We’ve confirmed with multiple sources that Jeff Macke is indeed engaged in highly stressful contract talks with CNBC, and the network has indeed been limiting his airtime.
Whether the network is keeping him off camera as some sort of stress-inducing leverage, or because it is concerned about breakdowns like Tuesday night’s is unclear. It could be a combination.
We’ve also been told Macke was behaving erratically even before he went on camera Tuesday, which makes you wonder why they let him on in the first place. It also means that the outburst wasn’t just some kind of self-aware joke he was playing on Kneale.
One source familiar with the situation speculates the talks utimately will end with Macke leaving the network, a la Dylan Ratigan.
But Macke, though he has fans, is no Dylan Ratigan. He couldn’t carry his own show, he doesn’t have any obvious alternatives and, more importantly, his latest breakdown may have torpedoed any chance to get hired somewhere else.