CNBC's midlife crisis
Scott White of The Huffington Post writes about the changes that have taken place at business news network CNBC.
White writes, “Then something happened. I don’t know exactly what caused it. But CNBC changed. For the worse, and hasn’t looked back. Maybe several somethings happened. Not sure. Maybe it was the shattering of investor confidence in Wall Street, the devastating losses to folks’ 401ks, despite daily insistence by the talking heads that the financials were a screaming buy and the sell-off was overdone, and thus a big ratings downturn.
“Maybe it was the proliferation of infotainment channels on cable tv, where to survive you needed an edge, conflict, confrontation, shouting — not just talking, but shouting — heads, to be noticed in an increasingly crowded media landscape. Maybe, more specifically, it was growing competition from Fox Business News, which epitomized the new, opinionated, strident, ‘my way or the highway’, brass knuckles form of business journalism. But having swallowed the old Fnn 20 years ago and solidified its position as the preeminent voice in TV business programming since then, in its mid-life, about two years ago, CNBC morphed into something I no longer recognize most of the time.
“When did every sneeze or cough by a company or from Washington become ‘Breaking News’? When did it become necessary for the anchors to say, at the beginning of almost every program, ‘we have a lot to talk about’ today. Meaning, if they didn’t say it, there wasn’t much going on that day? When did every interview become an ‘exclusive’ interview (what, before that, they invited Larry King and Barbara Walters to join them)? When did normal programming morph into ‘special editions’ of Power Lunch, simply because they were going to have an ‘exclusive’ interview with a CEO who hadn’t given an interview in, can you imagine, over three weeks?”
Read more here.