experts including On-Air Editor Rick Santelli, Senior Personal Finance Correspondent Sharon Epperson and Jim Cramer, host of “Mad Money w/Jim Cramer,” who will also question the candidates on major policy issues.
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CNBC, Nielsen, And The Future…

Posted in CNBC, MSNBC, Ratings Related on October 7, 2015 by icn2

This flew under my radar screen. This video snippet is Linda Yaccarino, NBCUniversal’s Chairman of Advertising Sales and Client Partnerships, being interviewed by Randall Rothberg from the Interactive Advertising Bureau about TV measurement when the subject of CNBC exiting Nielsen comes up.

Some pretty jaw dropping bits in there…like Nielsen using only 9 homes for CNBC’s C3 measurement sample.

Also of note is the veiled hint that MSNBC (and NBCU sports channels) could follow CNBC off Nielsen.

Dobb’s Beats CNBC…And These Numbers Matter…

Posted in CNBC, FBN on September 29, 2015 by icn2

Talking Biz News writes that Lou Dobbs’ FBN show beat its CNBC counterpart in Total Viewers for the first time in September…

The program had previously topped CNBC in the advertising demo of persons aged 25-54, but this is the first monthly win for both the network and the program in total viewers.

Hosted by Lou Dobbs, the program averaged 115,000 total viewers for the 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. time slot compared to CNBC’s 113,000 viewers for September.

I’ve dinged FBN in the past for touting once in a blue moon outliers when long term trend data is what matters. Well now we have some long term trend data and it’s definitely noteworthy.

Spin Cycle…

Posted in CNBC, FBN on September 15, 2015 by icn2

Talking Biz News writes about Lou Dobbs ratings last night…

“Lou Dobbs Tonight,” which airs on Fox Business Network, beat all other business news television shows in terms of viewers on Monday, becoming the first time a Fox Business show has accomplished that feat. (via J$)

Dobbs hosted as special two-hour edition of his show, with the 8 p.m. hour bringing in 291,000 total viewers, beating out “Shark Tank” for the first time ever, according to Nielsen data. “Shark Tank” had 233,000 viewers.

A few points…

1) What happened at 8pm last night? A Donald Trump speech. Without that Talking Biz News has nothing to write about.
2) What happened to FBN’s numbers at 9 when Trump was gone? We don’t know because that data point wasn’t revealed.
3) CNBC ran tape instead of Trump? Seriously?

Survey Says….

Posted in CNBC on September 10, 2015 by icn2

ICN has been informed of a new NBC News: VIPs survey. These things usually are not very informative because they frequently center around advertiser recognition and standing. However, every once in a while a survey comes out that’s genuine gold dust. Such is the case here.


This survey is all about CNBC’s On The Money program. The show airs on CNBC and is also syndicated across the country. NBC appears to be doing a full assessment of the show. It wants to know everything from the viewer’s opinion of the content to whether the viewer knows that the show recently changed timeslots.

But it doesn’t stop there. The survey is also very curious to know what the viewer thinks of host Becky Quick…


And it’s not being very subtle about it…


Ouch. This is the first survey I’ve heard of where it asks if the viewer can recognize the host…

Patricia Fili-Krushel Out At NBC Universal…

Posted in CNBC, MSNBC on September 9, 2015 by icn2

New York Magazine’s Gabriel Sherman writes that Pat Fili-Krushel is leaving NBC Universal.

As Brian Williams returns from embellishment exile and David Gregory speaks out, another central character in the NBC News drama is exiting the stage: former NBC News Chairwoman Patricia Fili-Krushel. According to sources, Fili-Krushel is finalizing a deal with NBC Universal CEO Steve Burke to leave the media company. “We couldn’t come up with a position that made sense for what I’m interested in doing, so we said maybe it’s time we part ways,” Fili-Krushel told me when I reached her this afternoon.

Rethinking FBN Getting Burned By CNBC Over The Murdoch News…

Posted in CNBC, FBN, FNC on June 13, 2015 by icn2

It’s been a couple of days since the Rupert Murdoch news knocked the media world sideways. The one storyline that continued to get legs was how the hell did CNBC beat out the entire Murdoch media empire with the scoop? It sure as hell made FBN, The Post, and The Journal look woefully out of it. At first I naturally assumed it was just good old fashioned legwork. Now I’m wondering if it was really the old boy network…

Exhibit A: The news that came out very quickly after Faber’s scoop that Roger Ailes would be reporting directly to Rupert Murdoch, bypassing his sons. Everyone focused in on the fact that Ailes wouldn’t have to be reporting to Rupe’s sons that it showed how much the senior Murdoch valued Ailes.

What nobody seems to have realized is that Ailes had to have known about the change in structure. There is no way Rupert Murdoch is going to make a change like this and then wait until after the news comes out to tell Ailes he’ll still be reporting to him. FNC and FBN are lynchpins in the Murdoch media empire and Murdoch is not going to do anything to churn those waters. Ailes had to have known.

Exhibit B: Because Ailes had to have known, he could have ensured that the news came out on FBN. He didn’t. The question is obviously why? And the answer is just as obvious…because he was essentially under a gag order that had yet to be lifted by Rupert.

Exhibit C: The original Faber story made no mention of Ailes reporting to Rupert. Therefore we could assume that this wasn’t a leak to Faber from inside Ailes’ sphere of influence. If it were the one piece of information we might consider betting the bank on coming out was that Ailes would be reporting directly to Rupert. Of course, because this industry is more conniving than you could possibly imagine, we can’t completely dismiss the possibility that the leak came from inside Ailes’ sphere of influence but left out the Ailes reporting structure precisely to throw the scent off and make it look like it came from elsewhere. But that possibility does stretch the boundaries of plausibility. The odds are stacked heavily that Ailes’ sphere of influence had nothing to do with Faber’s story. Which leads us to…

Exhibit D: Like father (NOT) like sons. It is well known that while Rupert holds a special place in his heart for Roger Ailes, his sons don’t exactly follow in father’s footsteps.

Add up A, B, C, and D and a new picture emerges regarding CNBC’s scoop. What better way to screw Ailes than to leak the story to Faber?

Maybe it wasn’t either James or Lachlan who leaked to Faber. But whoever it was knew what they were doing and how the optics would play out. They were giving CNBC a prize and Roger Ailes the middle finger.

Rupert Murdoch to Step Down as CEO of 21st Century Fox

Posted in CNBC, FBN on June 11, 2015 by icn2

In an out of the blue bombshell this morning, CNBC’s David Faber scooped the world…including, inexplicably, FBN and the Wall St. Journal…both Murdoch properties…by reporting that Rupert Murdoch will finally be giving up the CEO reigns of 21st Century Fox…

Rupert Murdoch, the 84-year-old chief executive officer and controlling shareholder of 21st Century Fox, is preparing to step down as CEO of the media giant and hand that title to his son James, according to numerous sources close to the Murdoch family.

An announcement is expected in the near term, while it’s unclear whether the reorganization would take place this year or at the start of 2016. Rupert Murdoch will continue to be the executive chairman of Fox, while his son Lachlan would also become an executive co-chairman of the company.

As part of the management reordering at Fox, COO Chase Carey will step down and take on a yet undefined role as an advisor at the company. Carey was widely expected to exercise his right to an early release from his contract, allowing him to leave the company at the end of this year. Now, sources tell me, he is likely to remain in some capacity through 2016. He did not return a call for commen.

For all the talk about CNBC’s woes, for all the talk of FBN’s expansion, particularly its star studded hiring spree the past few years, this is the ultimate black eye for the Murdoch business network.

This should have been a gimme for FBN. If Fox execs knew Faber was poking around, they should have leaked it immediately to someone at FBN…Gasparino, Cavuto, Bartiromo…ANYONE. Anything would have been a better outcome than allowing CNBC to break news in FBN’s back yard.

Instead Faber gets the media scoop of the year (provided Roger Ailes doesn’t suddenly decide to retire) and FBN is left bumbling behind picking up CNBC’s scraps.

There’s one word that best sums up this debacle. That word is “OUCH!”

Update: Howard Kurtz is tweeting some interesting news…

Rupert Murdoch will become executive chairman with two sons, James & Lachlan, in top roles. Roger Ailes will still report to Rupert, co says

So FBN and FNC are cut out of James Murdoch’s purview? That’s like being given the keys to a Lamborghini but handing the engine to someone else.

CNBC Shifts EPs

Posted in CNBC on April 17, 2015 by icn2

CNBC Editor in Chief and Senior VP of Business News Nick Deogun announced in an internal memo some EP changes in the wake of Gary Schrier moving to FBN

I’m pleased to announce new roles for two of our excellent executive producers: Lisa Villalobos and Maxwell Meyers.

Lisa, who has been executive producer of “Fast Money” for the past 17 months, will become EP of “Closing Bell.” Max, who serves as EP of “Options Action,” as well as a number of digital initiatives, will be the new EP of “Fast Money.”

Both Max and Lisa have stellar track records. Prior to joining the “Fast Money” team, Lisa served as senior producer for “Squawk on the Street.” Lisa came to CNBC in 2012 from Fox Business and helped launch two shows there. She also worked as a producer at Court TV and in online ad sales at ABC. She is a graduate of NYU.

Max is no stranger to “Fast Money” as he helped launch the program in 2006. He has since held a number of positions at CNBC, including senior producer for “The Strategy Session,” “Fast Money” and “Money in Motion.” Prior to joining CNBC, Max worked at CNNfn. He started his career at Bear Stearns and has written for Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, The Bond Buyer and He is a graduate of Skidmore College.

As some of you know, these moves are triggered by the departure of Gary Schreier, who is returning to Fox Business after a three-year stint at CNBC. I want to thank Gary for his work on “Closing Bell,” which he has so ably guided in his time here.

Please join me in congratulating Lisa and Max on their new assignments.


Press Releases: 03/20/13

Posted in CNBC, MSNBC on March 20, 2015 by icn2



NEW YORK & MIAMI, March 20, 2015—CNBC, MSNBC, NBC News and Telemundo today announced their plans for eMerge Americas, a groundbreaking technology conference taking place in Miami on May 1-5, 2015. As part of the multi-year media partnership between eMerge Americas and the NBCUniversal News Group, viewers and users across all of the networks will gain exclusive access to unique programming from the event.

Full coverage plans to date include:

CNBC’s “Fast Money” (M-F, 5PM ET), anchored by Melissa Lee, will broadcast live from the event. In addition, CNBC’s Chief International Correspondent Michelle Caruso-Cabrera will report live from eMerge Americas for CNBC’s Business Day programming.
MSNBC’s “The Rundown with José Díaz-Balart” (Weekdays, 9AM) will broadcast live Monday, May 4th and MSNBC reporters will cover eMerge Americas live for
Based in Miami, Telemundo plans to send multiple programs to cover eMerge Americas:
Telemundo’s “Enfoque con José Díaz-Balart” (Sunday, 12PM) will air a segment about eMerge on Sunday, May 3rd.
Telemundo’s Diego Schoening will report live Monday, May 4th and Tuesday, May 5th for “Un Nuevo Día” (M-F, 7AM-10AM).
Telemundo’s “Al Rojo Vivo” (M-F, 4PM), hosted by María Celeste Arrarás, will feature stories about fashion and technology.
The websites of these NBCUniversal networks will be the exclusive destination for live streaming portions of eMerge Americas
In addition, NBC News’ Chuck Todd, moderator of “Meet the Press,” MSNBC and Telemundo’s José Díaz-Balart and CNBC’s Melissa Lee will moderate panels at the event.

eMerge Americas 2015 is expected to attract more than 10,000 attendees, hundreds of top companies and the world’s leading disruptors and thought leaders. Key elements on this year’s agenda include:

eGov: Government Innovation Summit – Prominent mayors and government officials from around the globe gather to address the challenges faced by accelerated urbanization and how to transform their urban communities into Smart Cities through the power of innovative technology.
Startup Showcase – Entrepreneurs from over 100 start-up incubators/accelerators from Latin America and Europe compete for funding from well-known investors.
Country Pavilions – Participating nations from the Americas, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia showcase their local innovations and connect with strategic partners, generate new international leads and become a part of the ever-expanding technological transformation in the Americas.
Women, Innovation & Technology (WIT) – A one-day summit showcasing top female professionals from different industries discussing how they are transforming the business landscape through technology and innovation.


Posted in CNBC on March 12, 2015 by icn2

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.

Your Obligatory Andrew Lack Tea Leaf Reading Blog Post (Because All Media Sites Have to Have One…It’s A Rule)

Posted in CNBC, MSNBC on March 6, 2015 by icn2

Now that Andrew Lack has been officially named as the replacement for Pat Fili Krushel, we may finally start speculating about what this all could mean. But in order to speculate what it could mean we need to look at what the parameters are…

– Lack has oversight over NBC News and MSNBC but not CNBC. One wonders if Steve Burke polled Mark Hoffman and found that Hoffman would walk if Lack was installed over him. Hoffman is kind of like the cockroach in a nuclear war; everything around it gets destroyed but it lives on. Or, maybe Lack didn’t want oversight of CNBC. Some might view this aspect as a vote of confidence by Burke in CNBC’s current direction which would be an odd way of looking at it considering what the ratings have been doing lately.

– How far back will Steve Burke step now? This is an unknown, but, I can’t see someone like Lack, who originally exited NBC partly over a corporate turf war, coming back only to have to run to Burke about every thing he plans to do. Lack was brought in to right the ship and Burke is probably going to give him the latitude to do it whatever way he sees fit…up until the point that the final decisions has to be made on Brian Williams future anyways.

– Deborah Turness reports to Lack. For the moment. Expect that moment to be fleeting…especially if these stories have any truth to them.

– Phil Griffin reports to Lack. Whatever deal Griffin had going with Burke to get time to try and turn things around is probably null and void with Lack’s hiring. According to David Zurawik, Andrew Tyndall seems to rank MSNBC as the biggest problem for Lack which is saying something considering how valuable Today, MTP, and Nightly are. Griffin is an incrementalist, to a fault. MSNBC needs faster, more drastic action. I don’t see a good fit here with Griffin and Lack but…remember that nuclear war/cockroach analogy earlier? Well if Mark Hoffman is my #1 example of that in action, Phil Griffin would be my second choice. Don’t underestimate his ability to weather this out. Odds are he’s toast though.
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Andrew Lack Back to NBC News?

Posted in CNBC, MSNBC on March 3, 2015 by icn2

Variety’s Cynthia Littleton writes that former NBC News President Andrew Lack is in talks to return to the network in some capacity…

Former NBC News president Andrew Lack is in negotiations to return to a top post at the news division in a management shakeup following the debacle that led to the suspension of “Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams and other recent missteps by the news wing.

The discussions are in the early stages, but Lack is expected to return in a top role, if not the top job, overseeing NBCUniversal’s news operations: NBC News, MSNBC and CNBC. Pat Fili-Krushel, who has headed NBCUniversal News Group as chairman since 2012, may move to a different position within NBCUniversal.

We could idly speculate about this but I’m going to hold off until there’s actual news here…like an NBC press release announcing the hire…before I start opining.

CNBC Changes…

Posted in CNBC on January 16, 2015 by icn2

TVNewser’s Chris Ariens writes about some substantial changes in the middle of CNBC’s day including Sue Herrera leaving Power Lunch…

Starting Feb. 9. “Power Lunch” will be anchored by Tyler Mathisen, Mandy Drury and Brian Sullivan and will expand to two hours, from 1-3pmET. Melissa Lee will contribute from the NASDAQ MarketSite’s new studio. The network’s 2pm program “Street Signs,” which Drury and Sullivan co-hosted, goes away.

Numbers Games…

Posted in CNBC, FBN on January 6, 2015 by icn2

The Wall Street Journal’s Joe Flint writes about CNBC deciding to stop using Nielsen…

Financial news network CNBC will no longer rely on TV ratings specialist Nielsen to measure its daytime audience, beginning later this year. Instead, it has retained marketing and research firm Cogent Reports for the task.

For years CNBC and its parent company, Comcast Corp. ’s NBCUniversal, have complained that Nielsen underreports the size and wealth of its audience by failing to track “out of home” viewing in places such as offices and airports.

CNBC’s switch to Cogent is the latest barb for Nielsen, which has faced criticism from media companies that it has been slow to adapt its traditional ratings to changing media consumption habits. While many media companies say they are frustrated with Nielsen, CNBC is the first network to opt out of its ratings.

Aaaaand…cue the predictable reaction…

Explaining why Fox Business Network continues with Nielsen, Paul Rittenberg, executive vice president of advertising for the channel, said, “Only using the numbers you like is a little tough to sell.”

Indeed. CNBC is the canary in the coal mine. If it succeeds, others with similar beefs about Nielsen may follow. And make no mistake. This isn’t CNBC going rogue. This has all the signs of a Comcast blessed official trial balloon…

Survey Sez…

Posted in CNBC on October 27, 2014 by icn2

The pollsters are busy in October and we’re not even talking about the election season here. Another CNBC viewer survey…this one about the network’s new graphics package…

Survey Sez…

Posted in CNBC on October 26, 2014 by icn2

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Normally when I write about NBC surveys it concerns NBC News: VIPs. But there is another survey system out there…for CNBC. I don’t hear about this one nearly as often. Well a new one is out and it is a doozy. They don’t pull punches over there with their surveys. They want to know if you can’t stand their talent. Not sure how I’d feel about this kind of a survey if I was one of the subjects of the survey. And there’s another fishing expedition question regarding CNBC and opinion journalism.

What it all means? Who knows. If we start seeing talent moves on the network, then we know this survey was indicative that network brass are nervous.

Survey Says…

Posted in CNBC on August 14, 2014 by icn2

Usually when I get told about an NBC News VIPs survey, it’s about some sort of advertiser related survey; “Did you know brand X sponsored this?” “Did brand X sponsoring this make you think more favorably about brand X?”…blah..blah..blah…


However, every once in a while you get genuine NBC gold dust in one of these surveys…something I can really sink my teeth into. We apparently have just such an example this week when News VIPs released a survey regarding the CNBC syndicated show On The Money with Becky Quick. Check out these survey screen grabs sent in by an anonymous mole…




This was no superficial advertiser survey but a top to bottom “How are we doing?/What should we be doing?” survey. It should not be that surprising actually. This isn’t the first time this show has been the subject of a “How are we doing?/What should we be doing?” survey…though back then it was called The Wall Street Journal Report with Maria Bartiromo. Bartiromo is no longer fronting that show, nor does it still have the WSJ branding.

As On The Money’s ratings…either from syndication or from CNBC…are not normally publicly revealed, there’s no easy way to tell if the show has dropped in the ratings recently. Though, certainly, the timing of this survey so soon after Bartiromo’s departure from CNBC leaves open the possibility that this survey’s arrival isn’t…how shall I put it?…purely coincidental.

CNBC is Dead?

Posted in CNBC on July 1, 2014 by icn2

Daily Finance’s Brian Lund argues that CNBC is dead for “retail investors”…

There was a time in the late 1990s –- and again briefly during the financial crisis of in the late 2000s –- when CNBC was the 800-pound gorilla of financial news. Professionals in the financial services industry and amateurs who were active traders were tuned in constantly, and even those with just a cursory interest in the markets were regular viewers.

Those viewers — especially the retail investors like you and me — were the lifeblood of the network, driving the ratings of its personality-driven programming. And as much as Comcast’s (CMCSA) CNBC needed us, its well-crafted propaganda tried to convince us that we, too, needed CNBC to get the best, up-to-the-minute financial information.

It’s questionable as to how much the average retail investor ever really needed CNBC in the past, but what is blatantly clear is that we no longer need it today — and we know it.

Here’s Lund’s reasoning…

Whereas CNBC used to be the de facto source for breaking market news, today, platforms like Twitter (TWTR) regularly break news while CNBC is talking to a previously scheduled guest or in a commercial break. And market-specific social communities like StockTwits generate hundreds of thousands of interactions among their members revolving around the financial news of the day.

Not Enough of Anything

CNBC was never really a useful tool for the retail investor, but now it occupies an awkward space where it’s neither fast enough to compete with social media, nor deep enough (nor accountable enough) to compete with long-form digital content, and not accessible enough to compete with online personalities.

Advances in technology have finally revealed the dirty little secret about CNBC — and financial news television in general: Their shows are window dressing for clients in the offices of institutional investors, and obsolete badges of honor for financial pundits.

Ok. Agree or not, I can see the logic in that. However, do not all those reasons apply just as relevantly to FBN and Bloomberg? There’s nothing that either do that CNBC doesn’t do as well, albeit with different personalities. So if CNBC is dead for retail investors, are not FBN and Bloomberg dead to retail investors as well? Lund seems to suggest as much in that last sentence, and yet he keeps his fixation almost exclusively on CNBC.

Pauline Chiou to CNBC Asia…

Posted in CNBC on June 4, 2014 by icn2

Talking Biz News’ Chris Roush writes about CNBC Asia hiring Pauline Chiou…

CNBC announced Wednesday that Pauline Chiou has been hired to work for the business news network and will bee based in Singapore

She will make her on-air debut in mid July.

Chiou will co-host CNBC’s “The Rundown” with Adam Bakhtiar from the Singapore Exchange, a pre-market program that captures the overnight action from Wall Street and equips viewers for the Asia trading day. She will also provide market and news updates throughout core business day programming.

Ratings? What Ratings?

Posted in CNBC, FBN on June 2, 2014 by icn2

AdWeek’s Sam Theilman writes about CNBC not guaranteeing daytime ratings… (via J$)

CNBC, the financial news network, is done with daytime Nielsen ratings.

“They are no longer guaranteeing the business day, which is the most important daypart for a financial client,” a source told Adweek. “They believe that their primary business day viewing is done in offices and therefore not monitored by Nielsen and underrepresented.”

And to some extent, that’s probably the case. The smaller a network’s audience, the less accurate its Nielsen ratings are going to be, and the ratings for CNBC have gotten ever-smaller in the last few years, as have ratings at its competitors. The network will continue to guarantee in prime time.

But, of course, CNBC is also one of the few networks for which daytime ratings aren’t a particularly accurate measure of relevant reach. Monitors throughout the Goldman Sachs building play the network to their wealthy executives. The network’s show Squawk on the Street broadcasts from inside the New York Stock Exchange. If you work in the financial world—a small world, but one with nearly unlimited spending money—CNBC is ubiquitous in gyms, hotels and elsewhere among areas frequented by bankers and traders.

It’s a risky move. Whatever beef, legitimate or not, the network has with Nielsen’s ability to accurately measure its business day ratings, the optics of withdrawing a guarantee on those numbers is going to make more noise than the negativity of the ratings themselves. FBN will make much hay of this development.