REPORT: CNBC Staffers Still Licking Their Wounds After Backlash From AWFUL DEBATE


CNBC’s Republican debate this week was so bad that staffers for the little watched network are still nursing their bruised egos.

The debate was so monumentally bad, it’s likely to be studied in journalism classes for years to come.

CNN describes the scene the night after the event and future concerns for the network:

‘Shell-shocked’ CNBC staffers had long flight home

For the CNBC employees who boarded a charter plane right after Wednesday’s bruising GOP debate, the redeye flight was physically smooth but emotionally turbulent.

People were exhausted, but also rattled and worried.

“We were shell-shocked,” one source said.

The poor reviews were piling up — declaring CNBC the biggest loser of the night — and the moderators Carl Quintanilla and Becky Quick knew more would be published by the time the flight landed in New York.

So for some flyers, it was a sleepless night. But there was some laughter and some liquor to lighten the mood — and some speculation about how high the ratings would be.

At 12:30 p.m. Thursday they found out: 14 million people watched, easily making the much-derided debate the most-watched program in CNBC’s 30-year history. Because advertisers paid $250,000 apiece, it was “also the most profitable night in the network’s history,” an NBCUniversal executive crowed.

There was simultaneous crowing and cringing on Thursday. Employees who spoke on condition of anonymity for this story wished for a “do-over” and pointed fingers of blame for the chaotic production. Some pointed all the way up to CNBC president Mark Hoffman, who was also aboard Wednesday night’s charter.

“Everyone feels pretty embarrassed,” one veteran staffer said.

Now there are even calls for changes to future primary debates and predictions that CNBC won’t be in the running to host a debate four years from now.


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