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Sep 14, 2007

PR Interview: How to Land a Spot on CNBC’s ‘Business Nation’

SUMMARY: Business execs looking for top-shelf journalism, insightful analysis and engaging storytelling can turn to CNBC’s ‘Business Nation,’ anchored by journalist David Faber. The one-hour newsmagazine focuses each month on stories behind the business headlines. It mixes hard news, exclusive investigations and interviews. We interviewed the show’s story editor to find out what you need to do to become a part of it.
Contact information
Jill Landes
Story Editor
‘Business Nation’
CNBC Longform Documentary Unit
900 Sylvan Ave.
Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07632


David Faber, host of ‘The Faber Report’ and a market news analyst, hosts ‘Business Nation.’ He has led the show since its debut in January 2007.

In his 13 years at the network, Faber has broken stories, including WorldCom’s bankruptcy and Australian newspaper mogul Rupert Murdoch’s bid to purchase Dow Jones & Company. In 2005, he received a Peabody Award for the two-hour documentary “The Age of Wal-Mart.” He is author of ‘The Faber Report,’ published in 2002.

The audience for ‘Business Nation’ ranges from small business operators to C-level executives to individual investors and investment managers. According to a 2006 Erdos & Morgan study, CNBC is the network 70% of C-level professionals at top companies choose to watch during business hours.

CNBC’s audience profile reveals that its viewers:
o Have an average net worth of $2.6 million
o Have a median household net worth of $1.52 million
o Have a median household income of $150,000
o Their average investments are worth $845,000
o 61% hold top management positions

Examples of current editorial coverage
Landes compares ‘Business Nation’ to CBS’ ‘60 Minutes,’ saying the two share a similar style although a different focus. Each ‘Business Nation’ edition has three 8-12 minute segments. Each episode combines news, investigative features (stories behind the business headlines) and an essay. Segments focus entirely on business, finance and the economy.

The show’s documentaries have included behind-the-scenes looks at large corporations, such as eBay. Its past program lineup included segments on:
o Market competition between Barbie and Bratz dolls
o Sweet ‘N Low's family history
o The Nestle Company’s new water plant

Web site offers readers daily “Market in a Minute” updates, a resource that reports on the most important happenings on Wall Street and the global economy every half hour. The site also allows users access to more than 100 video clips each day.

Other Web exclusives include “Tick-by-Tick Charts,” a detachable, customizable ticker for market watchers, and “Watch Lists,” which alert users to clips relevant to their investment portfolios.

The ‘Business Nation’ portion of CNBC’s Web site contains host and contributors’ biographies, the current month’s program highlights and show times. Web extras include video clips of the most recent segments.

How to pitch
Landes says the best way to pitch a story is by sending a one-page email that she can forward directly to the show’s producers. They want stories with strong interview subjects and good picture possibilities. Segments should consist of material that hasn’t appeared yet on national television.

“We also like to do stories that can take the viewer on an adventure and show them access to something they haven't seen before.” A good example is the segment on a coal mine in West Virginia that gave viewers a first-hand look at new mining techniques. Producers also are interested in topics relevant to the show’s concluding essay segment, "How I Made My Millions." A recent one looked at the two brothers who turned their ‘Life Is Good’ message into a $100-million business.

Landes’ biggest pet peeve is the pitchers' lack of knowledge of the ‘Business Nation’ format. “We are not a talk show -- we don't book guests. Sometimes, it's hard to respond to people who pitch us stories but have never seen our broadcast.” Therefore, before you compose your email, make sure you catch an episode of ‘Business Nation.’ It airs Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, although the original air date varies each month. Each show repeats several times throughout the month.

Comments to Business Nation
If you have any comments regarding the show, send them to businessnation(at)cnbc(dot)com. Producers are open to hearing your suggestions for topics and features.

Meet Landes
“I do sometimes accept lunch meetings or attend conferences.” Send her an email to check on her availability.

See Also:

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