Stephanie Ruhle wants to do the type of business-news coverage that’s aimed more at the supermarket, and less at the stock market.
Ruhle, the MSNBC anchor who has seen her profile grow during a 9 a.m. program as well as an hour co-hosted with Ali Velshi, has been named senior business correspondent at NBC News, and says she wants to take coverage of corporations in a different direction than one might see elsewhere on the cable set-top box.
“I think every person out there cares about the money in their wallet, cares about their financial health,” Ruhle says in an interview. “If we can help a general audience get better and smarter as it relates to their own finances – and broader – I think there’s a huge opportunity.” She intends to keep anchoring an hour at MSNBC – at present, she is assigned to still hold forth at 9 a.m., but notes “anything could change” – but will also appear on NBC News’ “Today” and “NBC Nightly News” and other NBC News venues. Ruhle already has an active series on NBC News Now, the news division’s new streaming-video outlet.
The new role will knit together two different roles Ruhle has played in recent years. She got her start in the news business at Bloomberg Television, after a 14-year stint in sales at Credit Suisse First Boston and Deutsche Bank. While at Bloomberg, Ruhle helped launch the morning-news program “Bloomberg GO,” with David Westin, the former president of ABC News. Since joining MSNBC in 2016, however, she has covered the ongoing swirl of politics and general news of the post-election cycle – often taking a no-nonsense stance, particularly in the hour she co-anchored with Velshi.
“Stephanie will continue to anchor on MSNBC as well as report for Today, Nightly, NBC News Now and digital,’ says Janelle Rodriguez, senior vice president of editorial at NBC News, in a memo to staffers. “We will be hiring a new producer for her in the coming weeks who will also join the team. Stephanie is excited to be officially joining you – the best reporting team in Business/Tech/Media. 2020 is going to be an incredibly dynamic news year and we are off to the races.”
NBC News has in recent years built up its coverage of industries like technology and media, hiring correspondents like April Glaser, Olivia Solon and Cyrus Farivar to cover Silicon Valley; Claire Atkinson to cover media; and Dylan Byers to pen a weekday newsletter than analyzes both.
Ruhle expects to cover bigger issues relevant to NBC News’ broader general audience, she says, such as the growing divide between workers and management; how corporations are tackling climate change; and how shifts in technology and environment will affect consumers. She also hopes to interview CEOs about their views on the way the world and business are transforming, rather than their outlook on the next quarter’s worth of EBITDA.
“We see CEOs almost entirely on business TV, and they just talk about their company and things that will help move their stock,” Ruhle notes. But a general audience might want to hear from executives about their views on bigger issues like how the direction of capitalism, wealth gaps, or climate change, she adds. “What a vantage point they have – if we can bring that to our audience.”