I’ve found Erin Burnett to be a delightful addition on CNBC — she gets the full NYT rising star treatment in the Sunday Business section:
ONLY days into a new job at CNBC two and a half years ago, Erin
Burnett was settling into orientation when the network decided to put
her on camera.
Viewers and executives of the cable business channel took note, and
within weeks, Ms. Burnett started her first big assignment,
contributing to “Squawk on the Street,” a new morning program. Just
weeks later she was a co-anchor of the program with Mark Haines, a
veteran anchor who had been at CNBC since its founding in 1989.
A series of other high-profile assignments followed, including a 2
p.m. solo hour, appearances on NBC’s news programs and the expansion of
her morning program to a second hour. Today, at 32, Ms. Burnett is the
youngest person on television to anchor three hours of business news
“She’s the ultimate growth stock,” said Jonathan Wald, CNBC’s senior vice president for business news.
Ms. Burnett’s meteoric rise is the most recent example of how
television networks try to transform fresh-faced hosts into household
names with all the perks — and hazards — that sudden celebrity entails.
And Ms. Burnett’s “overnight success” isn’t an accident. Competing with
the Internet and the fledgling Fox Business Network, CNBC has been
trolling for new stars, and the network has meticulously managed and
promoted Ms. Burnett’s ascent.
Because of the seismic changes roiling the media business and the
huge number of choices that business news devotees now have when
searching for information, anchors are no longer only news readers.
Their bosses and handlers emphasize their personalities as much as
their acumen in an effort to carve out niche followings…
“She is a work in progress,” Mr. Wald said. “She did not come to
CNBC a fully formed business news star. And she’s evolving into a
notable TV personality.”
Who are your most and least favorite CNBC (or other channel) anchors?
Discuss . . .
Needing a Star, CNBC Made One
NYT, July 20, 2008