Bloomberg TV

Monday, June 20, 2005

Who Needs Another Business News Channel?

I doubt whether I do. The Wall Street Journal (pay site) reports that Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. will soon set up its own business news channel to compete with CNBC. The guy who helped conjure up CNBC in the first place, Roger Ailes, went on to set up Fox News. Now Murdoch has convinced a hesitant Ailes to create a business news channel for Fox.

During the dot-com boom, I occasionally watched CNBC. There was Maria Bartiromo on the NYSE floor holding forth on stock price movements. And for a time, the indices never failed to go up, up, UP! In terms of sheer boosterism during those heady days, CNBC had no equal. Then came the stock market drop, and oddly, CNBC still tried its best to create a sense of excitement among its viewers when the party was clearly over and the caterers were already packing up the silverware. And as the bust moved in, so did a ratings slump that continues to this day; CNBC viewership is less than 40% of what it was in its heyday.

Bloomberg is drier and more straightforward in its approach than CNBC; "businesslike" in the best sense of the word. Although they've tried to enliven their set somewhat (see below), Bloomberg doesn't typically go for roundtable chit-chat and sports commentator-style talk. Casual investors (read: stocks only) are more amenable to CNBC's "Fox Lite" style whereas more serious finance professionals and their ilk who follow more than just stocks prefer Bloomberg. With Ailes at the helm of the upcoming Fox business news channel, expect a more jazzed up CNBC, but not much else.

Posted by Emmanuel |

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