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Kernen Still CNBC’s ‘Kahuna’

Sep 16, 2007  •  Post A Comment

Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes, who is launching Fox Business Network in a month, wasn’t telling CNBC anything it didn’t know when he told TelevisionWeek in September that “Joe Kernen is a real stud for them.”

Rather than fret that Mr. Kernen, the breezy “Squawk Box” co-anchor occasionally referred to as “the Kahuna” and “the Hair,” might be asked to be “the stud” for someone else, CNBC has locked him up early for another five years.

Mr. Kernen’s longtime agent, IMG Senior Corporate VP Sandy Montag, makes it sound very simple. “Joe has been part of the NBC family for a long time, has great relationships from the top on down, and just felt that this was the best place to continue his broadcasting career. He’s thrilled that we worked out a great new deal.”

Mr. Kernen, who was a stockbroker for 10 years before making the move to TV, makes it sound even simpler in a phone conversation that sometimes wandered into raucous (and off-the-record) territory.

“I like what I’m doing. We relaunched ‘Squawk Box’ 6 to 9. It’s the best three hours, I think, for setting the tone for the rest of the day and it’s the flagship show. It’s the longest-running show CNBC has, and I was there 11 years ago when it started. I really don’t want to do anything else,” he says.

So did Mr. Kernen/Kahuna/Hair have “stud” written into his new contract?

“After about 16 years, most people here know that that’s pretty much the case. But I don’t want to brag or toot my own horn,” he says.

As for the increase in competition after Fox Business Network debuts Oct. 15, Mr. Kernen is both complimentary and amped.

He worked for Mr. Ailes before Mr. Ailes left the NBC family to launch Fox News Network in 1996.

“Obviously I would never underestimate Roger Ailes. I admire him greatly,” Mr. Kernen says. “But we’re ready. We’re not CNN. We’re not in the position CNN was when Fox News launched.”

Take that, ummmm, CNN! Just kidding.

Iraq Mystery

Is The Insider the only one who, after watching numerous promos of “Evening News” anchor Katie Couric in Iraq and Syria, was desperate to know something about that tall, gray-haired guy in the red shirt walking just behind Ms. Couric and Gen. David Petraeus, the top American military commander in Iraq? Aside from his hair and height, he stood out because he appears to be wearing nothing more substantial than a long-sleeved cotton shirt while everyone else in the clip is swathed in armor and/or fatigues. It turns out the man is a civilian aide, as yet unnamed to The Insider, to Gen. Petraeus. The Iraqi man apparently feels safe in the commander’s company, but CBS News is erring on the side of extreme caution and declined to offer further identification. So shhhhhhh.

26 Comments

  1. Damn! If Ailes were to sign Joe, It would probably be the end of Squawk. Mostly everyone would go to FBN and watch Joe and his new crew on his new morning show lol. Of course they’ll still be some die hard fans that would still watch CNBC to check out Becky’s legs in the gimmick they use where they sit around on high chairs. You see the show without Kernen around? Boringggggggggggg… Sorry but Becky and Carl don’t have fun personality or charisma to make Squawk work without their stud Joe around. They should be thanking him everyday, no kissing his feet for making their jobs so easy or even having that morning gig.

  2. Ailes never shows his hand. He only does so when he’s trying to throw CNBC off his scent. When he said that “stud” thing awhile back, it was no doubt because he was sure he never wanted or needed Kernen. The only people who will show up on FBN are the ones Ailes thinks can be superstars and ratings grabbers. You never mentioned in your article how weak—WEAK—Kernen and company’s ratings are since they relaunched awhile back. Sometimes they scratch. Way worse than when Mark Haines was at the helm. Ailes will go after only the really spicy, smart people. You’ll see.

  3. Hey Joe. Quit talking about the plight of moose on the North Slope. All the tree huggers are worried about the caribou population.
    If you see Nancy Pelosi one of these days, tell her that the Caribou population was about 5,000 when Prudhoe Bay was discovered in 1968, and now it is 32,000!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Tell her to eat her words and then vote for development of ANWAR.

  4. Joe Kernan is a baffoon! His team invites guests, and Joe interjects his stupid humor, talks over his guests, and never lets them have time to finish a topic. I want news from them in these crisis times, and Joe wastes my time. To lock him up in any contract would be a waste of money. I think they should save the energy it costs to broadcast him and say it was an effort to “go green”.

  5. This is how JOE responds to the public!!!
    Maybe you should loosen up mike… Business news can be a little dry no?
    Life is short… Don’t you have anything more important to worry about?
    Here we are getting good natured mail from all over the world and you’re
    in your
    Little house tsk tsk’ing… Have your friends ever tried to help you?
    —–Original Message—–
    From: mike [mailto:mike2200@hotmail.com]
    Sent: Wednesday, May 12, 2010 6:44 AM
    To: Squawk
    Subject: Squawk Box Email (mike)
    Name: mike
    Email Address: mike2200@hotmail.com
    City, ST: Chicago
    Your Question or Comment: Joe Kernen’s comments and statements make this
    show so unprofessional I turn the TV on to get the news on what is going
    on in the business world and I have to listen to his immature,
    semi-embarrassing comments. I can only listen for so long and then
    change channels can’t you get him to be muzzle it a bit?

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