I was surprised how many sites linked to my little diatribe on How to Fix Financial Television last week. There were a wide ranging assortment from market blogs to Fortune to Crooks & Liars; Even Forbes reran the entire piece.

Dear John Thain had a good post on the subject this weekend, Making the Financial Networks Useful:

“Go beyond soundbites and short on-air segments. I think finance is much more complicated than normal news, in the same way that political news usually is more complicated: there are lots of underlying dynamics, complex rules, and large parts of the process are hidden from view and established through precedent. Unlike a plane crash, terrorist attack, or story about some zany celebrity antic, financial news that focuses on the “what” instead of the “why” is dull, uninteresting, and useless. This is why financial news, in the first place, tries to explain what’s going on.”

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Dear John Thain anonymously writes the blog of the same name. He focuses on finance and has worked in various areas within Wall St.’s bulge bracket. He has worked in various products, but has spent the majority of his career working in securitized products.

Category: Financial Press

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

10 Responses to “Fixing FinTV Redux”

  1. cvienne says:

    “Go beyond soundbites and short on-air segments. I think finance is much more complicated than normal news, in the same way that political news usually is more complicated: there are lots of underlying dynamics, complex rules, and large parts of the process are hidden from view and established through precedent.”

    Great idea JT…They’ll put down their crackberries long enough to have 12 economists give 20 different longwinded ideas on what’s going on…

    I wonder what the world record for “eyes glazing over” is…

  2. Chief Tomahawk says:

    “There were a wide ranging assortment from market blogs to Fortune to Crooks & Liars; Even Forbes reran the entire piece.”

    Charlie Gasparino must’ve spent the weekend hurling expletives …

  3. nemo says:

    You struck a nerve because everybody with an ounce of intelligence hates financial television, but feels he or she must be all alone in that hatred.

  4. [...] Fox Business is hurting.  (24/7 Wall St. also Big Picture) [...]

  5. GB says:

    Barry you should try to start your own financial news rating system.

  6. Mr. C. Cheese says:

    How about …No bald guys in CNBC ‘OCTUBOX’

  7. nathant says:

    Financial television is still a business. They are going to do what gets the most viewers. Which means more Cramer bells, whistles, and stuffed animals. There is a reason sheeple like “American Idol” and not “Meet the Press”. You might as well as have a post about how McDonalds would be healthier if it sold celery instead of fries. The real problem is the average viewer, not the networks. You’re complaining about the effect and not the cause. It’s not television’s responsibility to make people want to learn. Figure out how to make people care about knowledge, not how to get television shows to play what we want, and then you’ll have a list of fixes that really matter.

  8. govy says:

    The simplest solution is probably the best, watch Bloomberg.

  9. DC says:

    As govy at 3:53 suggests the best answer is Bloomberg. They already do more long-form analysis, though less so on TV than on radio.

    Bloomberg fans can call their cable providers and suggest they replace CNBC with Bloomberg on the “Enhanced Basic Cable” or whatever it’s called in your area. Let CNBC get relegated to the converter-box tiers (which I don’t spend my money on).

    Not likely to happen of course. CNBC is almost certainly a package deal with MSNBC and other NBC-Universal channels. But you never know until you try.

    Incidentally it’s reportedly official today that Jeff Macke is no longer with CNBC. The rat returns to his coffee can. Could be a minor signal that entertainment and showboating is yielding to actual analysis but I won’t hold my breath.

  10. Charlie says:

    Enjoyed all the mail you got on financial TV.

    As one who must consume it professionally, I find less and less of it useful.

    With CNBC, it has gotten to the point that I don’t watch the Larry/Trish show, nor do I watch the Street Signs show. There is just no information on either. Facts to think about.

    I do listen to Squawk, the close, to fast money (although they have begun to bloviate too much, especially Macke. While I think Melissa Lee is a pro, Dylan kept everyone in line.) I listen to the first 15 minutes of Cramer. He’s been on the street. Not that he’s right, but his perspective is interesting. It’s a useful segment. Then, I turn it off.

    I wish it would be Bertha Combs most of the time because she is a pro who thinks and understands the context. I don’t mind Liesman, except when he thinks he’s a Fed governor. (He is a pretty good guitar picker. I mean that sincerely.) I have friends who ask me what I think of CNBC people. I always start with Bertha at the top. I listen to LeBeau. Diana Olick is fairly good.

    I watch a lot of Bloomberg. I can’t remember any of the anchors’ names, except Matt Miller. I wish I didn’t remember his name. He is a young pretty face who doesn’t know much. About anything. I do like Bernie Lo in Singapore and wish they’d bring him stateside.

    I did like Consuelo Mack when she was on CNBC.

    When I first started this job, I was OK at it. I’m much better at it now. Probably not as good as I would like, but that’s OK. But it gotten me to the point now that I don’t really need the TV much any more. I like the numbers. When there’s real breaking news, that’s fine.

    My five cents.