Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Monday, May 28, 2021

I can’t tell you the last time I turned on CNBC. Actually, I probably can: It would have been during last winter’s Olympics, when parent NBC shunted Games coverage to all their cable outlets, including CNBC.

That should tell you how tuned-in I am to televised business news.

But Adam Ostrow has the channel doing background-noise duty in his crib, and he detects a right-hand turn in overall coverage and tone, prompted by the spectre of competition from Rupert Murdoch:

Ironically, I agree with most of CNBC’s current editorial positions. Maybe that’s why it’s so obvious to me what they are doing. My point is that as a journalistic organization, they shouldn’t be taking such one-sided positions. Additionally, editorializing isn’t going to convince me to not switch to FOX Business Channel. Rather, I’d like to see more original reporting – like David Faber and Ron Insana used to provide. Ultimately, good programming is what makes me stick with a TV network or show, not commentators that artificially pander to my political views.

As if that reaction isn’t evidence enough of NBC being played like a fiddle by News Corp., even before FBC goes live:

Despite the precedent with CNN, it seems that CNBC is already being drawn into an arena of argument where it’s not in control, and thus is already on the defensive. More broadly, this seems like a typical response from the General Electric/NBC hierarchy these days: Herky-jerky and reactive, almost consigned to play catchup.

I’m no more likely to watch Fox Business Channel than I currently do CNBC. Frankly, the media meta-manipulation alone is enough to fascinate me.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 05/28/2007 01:48:02 PM
Category: TV, Politics, Business
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  1. CNBC is my background noise every weekday, and has been for at least five years. They’ve ALWAYS been conservative. I didn’t even KNOW there was a Fox Business Channel, but CNBC has been “right on” just about everything as long as I’ve been watching it.

    Comment by tim — 05/28/2007 @ 02:22:26 PM

  2. Part of the strategy outlined by Fox, in anticipation of the launch of FBC, is to put across the perception that CNBC isn’t as conservative as it seems to be. That approach was scoffed at by media watchers, for the reasons you cite. But perception can be manipulated, and forcing CNBC to double down on the pro-business slant would be playing right into that strategy. Fox is following the template it laid down versus CNN when it launched Fox News Channel, and it’s hard to argue with that preceding success.

    Comment by CT — 05/28/2007 @ 11:45:16 PM

  3. “Part of the strategy outlined by Fox, in anticipation of the launch of FBC, is to put across the perception that CNBC isn’t as conservative as it seems to be.”

    That may be so, but I haven’t noticed any hard move to the right lately.

    Any time CNBC covers anything political, they bring in someone from a conservative think tank and a liberal one. Last week they reported on CEO compensation, and brought in some guy from the Ayn Rand Institute to debate some guy from the Center for American Progress.

    But in the eyes of the majority of CNBC viewers (and potential viewers of FBC), these debates shouldn’t even be staged. The answer is less government 99% of the time. Paying lip service to an ideology grounded in socialism is absurd.
    Before criticizing the messengers (CNBC), you might want to take a look at the message - therein lies your disagreement.

    Comment by RM — 05/31/2007 @ 10:28:04 PM

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