Bloomberg Television’s newest star is a billionaire
Ben Wofford of The Washingtonian examines David Rubenstein’s show on Bloomberg Television.
Wofford writes, “At 68, David Rubenstein is now host of his own show on Bloomberg Television. The half-hour program — The David Rubenstein Show: Peer-to-Peer Conversations — plops him beside fellow CEOs of the billionaire class, with the occasional sports star and military general thrown in: Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett, Oprah, Coach K, David Petraeus.
“The show, at first, raised eyebrows. Given his reputation — Rubenstein is known for an unprepossessing manner and an almost enforced personal awkwardness — the prospect of loosing him onscreen seemed about as plausible as asking Clarence Thomas to host Fear Factor. Indeed, Rubenstein’s not-made-for-TV persona turns up in every episode as he engages his subjects with a sorrowful deportment that appears vaguely related to sitting shiva. He scowls. He slouches. (He’s been advised, he says joshingly, to ‘sit up more straight.’) With a jaw that unlatches errantly and a gaze that wanders, he has the aspect of a man continually in deep recall for a geometry exam. But this is a setup, of sorts, for the show’s atonement: his oddball humor, which earns audience laughs during every shoot.
“One might presume that awarding a prime-time slot (Wednesdays at 9 pm) to the most famous billionaire in Washington elevates the town’s gratuitousness to new heights. This summation would be correct if not for one thing: The show is doing well. Now in its third season, it’s one of Bloomberg’s fastest-growing programs. Viewership is up by 67 percent. A new agreement grants PBS affiliates nationwide the option to syndicate, meaning Rubenstein’s face could beam into every cord-cutter’s living room soon enough.”
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