Feedback: CNBC’s Woes

By Brian 

After the jump, two e-mailers offer explanations for why CNBC is struggling. (“Business news is pretty darned boring these days,” one says…)

Kevin: “What’s wrong with ‘Squawk Box?’ The same thing that’s wrong with the rest of CNBC — business news is pretty darned boring these days. Not only that, the days of mass individual investors, investing on their own, are at least on pause for now — we’re judging what’s happening now against the 1998-2001 period, when everything business / Wall St. was skewed owing to The Bubble.
That said, I think the net still caters to a statistically and, more importantly, economically important segment of the viewing population — wealthy investment classers. They may not be huge numbers-wise, but their influence and disposable income for spending are certainly sizeable.
Let’s also face a reality here — the other morning options against which Squawk competes skew significantly “dumber” than Squawk. It doesn’t take much to watch Today, GMA, AM, and, well — F&F is for morons. By virtue of Sqwak’s being an inherently “intelligent” show, it is going to get lower numbers. (Same goes for MSNBC’s Imus, which skews heavy on the high-brow political discussion / humor.) Also –- does Nielsen count viewers in mass, non-residence settings, such as business offices, airports, gyms, bars, trading rooms, etc.? I think if we were to get real numbers instead of the fiction from Nielsen, the story would be very different.
I do think CNBC is making a mistake by scuttling Dylan Ratigan’s show, but that might be personal bias.  I mean, how awesome is he — two nights ago, he played a cut from 10,000 Maniacs’ MTV Unplugged set…

Paul: I don’t think CNBC’s (daytime) troubles are within the network, so much as they are in monetary policy and the loss of day-traders.
Day-traders are out of business due to hefty tax implications on short-term capital gains, or in my case, the markets now require a $25 k minimum account to trade stocks more than once a day which didn’t exist just over a year ago.
Also, CNBC has a policy not to mention stocks under $5. They may regain some day-traders if they got rid of some of their B.S. programming and devoted an occasional block of programming to penny stocks (with proper disclaimer of liability, of course).