What Would You Do To Improve Business TV?

CNBC is the leader in business television.  Other competitors are Bloomberg and FoxBusiness.  But, CNBC is the most famous.

But, oddly, in the midst of a pretty hefty stock market rally, there is less viewership on business television.  Why?

One would think more people would be interested and tuning in to find out information for the next trade.  Instead, people are turning away.  This follows a pattern with network television, which I rarely watch anymore.  Virtually every show on network television is some reality based bull.  Yawn.

Business news is different.  CNBC does a pretty good job with breaking news.  When an economic release comes out, they have generally good analysis.  I do have an issue with showing “both sides to the story” though.  Sometimes, it’s a minority opinion that is given equal airtime, even though it’s bunk.

Some of their anchors I like, and some are meh.  Everyone has their own personal preferences, and mine are not probably the same as yours.  I don’t think that you should pick business anchors on “likes”.  They are better when they have core business experience, and an opinion.  (and they are transparent about that opinion)

There are pockets of time when a true gem of an idea comes through the television screen.  Some of the in depth interviews can be really good.

I sense something is amiss though.

One idea that might be a good one is to show more positive stories in the evening.  Everything is dangerous or deceptive or underhanded.  “American Greed” is an example.  Never a positive story and just shows the dark underbelly of business.

American business on the whole is pretty decent.  Filled with pretty decent people.  American business is the most innovative in the whole world.

Instead, they might want to do a show on innovation.  How do 3D printers work and what does it mean to the American economy?  That’s a positive story that people could latch into.

Or what about how to develop a product that comes to market?  That would be cool.  Maybe some stuff on mentorship for CEO’s or budding leaders?  I am tossing ideas at the wall to see what sticks.  Clearly, they aren’t doing compelling things today.

I also think business biography without a social agenda attached is a good topic.  People learn from other people on how to find, fund and build businesses.  In this age of innovation that we are currently in, I think there is room for that kind of a show.

The other problem they have is making their daily programming compelling.  After the opening bell, and economic releases, trading is relatively mundane.  With more and more of it going computerized, it’s not the same-and it’s pretty boring to report on.

No way can CNBC compete on speed with a platform like Stocktwits.  So, they have to leverage the advantages they have over other platforms.  Television can slow time down as much as it speeds it up.  In depth quality interviews for longer than 60-90 seconds might be a start.

What would you do if you were the producer of CNBC?  How would you attract viewers?  Is there are compelling way to interface it with something like Stocktwits to create a meaningful whole-or is that too technologically challenging?


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