Citigroup and CNBC's long co-branding relationship
Former Wall Street whistleblower Pam Martens has an interesting look at the Maria Bartiromo/Citigroup scandal that actually focuses on her employer’s long-standing relationship with the bank.
On the Counterpunch web site, Martens provides a number of examples where CNBC and the bank have co-sponsored events.
Martens wrote, “While this international co-branding effort was overt, something more covert was happening here at home. Here’s a quick check of the CNBC news content for the period December 29, 2006 to January 5, 2007. The following Citigroup personnel appeared on the news network to advance Citigroup’s position on everything from stocks to global warming: Tobias Levkovich (Citigroup’s top 10 stock picks); Kimberly Greenberger (Citigroup’s analyst for retail store data); Lan Xue (Citigroup is bullish on Chinese stocks); Steven Saywell (Citigroup doesn’t think you should sell the U.S. dollar); Hans Goetti (loss of investor confidence roils Thailand); Charles Boorady (how Citigroup thinks healthcare reform will affect HMO stocks). Week after week, the proliferation of Citigroup guests would suggest that Citigroup is not just one of CNBC’s largest advertisers but a content provider as well.
“The co-branding effort is so engrained between CNBC and Citigroup that the Wall Street Journal reported that Charles McLean was the spokesperson for both CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo and Todd Thomson, the Citigroup exec ostensibly ousted for getting too cozy with a reporter. What the Journal did not reveal is that Mr. McLean works for The Dilenschneider Group, the public relations firm that specializes in crisis management.
“Mainstream media has been buzzing about CNBC’s failure to report on what has become a major news story. Other reporters have questioned why CNBC has so fiercely defended Maria Bartiromo’s conduct with Citigroup. The answer is that neither CNBC nor Citigroup want the first class cabin’s curtain pulled back on their co-branding scheme, the reason Ms. Bartiromo was on the Citigroup corporate jet.”
Read more here.