Tired of years of losing out to CNBC in the ratings Bloomberg is apparently considering rebranding itself as a general news network a la CNN.
Bloomberg Television has struggled to stand out since its inception in 1994. Recently it has replaced staid graphics, refashioned its schedule, taken out ads in New York for its morning anchors, Margaret Brennan and Betty Liu, and battled for better distribution. (It is available in about 60 million homes.) Over time, the network may reorient itself toward more general news, a bit more like CNN.
Goodness knows we all need a little more CNN in our lives.
The challenge, as Stelter points out, is that there may simply not be a need for 3 financial networks, which is not to say Fox Business isn’t kicking along.
Through the first two weeks of August, CNBC, a unit of NBC Universal, had on average 378,000 at-home viewers during the New York market hours of 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., up sharply from 224,000 in July.
Fox Business, a unit of the News Corporation, had an average of 107,000 viewers at those hours, up from 76,000 in July. Bloomberg Television is not publicly rated; private ratings indicate that it too had a surge in recent weeks, though its audience is smaller than that of Fox Business.
Of course, they have the benefit of the free advertising provided to them by Fox News mentions and guest spots.
Update: Via TVNewser comes this statement from Bloomberg denying they have any intention of changing anything.
“We are a business and financial news network,” [head of U.S. television] Andrew Morse said.” It’s our mission to be the best business and financial news network in the world. Despite speculation to the contrary, we are laser-focused on what we do best.”
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