Up the Ante
Maria Bartiromo joins WSJ Report
By Paige Albiniak -- Broadcasting & Cable, 11/14/2004 7:00:00 PM
When CNBC President and CEO Pamela Thomas-Graham raises her glass at an elite party this Thursday, she'll toast Maria Bartiromo's leap to syndication.
In September, Bartiromo, one of CNBC's top stars, took the helm of NBC Universal's The Wall Street Journal Report, replacing Consuelo Mack. The tradeoff: leaving her post as the first woman to report the news from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, though she'll keep her daily CNBC 3 p.m. show, The Closing Bell. And she'll continue to contribute to the cable network.
“This was a big opportunity for me. I backed off my CNBC duties because I needed time and energy to plan the show and get the best guests I could,” Bartiromo says. So far, guests have included embattled Merck CEO Ray Gilmartin and Secretary of State Colin Powell.
WSJ Report kicked off the season with several upgrades, including a big timeslot jump on WNBC New York, where it moved from 5:30 a.m. to noon. “It was buried in a time period where it didn't get a lot of attention,” says Frank Comerford, general manager and president of WNBC. “New York City is the home of the financial marketplace. We have a huge opportunity with a talent like Maria to make this a good growth story for us.”
Other markets would agree: Dallas; Greenville-Ashville-Spartanburg, S.C.; Kansas City, Mo.; Milwaukee; Panama City, Fla.; Salt Lake City and Tri Cities, Fla., have upgraded the show, which has seen a small uptick since its relaunch. Still, it's averaging only a 0.7 rating season to date, per Nielsen. However, in two key markets, New York and Washington, it's faring much better. Both centers house the show's core audience of educated households with $100,000-plus incomes. In both markets, the show is up 27% and 26% year-to-year, to 1.4 rating/9 share and 1.9/3 share, respectively.
“I personally will be disappointed if we don't get this show north of a 1.0 or a 1.1 national rating in the first year,” says Chris West, vice president of West Coast sales for NBC Universal Domestic Television.
To aid that effort, NBC Universal is creating 30- to 60-second interstitials, called “Maria's Money Tips,” to promote the show. Stations can sell sponsorships of the interstitials, which will be available after the November sweeps, to local advertisers.
No related content found.
No Top Articles