OLD Media Moves

Who is CNBC for?

February 24, 2009

That’s the question posted by James Poniewozik of Time magazine on Tuesday.

Poniewozik writes, “I mean, I’ve written stories on business news before, and I know more or less what CNBC would tell me if I asked them the same question. There would be figures about viewer demographics and anecdotes about executive viewership and points made about out-of-home viewing and so on. Perhaps one of their public relations people is forwarding me a press release on just these matters even as you read this.

“But I want to ask you all, as viewers: if you watch CNBC at all, what do you watch it for?Â

“CNBC is, after all, nominally a business channel. But — and I speak as a business novice — I’m not sure that much of its day to day news coverage does anything to help businesspeople with long-term decisions. During the day, CNBC focuses pretty much on the markets, and thus very much on the very short term, especially in its econo-tainment programming like Jim Cramer’s show. (It does do some documentaries, which are wholly different, but the exception.)

“It seems like news for traders, in other words — but are traders really watching CNBC and using it? Is it more a kind of real-time anxiety meter for non-business professionals worried about their investments?”

Read more here.

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