Tuesday, June 22, 2010

David Faber's Program Running Out of Gas

I happened to catch today's edition of David Faber's noontime CNBC program, Strategy Session. The effort to present Faber, begun a few weeks ago, seems to be losing steam.

For example, one of today's special guests was a guy named Rob Cox. Cox used to co-write a daily piece on the back of the Wall Street Journal's Money & Investing section, as part of a feature called, I believe, Breaking Views. At the time, Cox and his colleagues were part of a boutique analyst group in which the Journal had a minority interest.

I've written some posts on a few of Cox's pieces from that period. His work seemed to be uneven, at best. Certainly not extraordinary.

Today's topic was GM's imminent IPO. Cox was there to tell us that the company isn't really healthy yet, so the only way the government can sell this pig is to underprice it, thus losing taxpayers even more money.

Thanks, Rob. I couldn't ever figure that one out for myself. Thanks, David, for underestimating your audience- such as it may be.

Faber began his inaugural week with John Mack, among others whom I can't even now recall. I know I saw Sirius' Mel Karmazin on one episode.

Today's marquee guest was some housing guy who I confess to not recognizing.

Of course, Faber's challenge is identical to that of, say, Jay Leno or another David, Letterman. His bookers have to run a full court press every day to line up guests whom people will feel compelled to see. That's got to be easier in the general entertainment field than in the business world. Especially when the show's set wants you to think it's primarily financial in nature, although the program's title leads you to think otherwise.

As I mentioned in my earlier post, I like Faber. He's a capable, intelligent, likable analyst. More candid and direct with his interviewees than many others on CNBC.

I don't know what his ratings numbers are looking like without the first week's A-list guests. It would be unfortunate for him if his network once again showcased him in an unworkable format.

No comments: