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Interview: “We’re Just Focused On Growth,” New CNBC Prez Says

First on TVNewser: In his only blog interview, new CNBC president Mark Hoffman dismissed worries about Fox and expressed confidence that CNBC could grow its “highly affluent audience.” “I think what I bring [to CNBC] is the firm belief — because I saw it up close and personal — that there is a solid, core affluent audience out there,” Hoffman said, “and we’re going to work hard to grow that core audience.” “I think the buying community understands our value,” he added. Other highlights from a phone interview this afternoon:

  · On Fox: “I think Fox has proven to be very good at what they do, but we’re here now. We’re in the space. We invented the genre. We’re going to continue to work hard, we’re going to continue to grow in the areas that we’ve grown historically. And we’re just focused on growth.”

  · On primetime: “Our primetime is daytime,” Hoffman said. I asked him to explain that further. “Right now we’re a home run,” he said. “When we get primetime clicking, we’re a grand slam home run. Primetime is the icing on the cake. Daytime’s the cake, primetime’s the icing.” He expressed confidence that primetime would become a grand slam: “We’re going to make it happen,” he concluded.

  · Ratings/audience: At a 2pm town hall meeting for CNBC employees, Hoffman said CNBC is watched by “traders, in offices, country clubs, offices, restaurants and homes,” an attendee e-mailed, specifically including homes at the end of the list. I asked Hoffman about that: “I was…running a list, a short list of where people are watching CNBC, and it’s not just trading floors. I go to health clubs and CNBC is on. I go out to a restaurant or bar and CNBC is on,” Hoffman said, noting that Nielsen ratings don’t show the whole story.

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