OLD Media Moves

Has anything changed on Squawk Box other than the talking heads?

January 3, 2006

Just catching up on what I missed during the holidays, and I ran across this press release from CNBC trumpeting the new Squawk Box show. You can read the release here.

I’ve read the release a couple of times, and I’ve looked at the show, and I still can’t figure out what’s new other than the job change for Charles Gasparino , formerly of Newsweek and formerly of The Wall Street Journal.

Am I missing something, or is this press release just a way to promote the show’s exclusive interviews? In other words, is this just fluff?

I think CNBC missed a great opportunity to promote Gasparino here. He had been a senior writer with Newsweek since May 2004. But before that he spent nine years at the Journal, where covered Wall Street, pension funds, mutual funds and regulatory issues. He consistently broke news on some of the biggest financial scandals of recent times, including the fall of Martha Stewart, Henry Blodget and Jack Grubman. He was also the lead reporter on the first story detailing the enormous pay package awarded to former NYSE chief Dick Grasso and wrote about underhanded practices in the mutual funds industry long before they came under scrutiny.

And recently, Simon & Schuster published his book “Blood on the Street,” which is one of the best books about the evils of Wall Street in the past decade.

In short, CNBC dropped the ball here. At a place where the personalities are marketed heavily, the business news network had an opportunity to promote a heavy hitter in the world of business journalism joining its staff and flubbed it. Gasparino deserved better, and my prediction is that he wil rival CNBC’s David Faber for the scoops and great stories he breaks on air, becoming one of the network’s most -prized possessions.

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