CNBC is struggling to hold onto viewers who perceive a lack of transparency–which leaves an opening.
Economist Grant Williams is launching a 24-hour web-based television project called Real Vision aimed squarely at putting CNBC out of business. (Or at least getting into CNBC’s business.) His timing couldn’t be better. According to the latest Nielsen Media Research data for the second quarter of 2014, CNBC Business Day viewership has dropped to 162,000 — a new low in-line with Q2, 1997. Viewers are jumping ship–not because they don’t like Wall Streeters –but because CNBC is losing credibility. Most of its content features overly bullish commentators talking to CEOs who relentlessly spin their companies as a good buy. Add the overwhelming feeling that advertising is driving the agenda, and smart retail investors are starting to look away. Who will give them an intelligent, transparent criticism of Apple’s cash-hoard or the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy? Grant Williams and friends will–or that’s the plan anyway.
Real Vision TV–“Financial Television for the Real World”–will be on-demand. Williams, who runs the popular Mauldin Economics‘ Bull’s Eye publication and the blog Things That Make You Go Hmmmm… promises that all Real Vision information “will come to you unfiltered, unbiased, and unadulterated.” He won’t have the revenue pressures of running a TV network and he thinks this fact will translate into more independent analysis and opinion. In other words, just what viewers are leaving CNBC to find. Slated to launch in a few weeks, Real Vision Television information here.