Q&A: What’s behind the TD Ameritrade Network
Business journalist Oliver Renick left Bloomberg News at the end of last month to become an anchor on the TD Ameritrade Network, which launched this week and is currently airing four hours of content.
TD Ameritrade Network is available for free and will expand to six hours next month.
Currently, programming begins at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 12:30 p.m. Renick hosts a two-hour show beginning at 9 a.m. called “Morning Trade Live.”
Renick had been at Bloomberg since June 2014, co-anchoring on Bloomberg Television and writing for Bloomberg News about the stock market.
Renick spoke Wednesday by telephone with Talking Biz News about the job changes and the strategy behind TD Ameritrade Network. What follows is an edited transcript.
Why did you decide to leave Bloomberg?
I describe it as more as why I decided to get on board with TD. They have a really good vision here and are uniquely positioned to thread a needle in financial news that isn’t there. As journalists we’ve written a lot about cord cutting and how people consume news, and I’m excited about it. I’m a 28-year-old who consumes all of my news online. Conceptually, to have a platform that you can put in front of people opens a lot of opportunities. That was really exciting to me, to take a chance. It’s not easy to say adios to a big company.
What was appealing about joining a startup organization?
It’s opportunity to grow. In markets, people will pay for growth and look for companies that are changing things and disrupting things. It’s kind of fun to be part of that. My main priority is to bring news and information to people. But it’s also a chance to be part of something new and have input on how to cover things and talk about the opportunities. I like the idea of working at a startup. I have a lot of friends who work in startups who have broken off from the corporate ladder. And that’s not often the case in media, which has been static for a long time.
Did you have any hesitation that TD Ameritrade might try to influence the content?
From Day One, it’s been pretty clear that there is a wall between the two businesses. It’s no different than Bloomberg, which is at the heart of the financial market. That model already exists. From talking to the people here, that was No. 1 on their mind when they were establishing this and made that clear. It was an easy call.
What’s the overall strategy behind the network?
I think that when you think about financial news, there is a lot of good stuff out there. But it’s hard to really narrow down a clear message because financial markets are confusing. They have micro and macro. Some are good at covering big picture things, and some are good at covering the minutiae.
Here we have the opportunity to bring both together. It really is a unique place to say, “Here is what happened from a macro level — here is where capital is going.” But what does it mean for someone in the market? A lot of times people don’t realize how those big events affect them and how those macro events drive prices. The thing I have learned about markets is it’s extremely interconnected.
For your two hours, what are you trying to accomplish for your viewers?
When you turn on TD Ameritrade Network, you first have these two guys, old school traders, and the headlines and what they’re looking at. They set up the big topics that will be discussed on “Morning Trade Live,” and we’re going to dig in about the questions that need to be asked.
Another thing is getting involved about stocks. Today we talked about Apple suppliers. We talked about Corning Glass and semiconductors. We have that kind of leeway here because it’s an audience that ranges from the sophisticated long-range investor to the day trader. That’s where it is really unique to connect the big points and what it means for an investment thesis. We can talk about Apple for 10 minutes and then talk about the companies that are going to move with Apple.
After my show, then there’s a show hosted by Victor Jones and Kevin Hincks on how to trade. Not what to trade, but how.
Will you have guests such as company CEOs on during your show?
That is the goal. What better way to mine into that specific, actionable stuff behind what’s going on at the companies. I definitely hope to. I think it’s underserved, talking to the men and women who run these small to midcap companies. If you think about Apple, you have 30 analysts and every journalist covering it. But that’s not going to differentiate you. But if you can look at some of these smaller companies, you can make smarter decisions. There is risk, but there is also opportunity.
How is TD Ameritrade Network different from other business news on video?
It’s about being able to get more detailed and deliver something directly to people. This is going to be something where you can find what you want to hear about and learn about. We can spend more time on things that are going to matter and opportunities for specific stocks beyond just the headlines.
What’s been some of the hurdles to getting it up and running?
Literally getting up and running in the morning show. I’m not jealous of anybody on “Daybreak.” Most of the shows I’ve done have been on the afternoon.
There’s always going to be growing pains. But that is why I am here. You can’t come to a startup and complain about stuff. Everyone here is doing 20 different jobs. That is what I am excited about.
Tell me about the function where I can curate and archive segments of the network.
That’s going to be coming up in the next few weeks. That’s going to be our on-demand feature.
Any bumps the first week?
I wasn’t sure what to expect. But I came in here and thought, yeah, this is a market that needs to be served. It’s fun, and I’m learning about different things in the market, and guys here are learning about different types of news. It is pretty fun.