New-look CNBC targets big guns

CNBC business show Worldwide Exchange is on a mission to grasp the attention of every big mover and shaker in the corporate world. James Cowling reports

CNBC: Ross Westgate hosts the Worldwide Exchange from London
CNBC: Ross Westgate hosts the Worldwide Exchange from London

Newly refreshed on 28 March, the five-year-old morning programme has made several changes to keep pace with the demands of its global audience of affluent senior business people.

According to CNBC research, 70 per cent of its viewers are decision makers.

As executive producer EMEA Fiona MacMillan says: 'It's a great opportunity for PROs to get their heavy-hitters in front of a global audience.'

Worldwide Exchange features presenters from three global regions. Each weekday, Ross Westgate in London and Christine Tan in Singapore are joined by Nicole Lapin from CNBC headquarters in the US.

The programme analyses trends that affect any business or investor across the international markets - described by CNBC as a 'global conversation' for viewers.

It covers local stories with global significance. Guests and reports range in origin from New York to Mumbai, Frankfurt to Tokyo and Shanghai to Dubai. 'We have a global remit, which means our stories have to appeal to everyone whether they are in Manhattan or Manila,' says MacMillan.

The show is transmitted at 9am UK time for two hours, meaning it goes out between 4am and 6am in the east of the US. According to MacMillan, this does not deter viewers: 'A lot of people are in hotel gyms on treadmills watching us and getting ready to start early in the City, so it prepares them with all the latest news.'

The main change to the programme is structure, with the first hour now devoted to mainly European and Asian news. The second hour focuses on the US and broadcasts from CNBC in the US, with guests from the region.

'We are also looking at introducing a global business theme each week for a series of daily reports about the topic,' says MacMillan. 'For example, we started by looking at risk, which we tease as a theme beforehand and then go into in more depth as the week continues. This is something we have not done before.'

The programme's relative longevity in a competitive business news marketplace is testament to its global appeal, adds MacMillan. Worldwide Exchange is CNBC's most distributed show, simultaneously available in more than 100 countries across the globe. In the UK, CNBC attracts 480,000 viewers each week.

The programme has a loyal following in the UK, according to Taylor Herring founder James Herring: 'It's a good place to start if you need to know what is happening in the markets and a great platform for PR professionals with corporate clients.

'It gives CEOs an opportunity to talk directly to stakeholders. CNBC is extremely influential among the business elite - it gives you a global audience.'


Audience 480,000 viewers weekly in the UK (source: CNBC)

Show time 9am each weekday in the UK


Associate producers Rose Michelson Aliza Medina

Newsdesk 020 7653 9427


- What makes the brand different?

Our programme has a truly global reach. We appeal to the most senior CEOs and give a wide picture of what is going on in the global financial markets. We broadcast from the major financial capitals of the world to give an accurate picture of the issues.

- Describe your audience

Affluent. It could be somebody watching in their Manhattan apartment or a CEO in the office. They are 65 per cent male, on average are 44 years old and 70 per cent are decision makers.

- What opportunities are there for PROs?

We have a great global reach for guests. It is a fantastic opportunity for CEOs to reach a truly global audience. Recent guests have included the CEO of Shell, Peter Voser.

- Advice for PR professionals

The most important thing is to realise is that every story has to have a global appeal - a quirky European story will not necessarily be relevant to Wall Street. We also plan well in advance, so there is no point in calling our newsdesk on a Monday to try to get something on Wednesday's programme.

- What is your pet PR hate?

Probably the same as every other journalist - the scattergun approach to sending press releases to everyone does not work.

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