If you’re preparing yourself for an MBA program and a career in business, you’ll need to get acquainted with the media’s representative of the business world (like it or not). To give you a head start on your “research,” we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 business TV shows.
Is your favorite business show on the list? Let us know in the comments!
1. Suze Orman (CNBC)
Orman is a great source of practical personal finance information. Her straightforward no-frills approach to money advice is a breath of fresh air in a cable news world full of blowhards and attention whores. While some might take issue with her tone or sexuality (she is openly gay) financial novices have benefited from her counsel for years.
2. Fast Money Halftime Report (CNBC)
This is probably the best show to catch around lunch time if you need to get a glimpse of the day’s business happenings. It’s a half-hour of unbiased and informative headlines served up by host Melissa Lee.
3. The Office (NBC)
This one is a no-brainer (much like its lead character). Steve Carell has created a cultural icon in Michael Scott, the socially inept manager of Dunder Mifflin Paper Supplies. While The Office won’t contribute much to your b-school studies, it will help you appreciate the foibles of office life. Go for the original British version if you take your comedy extra dry.
4. Stossel / Freedom Watch (FBN)
For those who enjoy a good dose of politics with their business news. Both Stossel and Freedom Watch do a great job of showcasing the libertarian viewpoint on the day’s issues. Among Fox News’ mass inventory of right-wing pundits, these two are the most probing and intellectual.
5. Closing Bell (CNBC)
Analogous to Fast Money, Closing Bell is a great end of the day report on the day’s market news and headlines. It is definitely the best straight business news program in early evening.
6. The Wire (HBO / DVD)
I recommended The Wire for prospective law school students in an earlier post, but the show is so well done that it has lessons for b-school students as well. Unlike typical cop shows, The Wire actually probes the business and cultural landscape of the urban drug trade. The stark portrayal of the corruption, violence, and civil decay caused by the war on drugs will challenge your notions about the arguments for drug legalization. The ruthless Stringer Bell alone makes for a great case study.
7. Fox News Saturday 10 – 12 (Fox News)
Fox’s two hour business block every Saturday includes four entertaining business shows, namely, Bulls & Bears, Cavuto on Business, Forbes on Fox, and Cashin’ In. Of the four, the first and the last are the best, as they focus on a group of pundits yelling at each other about various stocks and market news. Depending on which pundits show up, you may get a spirited but enlightening discussion of the week’s political and economic news, or a shouting match about Obamacare. Kind of hit or miss, this one.
8. Bloomberg Network (Bloomberg Network)
There are a number of serviceable shows on Bloomberg TV; for this list, however, I just want to highlight the network as a whole. Unlike Fox Business or even CNBC, you can have Bloomberg on at any time of day and expect dedicated market and business headlines. Of note is their Game Changers documentary series and their daily Fast Forward and Rewind market analysis programs.
9. Outsourced (NBC)
Based on the 2006 movie of the same name, this new NBC comedy depicts life at an Indian call center from the point of view of an American transplant. The show humanizes the tough issue of jobs going abroad by showing that office workers everywhere share the same basic concerns. Not the funniest thing on TV, but fairly well written and occasionally thought-provoking. Plus, it’s also not nearly as offensive as it could have been (according to my Indian friends).
10. Mad Money (Fox News)
This show is just a good time for people looking for stock tips. Who doesn’t enjoy listening to Jim Cramer yell at the top of his lungs for an hour about how Bear Stearns is “fine!”? That’s not to say that the guy never offers useful stock advice. Cramer brings an insider’s perspective to the stock game, and does his best to devote a lot of time to individual callers and their specific problems. Enjoy the theatrics and be sure to diversify.
Cake Boss, Weeds, The Apprentice, The Kudlow Report, BBC’s business programmes