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‘Squawk’ all week long

CNBC expanding franchise

NEW YORK — CNBC is expanding its popular “Squawk Box” franchise to seven days a week — a move that could signal a return to weekend business programming for the cabler.

Starting this weekend, “Squawk Box” will begin running Saturday and Sunday nights at 7:30, replacing repeats of the canceled political talker “Equal Time.” While shortened to 30 minutes, the weekend edition will retain the basic format of the two-hour weekday morning show, a loosely structured program filled with investment advice and market analysis.

The on-air team will also carry over to the weekends, with Mark Haines hosting, and David Farber, Kathleen Hays, Joe Kernen and Maria Bartiromo contributing.

CNBC business news VP Bruno Cohen says extending the “Squawk Box” franchise to weekends could be the first step in replacing the cabler’s infomercial-dominated weekend lineup with a more business-oriented sked.

“We would clearly like to be programming those time periods,” Cohen said. “We see an opportunity there.”

Should “Squawk Box” perform well on weekends, CNBC might expand the weekend edition to an hour or longer, Cohen said. Other business programs also could begin popping up.

The big issue is cost. CNBC collects a hefty windfall by airing paid programming on Saturday and Sunday mornings and afternoons. Putting either original business programming or repeats of weekday shows on the weekends would mean sacrificing that revenue.

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