TV’s Business Experts on Call

Oct 12, 2008  •  Post A Comment

As the markets have gone down, down, down, demand has gone up, up, up for camera-ready guests who can explain the economic spiral and its ramifications for viewers of less business-driven TV shows.
Dylan Ratigan, host of CNBC’s “Fast Money,” appeared on a live edition of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” last Wednesday and said that Americans “have tapped out, collectively, all the credit cards and all the home mortgages in America” and need to become more thrifty and intelligent in money matters.
“This is a wakeup call to everyone in America to be responsible,” Mr. Ratigan said. “The fact that we were willing to pay $40 a month to borrow a thousand dollars on our credit card—if it looks too good to be true, it is too good to be true. The problem we’re dealing with right now, whether it’s the stock market, whether it’s the inability to get mortgage loans, all of these terrible things, that will pass, by the way, but all of these terrible things are a direct result of all of us borrowing more than we really can afford to pay.”
Fox Business Network anchor Liz Claman, an alumnus of CNBC, has appeared on “The Early Show” on CBS five times in recent weeks, including last Tuesday.
Her colleague, FBN executive and anchor Alexis Glick, appeared the following day, telling “Early Show” co-host Maggie Rodriguez that even with reports that some $2 trillion had been wiped out of retirement funds over the past 15 months, “The worst thing you can do at a time like this is panic. I say to people all the time, ‘diversify, diversify, diversify.’ … You’ve got to make sure you’re in safe things. You’re in CDs or U.S. Treasuries. You know, you want to be in safe, liquid U.S.-government-backed assets.”
“Early Show” executive producer Zev Shalev said the morning program had “reached out to every major business publication and organization in the world,” from CBS News business correspondent Anthony Mason on the floor of the stock exchange every day to representatives of Forbes, Business Week and the Economist, as well as Fox Business Network.
“We’ve been absolutely everywhere on this story,” Mr. Shalev said. “There’s just simply not enough context we can provide around it.”
Ms. Glick also gave a primer on the situation as it was beginning to boil over Sept. 15 on ABC’s daytime hit “The View.”
FBN’s lone regularly scheduled prime-time host, Dave Ramsey, who focuses on personal financial responsibilities, appeared on both ABC’s “Good Morning America” and CBS’ “Early Show” on the same day last week.
ABC’s “20/20” tapped the expertise of Ms. Glick, an alumna of Wall Street and of CNBC, for a segment aired Sept. 19, and “20/20” co-anchor Elizabeth Vargas interviewed FBN’s Cody Willard for a segment on accountability in the mortgage mess that aired last Friday.
Both CNBC and Fox Business experts are getting heavy play on sister platforms.
FBN’s talent has been making frequent appearances on Fox News Channel and is in increased demand by local stations. According to an FBN spokeswoman, the pre-crisis average of about 10 live satellite segments per day for Fox-owned stations and affiliates has increased by 30% to 40% over the past three weeks.
CNBC’s Mr. Ratigan has become almost a regular on sister channel MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
Jim Cramer, a whirling dervish on CNBC’s “Mad Money,” put on a dark suit and a subdued demeanor last Monday when he issued a piece of advice on NBC’s “Today” show that set off quite a reaction: Viewers should consider taking whatever money they expect to need for college tuition or major purchases in the next five years out of the stock market now.
He returned to “Today” the next day to discuss his reasoning. He would later tape an appearance for Thursday’s “Dr. Phil” on the impact of the financial crisis on everyday folks.
Dr. Phil asked Mr. Cramer whether he thought his advice could have contributed to Monday’s sell-off in the market. “It would be pure arrogance for me to think I had that much power. I believe whether I had stayed home in bed or gone to work that day, it wouldn’t have mattered,” answered Mr. Cramer, who held up his “Uniform Gift to Minors Act” statements as he explained that he had taken out of the market enough to cover the college tuition of his 17-year-old daughter but not for his 14-year-old daughter. “I’m letting that ride,” he said.
Mr. Cramer also appeared last Monday on “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” and Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report.”
“I hope the first three rows brought ponchos for when his head explodes,” Stephen Colbert said at the top of “Report,” which takes its inspiration from right-wing cable news personalities.
Mr. Cramer playfully reassured Mr. Colbert that the Bush administration cannot be blamed. “I would love to, but you can’t,” he said.
“Everybody participated.”


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