Inside CNBC’s ‘Strict Guest Policy’

By Merrill Knox 

Politico’s Dylan Byers takes a look at the “strict guest policy” at CNBC, reporting that the network often secures appearances by financial executives by insisting that the guests not appear on Bloomberg TV or Fox Business:

“CNBC always wants to be first, so they will insist on having the first interview or they will not cover you,” one financial services executive told POLITICO. “That’s true even if it’s a day later on a totally different topic. It’s juvenile.”

“If they see you on a competing channel they won’t invite you back for a week or so,” said one source who was formerly a regular guest on CNBC. “They’ll call and ask if you’ve been on another network. If you say, ‘Yes,’ then they won’t invite you. If you say, ‘No,’ they’ll book you and ask you to hold a time. But then they might cancel the booking at the last minute. I don’t know of any other channel that does this.”

[…] Brian Steel, the Senior Vice President of Public Relations at CNBC, did not directly dismiss the charge, though he noted that there was no written policy regarding guests’ appearances on other networks.

“I spoke with several reporters and checked our news practices and guidelines manual and I could not find the policy,” he told POLITICO. “However, nobody seemed surprised that CEOs would cancel appearances on other networks to appear on CNBC first.”