MSNBC’s Your Business, hosted by JJ Ramberg, returns for its tenth season Sunday morning. Your Business is now the second longest-running show on MSNBC (behind Hardball) and it’s mission, to help small business owners overcome issues effecting their bottom line, has not changed. It’s staying power is tied closely to its corporate sponsorship from American Express OPEN. We caught up with Ramberg for 5 Questions to discuss her show, her favorite meal and what she’s watching on TV these days.
TVNewser: Congrats on 10 seasons of “Your Business.” What’s the most fulfilling thing you’ve accomplished over the course of the show?
Ramberg: Thank you! When we started this program, it was supposed to be for a six-month run, so we are all very excited and proud to be starting our tenth season. I owe an enormous thank you to our executive producer Scott Leon and the entire Your Business team for the last nine years.
On the program we do a segment called the Your Business Makeover where we bring in a team of experts to help a struggling business. After Hurricane Sandy, our producer Lisa Everson learned of a bagel shop founded by two firemen in Rockaway Beach which was completely destroyed by the storm. Because of the advice our experts gave and the resources they donated, that company was able to survive. It was pretty incredible and quite emotional to be a part of that turnaround.
I can name many segments like those that have made this job so fulfilling, but what I find most rewarding is simply being able to be a day to day resource for the many thousands of small business owners and entrepreneurs out there who are just trying to make it work. As I’ve heard and repeated countless times, it can be very exciting to run a small business, but it can also be very hard. Part of my job is to just let people know that they are not alone and to help them find the solutions to issues they’re facing.
TVNewser: Your show is unique in the cable news landscape because it’s dependent on a particular sponsor, American Express to be specific. How did you form this relationship?
Ramberg: American Express OPEN and Your Business have been working together from the very beginning of this show. There wasn’t a program on TV that focused on the needs of small business owners and American Express was looking for an outlet that would reach and provide relevant content to this audience.
On the MSNBC side, given the strength and growing number of small businesses nationwide, the network knew Your Business would be a strategic addition to the programming line-up. So there was a mutually beneficial opportunity to support a shared audience, the small business owner. I was personally excited about the opportunity because of my experience as both a business journalist and an entrepreneur.
TVNewser: You graduated from Duke University and earned your MBA from Stanford. So, who are you rooting for if Duke ever plays Stanford in the NCAA basketball championship?
Ramberg: My basketball loyalties lie with Duke. No question. If I were a more secure person, I’d send you a horrifying photo to accompany this Q&A of me in a very over-sized Duke sweatshirt carrying a blue trident en route to Minneapolis for the NCAA championship in 1992.
TVNewser: What’s your favorite meal? Specific restaurant and exact order, please.
Ramberg: Chuko in Brooklyn. Veggie miso ramen noodles.
TVNewser: Any non-news TV shows that you’re currently addicted to? Are you a Real Housewives kind of person?
Ramberg: I just finished watching Bloodline on Netflix so now I’m in the market for a new show. Any suggestions? As for the Real Housewives, we’ve had Heather from the Real Housewives of New York City on the show a few times (she is a very accomplished entrepreneur) , so I’ve had to watch it. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.
TVNewser: I loved Bloodline! Coach Taylor will always have a special place in my heart. Despite negative reviews, I’m currently enjoying True Detective Season 2.