Booyah Slide and Sentiment


Via Media Bistro, comes this fascinating ratings tidbit:

"Jim Cramer‘s ratings must be causing some alarm in Engelwood Cliffs.

He fell below 200,000 total viewers at 6pm in May — averaging 175,000 for the month, a 29 percent drop from his 247,000 average in May 2006. (In March, he averaged 255,000, and in April, he averaged 205,000.)

In the 25-54 demo, the declines may be more ominous. Here’s the trend from January to May: 87,000, 72,000, 88,000, 59,000, 50,000. His May demo delivery of 50,000 is his worst in many months, and down 50 percent from last May’s average of 100,000…"

I have a few questions: The first one about this is from a Sentiment perspective — last year’s Booyah mania did not remotely mark a top — as I suspected it might have the potential to do. I even did a column raising the question last year (Monitoring the ‘Mad Money’ Madness).

Now, we see ratings have slipped. Is that simply the short attention span of today’s youth? Or, does the decreased viewership support the Bull’s argument that the sentiment out there is not excessively exuberant.

Maybe this is merely another example of the magazine cover indicator at work — this time, it might have been New York mag that top ticked the latest trend!?! Or, it could simply be a case of  "Cramer Fatigue."

But the most likely candidate for the ratings slide are all of the "Cramer Watch" websites (including Seeking Alpha) posting his list of stock "Buys and Sells" have stolen some of the shows thunder — and ratings.  


UPDATE:  June 16, 2007 6:33am

The theory that is gaining the most traction in my mind is that websites are stealing Jim’s ratings by reproducing his Buys and Sells — without requiring an hour of viewing time.

Its is a zero sum game — their gains in traffic come at the expense of Jim’s ratings. See this recent traffic graph from the (unaffiliated) MaddMoney:


(Note that June is only thru 6/15)

This is but one of dozens of sites that track CNBC’s Mad Money, especially the stock Buys and Sells.  I would suspect that all of these sites have pulled between off viewers of 25,000 to 50,000 per broadcast.

MY ADVICE: Call these bloggers into a meeting with Jim. Ask that they sequester the market calls for 48 hours. They are free riding on his work, and if they keep doing it, there may be no show at all.


DISCLOSURE: I am a contributor to

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What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. Leisa commented on Jun 11

    I would surmise that the decline is due to the shtick that after time becomes unwatchable. I used to watch, and I felt that he put some terrific ideas out. But over time, the ideas seem to be a bit too stretched. He has much to offer, but that format makes it more like a three ring circus. His radio format was much better.

  2. Barry Ritholtz commented on Jun 11

    I wonder if all of the Cramer Watch websites (including Seeking Alpha) that post his list of stock Butys and Sells have stolen some of the shows thunder — and ratings …

  3. theroxylandr commented on Jun 11

    Maybe people are running out of money to invest? 2000 replay…

  4. Bob A commented on Jun 11

    The people watching it just ran out of oxy or x or whatever other kind of pills they were taking that made it seem interesting to them.

  5. GerryL commented on Jun 11

    I watched it regularly for the first year or so but found him increasingly harder to watch. I still feel he is a smart guy with some intereting ideas but I just cant take the screaming anymore.

  6. Bob A commented on Jun 11

    … and like anyone who’s followed him long enough knows, they’re learning his picks are about as accurate as flipping a coin.

  7. KP commented on Jun 11

    Cramer’s rise took place in a market that really only moved in one direction…UP.

    Now that volatility is back, and he will have more misses(now that he’s not throwing at the broad side of a barn…like everyone else was!) his feable minded mob will turn on him and start looking for the next false prophet.

  8. Kevin commented on Jun 11

    I think what got Cramer such a wide audience at first was that he had personality and credibility. Over time, his credibility wained as his personality became more over the top.

    I think we would also be remiss if we didn’t offer the possibility that Fast Money is stealing his audience. Their traders, while less identifiable to the layman, are more directly engaged in the market rather than merely serving as a mouthpiece to a team of analysts. I walk away from Fast Money feeling like I just overheard a conversation among some guys (and gals) who are richer and smarter than me. I walk away from Mad Money feeling like Cramer is trying to sell me something.

  9. Christopher Laudani commented on Jun 11


    Does anyone know if last year’s ratings include the late night showing of Mad Money?

    I bet they lost a lot of viewers by dropping the midnight showing. I think it would be a great show to watch in college. Ya gotta drink everytime someone says BOOYA!

  10. Joe commented on Jun 11

    I watch regularly, but I’ve found his shows to be a little less interesting lately. It seems more like he’s been doing a bunch of lists of stocks, instead of detailed segments on specific stocks – granted he does still do this.

    Also, I’m not really looking for new ideas at the moment. I also find his smallcap picks ridiculous, after he mentions them the stocks shoot way up. I tend to like his larger cap ideas better…

  11. Estragon commented on Jun 11

    Maybe this is part of a general trend away from materialism? We’ve seen this sort of thing before (eg. 80’s flashiness became decidedly uncool in the early 90’s).

  12. Norman commented on Jun 11

    Mad Money is really a sitcom in disguise. Like 90% of them they only last about one season. If I was the producer of his show I’d add in more ‘characters’. Too bad Aaron Spelling is dead, he’d know what to do.

  13. commented on Jun 11

    Cramer needs guests on that show. Get some sector experts on their to tell Cramer he’s full of crap. But he may be too much of an egomaniac to let anyone else on his show.

  14. CDizzle commented on Jun 11

    2 words: FAST…MONEY.

    CNBC, I will speculate, has cannibalized Cramer’s audience. I’m not going to lay out the X reasons why it’s happening (or that it isn’t CNBC’s objective to do so, for that matter)…but it’s happening.

  15. Gary commented on Jun 11

    My guess is something like “Cramer Fatigue.” The show was on three times a day (still two) and that just can’t be maintained without over exposure. I no longer watch regularly, but that goes for Fast Money too. The markets are just making me too nervous as I try to follow Buffet’s rule no. 1.

    Cramer has done an excellent job in bringing the markets, and finance to a wider audience, a woefully uneducated audience about most of this topic. This country’s lack of understanding of even basic finance is amazing. It should be taught in schools from the get-go. Cramer’s mania while hard to handle at times cuts through the dullness. The man is smart and has insight and if even 1% of his audience stays with the subject, he will have done a better job than most of the financial media put together. It seems to me that Fast Money has lifted their pacing and other aspects directly from Cramer.

    I’m a bit tired of all the Cramer bashing. Is he perfect? No. He at least admits to his warts and imperfections. Those who grade him on the “accuracy” of his picks are missing the point. I’ll take coin-flip accuracy if it makes me money. That’s probably much better accuracy than Peter Lynch ever had. I don’t know how you can grade Cramer when he doesn’t give enough information to make the assessment (like Jim Jubak does for example).

  16. ari5000 commented on Jun 11

    that’s actually not a bad idea — introducing new ‘characters’.

    Any show as boring as Mad Money would be gone. It’s like Seinfeld except in every episode Jerry sits on the couch and just talks about stuff. It could be actually funny for 2 or 3 episodes.

    He could probably ramp up ratings 10 fold by getting someone to completely disagree with him and they could argue about stuff once or twice a week.

    Or maybe he could make a few picks that don’t suck.

    Lots of possibilities…

  17. commented on Jun 11

    Write-Offs: 06.11.07

    $$$ Guess who said this: “Rupert Murdoch started stalking Dow Jones more than a decade ago. I know, because he and I discussed the deal.” [NYM] $$$ Sushi Etiquette [Banker’s Ball] $$$ Booyah Slide and Sentiment [Big Picture] $$$ Schwarzman…

  18. KP commented on Jun 11


    “He could probably ramp up ratings 10 fold by getting someone to completely disagree with him and they could argue about stuff once or twice a week.”

    Wasn’t that what Kudlow and Cramer was about?

  19. Jim Bergsten commented on Jun 11

    I guess nobody else is willing to be publicly embarrassed by coming right out and saying this (but I have kids, so NOTHING can embarras me):

    From an entertainment perspective (which is what brings in an audience), the high point of Mad Money was when some crew member(s) weighted down the chair Cramer threw each night (his reaction has to be one of the great moments of TV).

    Once the chair throwing stopped (probably due to a decision by a combination of lawyers and medicos concerned about killing off the star), interest waned. I watched less and less, and eventually stopped entirely.

    Jim’s clearly a high energy, intelligent, ethical, hard working guy. I’m sure he’ll be on to something else before you know it.

    The better question is (to mix metaphors), who is going to be the NEXT Pied Piper, roping in the Main Street sheep?

    He sure had ME BAAAAAAHHHHHing there for a while.

  20. Jim Bergsten commented on Jun 11

    Oh yeah, forgot my disclosure…

    “I” am a contributor to the too.

    To the tune of about $1K/year.

  21. ManhattanGuy commented on Jun 11

    I agree with Kevin, Fast Money is way better than Mad money. Eric Bolling is the best trader I’ve ever seen.

    But thanks to Kramer for identifying AMZN, I am shorting it.

  22. buckykatt commented on Jun 11

    I refer to him as Crater. He is as overexposed as Rachael Ray.

  23. wunsacon commented on Jun 11

    Norman, that’s brilliant! Cramer’s show needs a Spelling-esque “Jiggle TV” makeover.

    Are you thinking what I’m thinking?? Do you think Cramer has the guts??? ;-)

  24. SINGER commented on Jun 12

    cramer’s old real money radio show was pretty f**king cool, he’s alot more enjoyable in his sarcastic understated character…

  25. John F. commented on Jun 12

    Maybe he’ll blame it on gas prices… For me, Fast Mo. is a better use of 45 minutes (Tivoed) at this point.

  26. Karl Smith commented on Jun 12

    Cramer is just too much. I can only watch him in the gym with Closed Caption and even then the screaming comes through in his body langauge.

    Plus its just an hour with a middle aged bald guy. He should get Rebecca Jarvis as a co-host and I would be more interested.

  27. Bob A commented on Jun 12

    …middle aged bald charlatan lunatic

  28. J’adoube commented on Jun 12

    Here’s another theory:

    He sucks.

  29. Shane Milburn commented on Jun 12

    Let me ask this question: How many of the viewers are traders at heart? I watched sporadically for maybe a month when it first started, but he’ll buy and sell a stock in the amount of time it takes me to come to a conclusion on it. The stocks I like I buy and hold for many months and usually years.

    I don’t think the average joe investor can devote the amount of mental energy it takes to constantly move in and out of positions.

    BTW, Cramer’s “Confessions of a Street Addict” book is a great read.

  30. Balzac commented on Jun 13

    It means that the Generation: MCD
    ….is not as stupid as he flattered himself to believe

  31. mj commented on Jun 14

    I used to watch Cramer and followed some of his recommendations. I lost more money than made and he started to be like a bad actor, so I stopped watching the show and started watching Fast Money. I am afraid Fast Money is loosing its substance. It used to be good which Eric and Tim giving great recommendations and Jeff and Guy contributing at times. Now it is Eric only and they replaced Tim with this Pete person that his knowledge is limited to watching daily option trading. Let’s see how long that one last. If I watch the show is for Eric Boling only

  32. bcm commented on Jun 17

    Some of these comments are nuts. Cramer is creating a revolution of interest in financial markets. While unorthodox, his programs are always entertaining and helpful if you want to make money and learn how the markets work. It was a risky venture and still is. I watch both Mad Money and usually Fast Money, but there’s no comparison in what I learn or can use. Cramer’s show is hands down more useful. Alls the snide sex “jokes” on fast money are a complete turn off. I simply endure listening in the hope that something useful might be said and for some additional context to the market. But the big egos on Fast Money really detract from what I see as a really noble purpose on Mad Money of educating the masses and getting people into the game with some hope of success. I’ve made Mad Money and will continue to support the show. I tell all my friends to watch or they are really missing a revoluaiton.

  33. sw skellum commented on Jun 17

    Thankfully, I’ve moved beyond needing ANYONE to tell me what to do or buy in this game. One thing I did get from Cramer, since I don’t work on Wall Street, is the “mindset” of the pricks who do work there. You must admit that a large percentage of Cramer’s viewers are honest, ethical people who don’t intuitively understand the psychotic, self-centered ways of the street people. Cramer should spend more time “educating” on the upside down logic of things such as “sell the news”, etc.

  34. pmundkur commented on Jun 17

    Both “Mad Money” and “Fast Money” are very interesting shows to watch – for people that are genuinely interested in the stock market and the economy. Cramer and the others (esp. Eric Bolling) are very smart.

    That said, following their recommendations immediately can be financially hazardous. Also, Cramer has a very flip way of discouting his bad calls. He apologies for them – but by then your money is long gone. Also, he likes to make calls on every single stock – and of course he is more often wrong than right. It is simply not possible to follow the details of every single stock to that level.

    Fast money is much better as they make general remarks regarding sectors or the markets and economy in general.


  35. joe commented on Jun 17

    cramer is a clown and his schtick is so yesterday

  36. Jmurri commented on Jun 17

    I can thank Cramer for getting me back into the market as something other than a buy and hold loser. I’ve learned a lot from his book, and his enthusiasm is addictive. I’ve personally made thousands of dollars off of companies he’s mentioned on his show – companies that I did my homework on *before* I bought.

    Some of his detractors are so funny (ya, that’s some of you that are posting here) because despite the fact that you dislike him, you still watch the show or take the time to comment on him. For those of you whom Cramer is anathema of good investing – You all benefit from him, even if you dislike him, because he’s raising your awareness – causing you to seek out other shows..other commentary.

    I watched Fast Money for awhile, but it always has came off to me as an also-ran to Mad Money. Even the name….Do you thin it sounds a lot like Mad Money by mistake? However, I’m sure there are those of you that love the show. I don’t. Am I going to bash it – no. Do I go to (where one of the show’s personalities is a columnist) regularly? Yes. I choose to not watch Fast Money. Period. I may tune in again and give it another try someday. Those of you that don’t like Mad Money or Jim Cramer should do the same – just don’t watch the show. It sounds like a pretty simple solution to me.

  37. Jmurri commented on Jun 17

    Oh, and even a fan like myself does not get to watch the show as much as I’d like due to the late showing not being on anymore. I’d bet the year over year decline has a lot to do with it. That plus, as has been mentioned previously, the summaries on,, etc. Now that the late showing isn’t on, I’m appreciative of the summaries. However every time I read those instead of watch the show (which gets harder to do it seems without the late showing) I’m one of the viewers that isn’t counted anymore. The sites that post summaries do owe Cramer something. It’s funny kind of because I don’t buy Barrons as much as I used to thanks to the article commentaries on either.

    Still, again I would say – stop your bashing and exercise the freedom you have to not watch the show or read any of his stuff. Simple solution to a simple problem.

  38. DJ commented on Aug 24

    Cramer is a salesman for friends, Just look at SHLD he keeps saying to buy, his friend Eddies company this is terrible advice look at it’s history. I am a Fast Money fan. They are in the markets and seem to give sound advice. Cramer seems to have a list that he works off of either friends or something along those lines. He has lost credibility with me.

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