OLD Media Moves

Friedman: CNBC playing a dangerous game

March 29, 2006

MarketWatch media columnist Jon Friedman laments what is happening on CNBC, particularly the stock portfolio contest that is being launched. Friedman argues that the stock contest takes away from the business cable network’s serious approach to covering news.

Friedman writes, “But I contend that CNBC is playing a dangerous game by messing with its image as a serious news channel.

Jon Friedman“CNBC has distinguished itself from the likes of Bloomberg TV and the defunct CNNfn over the years because it’s far more ambitious than its competitors, based on its distinctive daytime programs and thought-provoking documentaries.

“Maybe it boils down to a question of style and tone.

“CNBC’s business-news coverage is generally solid and sober (except, as I’ve noted in past columns, for its proclivity for annoying happy talk on Squawk Box and other programs).

“CNBC officials may feel inclined to pooh-pooh my arguments by insisting that their promotions have nothing to do with the network’s editorial integrity.

“Not so fast. That Squawk ad went on to say (in convenient small type): ‘Winners appear live on the program.'”

Read his column here.

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