Former CNBCer Trish Regan made the jump to Bloomberg TV last month. It’s not a conventional move, in many respects – most correspondents and anchors working within the NBC family try to move up the ladder at that org, or head over to one of the big cable nets or the broadcast competition. Bloomberg TV doesn’t have the ratings footprint of CNBC (it doesn’t subscribe to Bloomberg and is assumed to be quite small), but it has a much larger newsgathering operation. And that, for Regan, was the clincher. Today, she starts work on the relaunch of “Street Smart,” produced by fellow CNBC vet Jason Farkas.
[Please note: some of my own questions are slightly paraphrased in order to make the coversation read more clearly. Ums, ahs, ers, and hmms are deleted on everyone’s part, mostly mine. Regan’s comments are verbatim, or as close to it as I can get]
Variety: Does it feel to you like people are paying closer attention to business news now than they have in the past?
Regan: Here’s what I’d say about that: Americans have an appetite for finacial news that is unprecendented right now. They want to understand what’s going on right now and they want to know when the employment rate is going to go down.
Variety: So it’s important to keep an eye on everything, if you can.
Regan: Yes. I think another aspect of my personality is that I’m very interested in both micro and macro economics and linking the two. I don’t think you can look at a particular stock, for example, without talking about the sector and what it’s saying about the economy as a whole.
Variety: Do you think people will get more interested in the economy as the campaign moves forward?
Regan: The horse race is very interesting; people vote their pocketbooks, and it’s going to come down to who they believe has the best economic policy. [For a reporter,] it’s an opportunity to really scrutinize at a very detailed level. That’s the responsible thing to do as a journalist; as a financial journalist, that’s the skill set that I bring to the table. […] I’m going to do a new segment on the show called Reganomix, to sort of mix it up and talk about these different policies.
Variety: It sounds like fun, honestly.
Regan: Maybe I’m a bit of a wonk and a dork, but I really enjoy it. In an election year, we’re looking at everything through an economic lens. Just look at this past year, all the volatility was incredible, and we ended up at exactly the same point at the end of the day. All the concerns came from the downgrade of the US debt, and [the question of] what’s going to happen next in Europe.
Variety: Do you sort of wish people had been paying closer attention to business news a few years ago? I remember reading, “the housing market will probably crash, yup, it’s gonna crash, whoops, it’s crashing, now it’s crashed.” And people said, “How could we have foreseen this?!”
Regan: I gotta say, as much research as I was doing back then, and as concerned as I was in 2005, I don’t think people knew how bad it could get. This is the worst-case scenario, and rarely does that happen. It was very interesting going through all of that, and now we’re almost seeing the sequel to that movie with Europe.
Variety: So we have an opportunity to learn from it?
Regan: When you look at what happened – what are the policies that took place that helped us? What policies didn’t work? And frankly, European leaders need to understand it right now. We’ve seen a version of this movie before.
Variety: How did you get started in journalism?
Regan: I have a strong background in journalism – my Mom was a reporter and I used to go out with her in the field when I was five years old. One thing I want to do with this show is take it outside the studio. I want to understand not just the leaders, but what the people are experiencing as well.