NPR’s David Folkenflik tackles CNBC’s aggressive booking practices, and reveals some terrific anecdotes along the way. In the TV news world, booking is the lifeblood, so it isn’t surprising that networks get aggressive.
“Bookers are a unique life form in the ecosystem of news gathering,” said former top CNBC executive Jonathan Wald, now the executive producer of Piers Morgan Tonight on CNN. “They are often the snipers who sit waiting for their prey, drinking black coffee, smoking cigarettes and striking at the ideal moment.”
Wald said that he has issued strict instructions that Morgan will not interview guests once they’ve appeared on certain other shows.
“You don’t want to follow,” Wald said, “and so you’ll do whatever you can to impress upon the guest … the need to be on your show or your network first.”
Folkenflik also talks to Bloomberg TV president Andrew Morse, who notes that while it pays to aggressive, his channel doesn’t try to dictate terms… though sometimes they like to poke fun at the competition:
Meanwhile, Bloomberg’s Morse said he has taken to poking CNBC by slapping up a caption that says “FIRST ON BLOOMBERG” over an interview — regardless of whether the guest has appeared elsewhere.
The caption is literally true: It marks the first time that person appeared on Bloomberg TV that day.