NEW YORK — Cable networks and local TV stations tend to get along with each other about as well as Bill Clinton and Kenneth Starr. But CNBC owns two veteran syndicated series — the 12-year-old “This Morning’s Business” and “The Wall Street Journal Report,” which has run continuously for 16 years — that have harvested record sales to stations throughout the U.S.
TV stations are happy to climb into bed with CNBC for these two series because “we’re promoting them to the 65 million homes that have access to CNBC,” says Rich Goldfarb, senior VP of syndicated sales and marketing for the network.
The most obvious tie-ins, Goldfarb says, are the anchors. Keven McCullough, the anchor of “This Morning’s Business,” is one of the anchors of CNBC’s “Market Watch” program, which runs weekdays from 10 to noon.
McCullough is also a contributor to the network’s “Today’s Business” show, which is on from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday. Consuelo Mack, the anchor of “Wall Street Journal Report,” is, like McCullough, an anchor on CNBC’s “Market Watch.”
Both McCullough and Mack promote their syndicated shows on CNBC, but Goldfarb says it’s a one-way street. The syndi-cated shows avoid mention of CNBC so as not to annoy TV stations that are giving up 3-1/2 minutes of precious commercial time within each half-hour to CNBC for sale to national advertisers.
Goldfarb said “Wall Street Journal Report” now reaches close to 200 TV stations covering 91% of the U.S., including every one of the top-50 markets. Call letters include WCBS New York, KABC Los Angeles and WLS Chicago. WLS will relinquish the show in September to the NBC-owned station WMAQ.
The U.S. clearance rate for “This Morning’s Business,” which CNBC has hired Paramount Domestic TV to distribute, is at about 86%, Goldfarb says, including 46 of the top-50 markets. Eleven of the stations on board are NBC O&O’s, including KNBC L.A., WNBC N.Y. and WMAQ Chicago.
Madison Avenue sources say “Wall Street Journal” is pocketing more than $9,000 for each of the seven 30-second spots in every episode. “This Morning’s Business,” which generates more inventory because it runs five times a week, is getting between $7,000 and $7,500 for each of the seven :30s per half-hour.
Since both shows use CNBC’s facilities, production costs are kept low, making the programs nice profit centers for the network.