CNBC used to dominate business news. It was a must see network whose market coverage was untouchable and featured the best analysts/reporters in the business with Maria Bartiromo Charlie Gasparino, and Erin Burnett to name a few.
So what happened? There’s been a mass exodus of talent, ratings are tanking – and they’ve moved away from business programming for the hot young thing – Shark Tank re-runs and reality programming.
For us former CNBC fans, it’s blindingly apparent that the Consumer News and Business Channel is experiencing a midlife identity crisis. So much so that Howard Lindzon has called for the firing of CNBC head Mark Hoffman. As Lindzon notes, it is under Hoffman’s leadership, along with his deputy Nik Deogun we should add, that CNBC has essentially given up on business news.
Taking a look at their product this week, we kind of agree with him. First, Joe Kernen decided to become the Ron Burgundy of cable – completely embarrassing himself and the network on air by revealing he had no idea Ireland was independent from the UK (despite his recent trip to the British Isles).
And then there was CNBC’s absence from the historic midterm election coverage, which was essentially a referendum on the economy – opting instead for reruns of Shark Tank and The Profit. Really CNBC – puppy paint, baby underwear and dog food ice cream pitches were a better option than actual market-impacting news to cover? I guess they were totally fine with Fox Business and Bloomberg taking center stage in last night’s reporting for the business community.
Mix that in Cramer’s dangerous calls and you have yourself a major identity crisis – along with a credibility problem. With management like this, it’s no wonder revenue along with the ratings are down at the network.