OLD Media Moves

How Bloomberg TV must change

February 6, 2009

Marketwatch media columnist Jon Friedman, a former Bloomberg News employee, writes Friday about how Bloomberg Television could change to attract a wider audience.

Friedman writes, “To compete effectively with CNBC and Fox Business, Lack’s focus likely will be to upgrade Bloomberg’s performance during the critical early-morning hours leading up to the opening bell.

“As a way to give viewers a reason to tune into Bloomberg TV, Lack must feature stars on the network. Whether or not you like Maria Bartiromo, CNBC’s ‘Money Honey’ is without a doubt the most recognizable star in business-news television. More than anyone, she has become the face of CNBC. (More disclosure: I have appeared as a guest commentator on CNBC and the Fox Business Network. Fox, like MarketWatch, is owned by News Corp.)

“But it’s unclear whether Lack will elect to concentrate on building or buying talent at Bloomberg. He could go the cheaper route of trying to find a diamond in the rough and praying that he or she can attract a sizable audience. (When I was a reporter at Bloomberg, the company sent out a ‘blast’ email to its print-journalism employees, inviting them to try out for on-air positions on Bloomberg Television).

Or, Lack can attempt to recruit the best and the brightest at rival networks, a process that will be very expensive — and possibly impractical — during a recession. Bloomberg will have a challenge of showing growth in the terminal-leasing business at a time when the spending by the ever-shrinking Wall Street community is contracting dramatically.

Read more here.

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