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An Extra Hour Of Squawk On The Street Sweetie Claman, Under 90-Day Non-Compete Contract, Leaves 90-Days Ahead of Fox Business Launch

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Viewers of CNBC just witnessed a change in the network's programming line up. With the departure of Liz Claman yesterday, CNBC decided to immediately to expand Squawk on the Street to two hours. Claman had anchored Morning Call from 10 am until noon. Squawk has been extended to 11 am, while Morning Call has been reduced to a one hour program.
Claman's Morning Call reportedly has been the number one rated show during the business day on the network since it was launched in 2002. Squawk on the Street, which is regularly anchored by Mark Haines and Erin Burnett, reportedly has better demographics, however. We think that's television folk speak for being a hit with the kind of folks in front of whom advertisers want to put their products. Burnett was recently crowned the "Street Sweetie" in the New York Post. Prior to that, she came in first in a DealBreaker poll of which CNBC anchor "moves your market."
Erin Burnett was not seen on today's launch of the two-hour Squawk on the Street. Her place was taken by Michelle Caruso-Cabrera. She could not immediately be reached for comment on her absence because we didn't bother to ask her. But we've already received speculative emails from readers guessing at the reason for her absence. Speculation ranges from recovering from a late night out celebrating the capture of an additional hour of air time to first day nerves to contract negotiations.
Burnett's regular co-host, Mark Haines, was on set today, and opened the show with a elongated announcement that this is: "Liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii-v from the financial capital of the world in the heart of lower Manhattan, this is the new super-sized, bigger, better, faster, Squawk on the Street." Throughout the first hour, Haines hosted with a higher than usual level of energy. Perhaps he is, like, totally psyched about the two-hour format. Or maybe the coffee in his personal thermos was just extra-strong today. As the second hour of the program opened, Haines alluded to his former multi-hour co-hosting duty on the network by announcing that "the second hour of Squawk Box begins...right now!" Squawk Box airs in the three hours before Squawk on The Street.
Claman is widely believed to be heading to the business news network set to be launched by News Corp in October. Although a spokesman for the new network has denied that a contract with Claman is in place, her departure is well-timed for moving to the network. She reportedly has a 90-day non-compete agreement with CNBC. October 15th, which is the launch date planned for the Fox Business Channel, is 90 days from yesterday.
The changes were announced yesterday with an email from CNBC Senior VP Jonathan Wald, which was reported on by Media Bistro's TV Newser.