The reboot of ‘Wall Street Week’ (WSW) — a weekly show that ran on PBS from 1970 to 2005 — premiered in the US on Sunday, and given the circumstances surrounding its creation, it’s no surprise that Wall Street was talking about it on Monday.
“It will be interesting to see whether or not you get a ‘Barron’s bump’ on Monday morning,” said one industry insider referring to the well-regarded weekly business journal. The ‘bump’ means the topics discussed on WSW on Sunday could move markets once they open on Monday. That’s one huge measure of its impact on the Street.
It takes a lot of work to get to that point, though, maybe even more than it took to create the first episode.
Host Anthony Scaramucci announced that his hedge fund, SkyBridge Capital, bought the rights to WSW off CNBC last spring. He also announced that he was hiring two CNBC veteran producers to create the show. Shortly after that, Scaramucci’s contributor contract with CNBC was allowed to expire and he started contributing to Fox Business Network instead.
Most recently, another CNBC vet, former vice chairman of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management Gary Kaminsky, was also drafted to host the show with Scaramucci.
“I like Gary [Kaminsky] a lot, and the producers know what they are doing. Anthony is probably doing what he was meant to be doing as a TV host, not a panelist or a market participant,” said one a source familiar with Scaramucci’s time at CNBC. “The show should be successful as long as he can attract A-list guests.”
And in its first week, WSW did attract the creme de la creme of Wall Street. ‘Bond king’ Jeff Gundlach did an extensive interview in which he explained problems he sees developing in the junk bond market. Charles Schwab strategist Liz Ann Sonders was also on hand.
“I was on the original show in 1987 and this show did a great job of copying and improving it,” said Steve Kroll of investment firm Monness, Crespi, Hardt & Co., Inc. “Since there was little advertising on it — still the best kept secret on business out there. Guests were great and I look forward to more stock ideas.”
Inside CNBC the the word is silence. The show is not discussed. Some insiders say it’s because CNBC doesn’t care, others say that it’s because CNBC reporters were forbidden from tweeting about the show, or from going to the premier party in NYC the Tuesday before it aired.
CNBC, for its part, wouldn’t comment.
Not all of the feedback about the show was completely positive. Viewers from Los Angeles to Indiana voiced concerns about Scaramucci’s opening monologue and the buddy-repartee between he and Kaminsky. They’re also calling for more engagement online.
Let’s see if those wrinkles get ironed out.
Check out Gundlalch’s interview here.