CNBC Put In Awkward Position As Bloomberg Partners With One Of The Hedge Fund Industry's Biggest Conferences
The Sohn Investment Conference is now teaming up with Bloomberg LINK, Bloomberg LLP's conference business, to produce its epic annual investment conference, leaving TV rivals like CNBC with some tough decisions to make about how to proceed with coverage.
To understand why this is a big deal on Wall Street, you have to understand how Wall Street conferences work.
There are basically three annual (public) investment conferences that the financial industry waits for with bated breath — SkyBridge Capital's SALT conference in Las Vegas, CNBC's Delivering Alpha, and (the grandaddy of them all) The Sohn Investment Conference.
These conferences draw the biggest names — the Bill Ackmans and Jim Chanos' of the world — and move markets with their presentations.
The proceeds of the Sohn Conferences (which take place in NYC, London, San Francisco and Hong Kong) go to the Sohn Foundation, which raises funds to fight childhood cancer.
Every journalist covers Sohn —CNBC, Bloomberg, Reuters, you name it — and everyone is looking for some way to stand out and dominate coverage. You want to be the fastest, the most comprehensive, the smartest.
Since Sohn had never been associated with any news organization, the whole field was wide open for anyone to win it. All press has always been invited and still is.
That's why it's interesting that Bloomberg got this gig. It's no secret that CNBC has an 'us-first-or-not-at-all' policy about TV guests and events.
And in the 20 years that The Sohn Foundation has been throwing these conferences, they've has never partnered with anyone — especially not a company with a business news arm — until now.
Bottom line, there's no way that this isn't getting some serious thought inside CNBC headquarters.
“As we embark on the next phase of our continued expansion, both in the U.S. and abroad, we’ve found an ideal partner in Bloomberg LINK,” said Douglas Hirsch, co-chair of the Sohn Conference Foundation. “Bloomberg’s business conferences are among the best anywhere, and the company’s track-record of excellence and innovation matches the ethos of the Foundation perfectly. Most importantly, our organizations share a deep belief in our charitable mission.”
Robert Bierman, head of Bloomberg LINK, said the organization was "honored honored to partner with such a long-standing and successful organization that not only convenes the world's top investors, but also has a tremendous impact on pediatric cancer research."
CNBC had no comment.