FBN’s Liz Claman: Live from Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum

By Molly Stark Dean 

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Since Liz Claman moved from CNBC to FBN in 2007, she’s covered a lot of exciting events, but the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland — with its 110-page program — is one of the most energetic and overwhelming events of the year.

Claman took some time between live shots and interviews to talk to TVNewser while in Switzerland.

TVNewser: A lot of media is out there with you. How has it been interacting with the rest of the media there?

Liz Claman: With 240 reporting media on the ground in Davos, with many of us chasing the same people, we’ve taken the “We’re all in this together approach” and turned it into a mutually beneficial relationship for everyone around whom we’re working.  Listen, the Chinese are directly next door, New Delhi TV a floor below, al Jazeera and the BBC running around.. I mean, at some point someone’s going to need a camera battery or an extra hand trouble-shooting, and it’s better to be friend than foe. Aw, look, a classic Davos issue: coming together to solve world problems! It’s working!

TVNewser: You left CNBC in 2007. Have you seen any of your old CNBC colleagues there?

Liz Claman: I saw David Faber on the plane to Zurich. Upon arrival we were both a little out of sorts from jet lag. He walked into the ladies room just as I by accident walked into the men’s room. We both realized our mistake and darted out cracking up.

TVNewser: You went to this event last year. Has the mood there changed at all?

Liz Claman: The mood has changed markedly this year. You’re going to have so many more banking CEO’s. We’ll be getting Bob Diamond of Barclays. Joseph Frenkel, Chairman of JPMorgan Chase International, and Andrei Kostin, head of Russian banking VTB.  On top of that, CEOs are seeking US out verses the other way around. They’re ready to talk, they have a story to tell. The Swiss “Polizei” still look at you like you’re guilty but that will never change..

TVNewser: Who have you interviewed or plan on interviewing there?

Liz Claman: We picked and chose our guests very carefully: folks who cannot only talk about what’s happening at the event but who is looking through a prism that matters to our viewers. We’ll talk to the CEO of Coca Cola, Muhtar Kent. I want to know why he is spending $2billon in China and not the U.S. What a taxation on his products — a soda tax — would mean to his bottom line, and healthcare. With obesity soaking up healthcare costs, how do his products fit in to any kind of solution?

The CEO’s of the US Chamber of Commerce on how a timely turnaround of his contentious relationship with President Obama…CEO of Imax where scalpers in China were selling Avatar Imax tickets for $90 a piece… Bob Diamond of Barclays was the one gutsy banker who showed up last year… I’m dying to know how things have changed for his UK-based bank.

But we won’t necessary be pulling in the usual suspects either. This afternoon, we charged into CCTV, China’s TV operation. They had huge Chinese flags on the wall, massive operations, so I asked if I could interview their main anchor, Rui Chenggang and they said yes! I asked about whether the Chinese perceive that they’re crushing America. With a poised tone, he called that a misperception. We then shot their whole operation, including the entire greenroom shipped in complete with serious cappuccino machine. No one’s shown you that side before but it speaks volumes about how the Chinese are dying to join us on the world stage.

TVNewser: What does FBN’s new tagline “The Power to Prosper” mean to you?

Liz Claman: “Power to Prosper” means simply this: we give you the knowledge you need to make money and prosper. It doesn’t mean “Here, Listen to me be obnoxious and hear my own voice while the guest hardly gets a chance to share their expertise. It’s showing people opportunity and how to see it.