Q&A: Erlichman talks BNN’s collaboration with Bloomberg Media
Jon Erlichman is the co-anchor of BNN’s morning program, “Business Day AM,” which airs between 8-11 a.m.
Erlichman is also a correspondent with the CTV National News and a contributor to CTV’s “Your Morning.” Additionally, he hosts BNN’s series “Sidelines,” which profiles entrepreneurial celebrities, such as Robert DeNiro.
BNN announced Wednesday morning that its new business news collaboration with Bloomberg Media is scheduled to launch on April 30. Erlichman will host a new show called “The Open.”
Erlichman has a background as a scoop-oriented reporter, an accomplished interviewer of top global CEOs and a digital innovator. He was a reporter and anchor for Bloomberg Television and ABC News, working in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York before rejoining BNN, where he was part of the team that started the station in 1999.
Since his return to BNN in 2016, Erlichman has interviewed business and political leaders such as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Alibaba founder Jack Ma.
He has also written columns and articles for Fortune magazine and The Wrap, and worked as a tech correspondent for HLN.
Erlichman spoke by email with Talking Biz News about BNN and its collaboration with Bloomberg Media. What follows is an edited transcript.
What attracted BNN to do the joint venture with Bloomberg in Canada?
For us, this was a no brainer. As Canada’s most-watched business television news network, we’re incredibly proud of what we’ve accomplished since our launch in 1999. Our partnership with Bloomberg allows us to build on that. We’re very excited!
How do you see the content being different than what BNN was doing?
The combination of BNN and Bloomberg opens the door to some world-class programming for our investor audience.
We’re adding several hours of live evening coverage of Asian markets, along with early morning coverage from Europe, to complement our daily market coverage. In addition, our new lineup of original BNN Bloomberg programs will include daily contributions from Bloomberg reporters and will leverage Bloomberg’s news bureaus in Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary Montréal, and Vancouver. We’re also looking forward to BNN Bloomberg Radio, Canada’s first-ever business news radio station. Along with launching in Vancouver, it will be heard across the country on iHeartRadio, featuring a live audio stream of our BNN Bloomberg television channel.
What are some of the areas where Bloomberg is providing expertise that BNN didn’t have?
We’re excited about Bloomberg’s global size and scale. We already have great teams at BNN and CTV News. Now, we can tap into Bloomberg’s network of 2,700 journalists and analysts located in 120 countries around the world.
Bloomberg produces more than 5,000 stories a day, which will allow us to offer a richer storytelling experience to our audiences.
How big is BNN’s staff, and will that grow as part of this arrangement?
It takes a big team to deliver 12 hours of market coverage each day, not to mention our extensive digital coverage. This partnership is very much part of our growth strategy, now giving us 22 hours of live programming on weekdays. We’ve always focused on being the leader in financial television and the leading digital business news source in Canada. With growth, comes opportunity!
When will the new TV content start, and how much of it will there be each day?
We’re launching our new line-up of programming, starting April 30.
Viewers will continue to see many of the BNN personalities who currently anchor our daytime programming. For example, I will continue to anchor our morning programming during the opening bells, with a new show called “The Open,” between 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. on weekdays. We’ll be checking in with Bloomberg reporters on both sides of the border every trading day for a closer look at the stories that matter to investors.
Viewers will also get to see some of Bloomberg’s great programs, such as Bloomberg Technology, which will air at 5 p.m.
I previously worked at Bloomberg for more than six years in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. My time on the West Coast was spent working with the team at Bloomberg Technology. The program offers exceptional coverage of Silicon Valley and will no doubt complement our coverage of Canada’s tech sector.
Between 7 p.m. and 4 a.m., we’re looking forward to providing comprehensive overnight coverage of Asian markets and early morning programing from Europe, with international programs such as “Bloomberg Daybreak: Asia” and “Bloomberg Markets: European Open.”
And we’re also looking forward to offering a richer evening and weekend lineup, which includes “The David Rubenstein Show: Peer to Peer Conversations,” as well as “Sidelines,” a program I host, which focuses on the business passions of the world’s biggest celebrities.
Do you perceive Canadian business news to be different? In what ways?
While investors around the world speak a common language, the issues that matter to Canadians are distinct. A great example is our on-going Canadian coverage of the NAFTA talks. Bloomberg’s coverage in Washington will help on that front. We also dedicate significant coverage to important issues such as home price trends in cities like Toronto and Vancouver.
In addition, we focus on industries that are core to the Canadian economy, such as energy, as well as fledgling areas such as cannabis, which is fast attracting the world’s attention.
How much new content will there be each day on the website? And how much will come from Bloomberg vs. BNN?
This is one of the areas we’re most excited about! BNN is already Canada’s leader in digital business video, while Bloomberg is a proven leader in digital. BNN.ca will relaunch as BNNBloomberg.ca and will feature hundreds of new investigative stories, luxury and lifestyle features, and digital-first videos every week. As well, the live stream of the channel will be available to TV subscribers for the first time on our digital platforms, including BNNBloomberg.ca and the BNN Bloomberg mobile app.
What’s been some of the issues in joining forces with another news-gathering organization?
It’s been a very smooth process. We have great teams at Bell Media and Bloomberg that are ready for the launch. I was part of BNN’s launch team in 1999 and, as mentioned, also spent more than six years with Bloomberg. I’m familiar with both organizations, and I can confidently say this is a great cultural fit. Both of our companies are dedicated to delivering high quality reporting to our audiences.
What have you been surprised about in terms of working together?
This partnership has reminded me of some great initiatives Bloomberg has been building out in recent years. For example, the Bloomberg Intelligence team of analysts was only in its infancy in my first years at Bloomberg. It has since grown into a team of more than 250 analysts around the world. Being able to incorporate that analysis into our programming will provide our audience with additional insight on the stories that matter to them most.
Bloomberg tried to go it alone in Canada in the past on TV. Why do you think that didn’t succeed?
I can only speak to my own experiences with Bloomberg. As a former employee and now partner, I’m confident this partnership will be a great success for Bloomberg and Bell Media. We can’t wait to get started!