Pamela Thomas-Graham Defends Her Tumultuous Tenure As CNBC President

By Brian 

The latest issue of Business Week analyzes Pamela Thomas-Graham‘s tenure at CNBC as it previews her position as Liz Claiborne. It’s the first time I recall seeing PTG defend her tenure as president of the financial network.

> “Several highly placed insiders contacted by BusinessWeek felt that she didn’t spend enough time at headquarters and seemed more focused on her image than on the health of the network at a time when it desperately needed more strategic vision from the top. Others, including Thomas-Graham herself, argue that she managed to make money and increase profit margins amid the dot-com bust and an atmosphere of corporate scandal that soured the taste for business news.”

> “At CNBC, a number of executives contacted by BusinessWeek speak of a leader more interested in speaking appearances and networking than delving into the minutiae of operations. Thomas-Graham disagrees strongly. She says that, as a high-profile black businesswoman, she’s often called on to speak and says it’s an important responsibility.”

> “Thomas-Graham argues that she was a “non-hierarchical manager” at CNBC who had an open-door policy with employees and who successfully created ways to keep a wealthy audience. She adds that she was passionately involved in operations. Moreover, she stresses that she made money and streamlined the business.”

> “Thomas-Graham points to several accomplishments: creating reporter beats, focusing on investigative journalism, launching documentaries, and pushing diversity — not to mention putting the popular, hyperactive investment maven Jim Cramer on air.”