Cheddar CEO: Millennials, though often overlooked by cable TV, love business news

Posted By Student Newsroom on Friday April 28, 2017

By Saundra Wilson
Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University

Some people may think business news doesn’t appeal to millennials, but Cheddar TV founder and CEO Jon Steinberg said people in their 20s and 30s love business news.

Steinberg spoke at a session Friday morning at the spring conference of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

Steinberg said millennials are curious learners who think about their finances. The inspiration for Cheddar came when Steinberg saw a hole in business coverage geared toward a younger audience.

“You need a 24/7 network, and it should be focused on technology, entertainment and media and culture,” Steinberg said.

Cheddar TV focuses on these areas, featuring young anchors, a bright color scheme and some non-traditional reporting techniques, including breaking the fourth wall, Steinberg said.

Jon Steinberg, Cheddar TV founder and CEO, says he created the company to provide business news for a millennial audience. (Saundra Wilson/ASU Walter Cronkite School)

The company broadcasts live video eight hours a day. The content is delivered almost exclusively on Over-The-Top platforms, or devices connected to the internet such as mobile phones, smart TVs and gaming consoles.

“When our content gets jumbled and non-neighborhooded, the consumer gets disoriented,” Steinberg said.

He said he believes having content in a designated place, similar to cable TV or “neighborhood” gives millennials a consistent place to go where they aren’t distracted by all kinds of other content.

Gregory Roth, a director of communications for Credential Financial Inc., a Canadian wealth management company, said connecting with a millennial audience is important to his company.

“The type of audiences that we’re trying to reach most are the people that we’re best able to help throughout their life,” Roth said.

Steinberg said there are opportunities with the millennial audience and beyond.

“I have a 6 year old and a 7 year old, and they don’t watch TV through a traditional cable box,” Steinberg said.

Steinberg said Cheddar plans to lead the way in creating business content for millennials.

Millennials comprise the nation’s largest generation, surpassing Baby Boomers, according to the Pew Research Center.

The generation, generally defined as people 18 to 34 years old, is projected to peak in about two decades with more than 80 million people, according to Pew.

“If you capture the younger demographic first, the older people will follow,” Steinberg said. “Everybody wants to be young.”

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