It was the rant heard ’round the world: “We’re thinking of having a Chicago Tea Party in July,” Rick Santelli said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” five years ago today, February 19, 2009. “All you capitalists that want to show up to Lake Michigan, I’m gonna start organizing it.”
Who knew? CNBC’s Joe Kernen likes zombies. So much so that the “Squawk Box” co-host was a guest on last night’s “Talking Dead,” the live talk show that follows AMC’s “Walking Dead.”
Instead of talking about market moves, jobs data and M&A activity, Kernen geeked out the plot twists and distorted characters of the blockbuster AMC show. At one point he questioned the believability of one storyline: “I believe in all the zombies, but I have trouble with, where did they get the milk?” “Why don’t you keep those hard-hitting questions for ‘Squawk Box,’” host Chris Hardwick shot back.
“Walking Dead,” currently cable’s No. 1 show, draws more than 15 million viewers on Sunday nights. “Talking Dead,” meant for super fans of the show, breaks down that night’s episode. More than a third of the audience sticks around for “Talking Dead,” which last Sunday drew 5.8 million viewers. For comparison, that’s what the “Today” show averages in a good week.
CNBC’s David Faber continues on the media beat today. In addition to his interview with his boss’s boss’s boss’s boss, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts, about the company’s proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable, Faber just wrapped up an interview with CBS Corp. CEO Les Moonves.
“I think everybody was pretty surprised by what happened,” says Moonves about the Comcast-TWC deal.”Everybody thought they were in Sochi, and here they were making a huge deal.”
“We’re still looking at the ramifications but we have a wonderful relationship with all the terrific people at Comcast and if this goes through, we look forward to working with them.”
Moonves came out on the winning end of a fight with Time Warner Cable last year. He was booked on CNBC to talk about CBS’s Q4 earnings report. CBS had revenue of $3.9 billion, up +6%.
“I think Comcast appreciates the value of our content and will pay appropriately for it,” Moonves says.
Comcast is wasting no time pressing forward with its $42.5 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable. We’ve assembled three separate documents the company released this morning: a press release announcing the deal, a public interest benefits summary and a document called “Day One Undertakings” from Comcast EVP David Cohen, who is the company’s chief lobbyist in Washington, DC.
In that note Cohen cites the 2011 acquisition of NBCU: “Comcast intends to build on our extraordinarily successful acquisition of NBCUniversal, and our unparalleled record of keeping our promises to bring new benefits to consumers in prior acquisitions,” Cohen writes.
All three memos are after the jump…
CNBC’s David Faber was first with the news last night that his network’s parent company Comcast, was acquiring Time Warner Cable, (which was once part of Time Warner and its portfolio of networks including CNN and HLN.)
This morning, Faber was also first with an interview with Comcast CEO Brian Roberts, who says the $45.2 billion deal “is pro-competitive and pro-consumer,” and will provide “better products, faster Internet, more channels, in a national-local platform that’s really special.” (Video after the jump)
Roberts says because the second largest pay TV service, satellite service DirecTV, is already national, he’s convinced a combined Comcast and TWC should pass muster with regulators. “Cable is this older system that is very local,” he tells Faber.
While adding the lucrative home and business markets of New York City, Los Angeles and Dallas, Comcast says it will divest some systems and shed about 3 million subscribers, bringing the combined total to around 30 million. They hope to close the deal by the end of the year.
In December, Time Warner Cable and Comcast were in a dust-up as the Time Warner system in Massachusetts, Maine and New Hampshire announced plans to drop the Comcast-owned NECN cable network, only to reverse course 10 days later.
Well this is interesting.
As part of celebrating its 25th anniversary, CNBC annoucned it will be compiling the “CNBC First 25,” what it calls “a definitive list of people who have had the greatest influence, sparked the biggest changes and created the most disruption in business over the past quarter century.”
“Mr. Ailes has broken the dominance of the mainstream media which always tilts left,” said Kudlow. “He is also unapologetic whenever he ruffles anybody’s feathers.” WATCH:
Here’s the criteria to be one of the “CNBC First 25.”
CNBC kicks off its 25th anniversary celebration today by announcing its nominees for “CNBC First 25,” a list of people who have had the greatest influence in business since the network launched in 1989.
The network announced a list of 200 nominees today, compiled by CNBC’s top editors with the help of an outside advisory board. Viewers can vote on which nominees will make it to the final list of 25 people.
Tyler Mathisen will report on the network’s anniversary and the list of nominees throughout the day today on CNBC. The final list will be revealed in April, the month that the network celebrates its actual anniversary.
The World Economic Forum annual meeting is underway in Switzerland, and all three business networks have correspondents in Davos for the week.
Liz Claman is in Davos for FBN. Claman will interview several executives, including the CEOs of Aetna, NASDAQ, Citigroup and Coca-Cola. Also in Davos this week: Maria Bartiromo, who is expected to join FBN next month. Bartiromo will moderate a panel discussion Thursday.
With “Shark Tank” Tuesday night, the network delivered its best primetime audience since 2008 in total viewers and since 2010 in A25-54 viewers. CNBC recently acquired the off-network cable rights to the hit ABC show and aired four episodes from 8pm-Midnight Tuesday.
CNBC averaged 596,000 total viewers and 299,000 A25-54 viewers from 8 to 11pmET (see how the other cable news networks did on Tuesday’s scoreboard). The 9pmET hour posted the highest numbers, tallying 685,000 total viewers and 365,000 A25-54 viewers, the most watched CNBC telecast in more than three years.
“Shark Tank,” which will air as a four-hour block Tuesday nights, features Lori Greiner, who talked about her role on the show with MediabistroTV:
CNBC’s Kelly Evans apologized to viewers yesterday after a song that included the N-word aired during a tease. “We accidentally aired a piece of music this hour during a tease with inappropriate lyrics. That obviously should not have been on the air, and we deeply apologize for that and for any offense it may have caused,” Evans said. Watch: