Outspoken CEO Returns to Struggling Network and Makes Strategic Investment


STAMFORD, CONN, April 1, 2019  -- Hedgeye Risk Management announced today that its Founder and CEO Keith McCullough will be returning to CNBC following a multi-year hiatus. 

McCullough will be hosting his own show, Mornings with Mucker, weekdays from 8:30 - 9:30am ET.  It will feature Hedgeye analysts, as well as CNBC employees who have completed the firm's financial Bootcamp ® designed to eliminate conflicts of interests, as well as encourage an emphasis on economic data and accountability.

"I recognize many of our subscribers aren't going to like my decision," said McCullough. "But they made me an offer I couldn't refuse."

Details of the offer include:

  • A $22,500,000 annual base salary
  • A personal helicopter to CNBC headquarters and back to Connecticut every morning
  • A 95% reduction in appearances from Jim Cramer and agreement that the "Mad Money" host 1) wear a donkey suit whenever he appears on camera and 2) Begins every segment by saying, "I am at a total loss for words that anyone cares what I have to say but..."
  • A loud laugh track begins every time the "Reformed Broker" Josh Brown talks which continues until he stops speaking
  • Firing Senior Economics Reporter Steve Liesman effective immediately 

"I'm glad Keith's back," said CNBC "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer. "Sure, we've butted heads numerous times over the years, like on Linn Energy where I was totally wrong. But Keith has built something really special at Hedgeye. And I'm totally cool wearing a donkey suit every time I'm on camera, if that's what keeps me on air."

"I've been a laughingstock for a long time now," said former Senior Economics reporter Steve Liesman. "It's time to hang it up for good and get back to my true passion... playing the banjo."

The surprising programming shift follows years of ratings decline at CNBC including a 22-year low in ratings and the important fact that 82% of the 502 people still watching the network have their televisions on mute.

After leaving CNBC, McCullough launched his own “over-the-top” HedgeyeTV, which has experienced over 200% growth in viewers and subscribers in 2018. Its flagship show "The Macro Show" is widely considered must-watch television by investors across the globe. 

In addition to McCullough’s return to the network, a McCullough controlled investment vehicle called Seven7 will be making an undisclosed strategic investment into CNBC.  The deal, which is structured via cash, warrants, and senior secured debt, will provide the network capital to dramatically improve the on-air talent at the network. 

“As the old saying goes, if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys," said Daryl Jones Head of the Investment Committee at Seven7. "We think this is a classic media turnaround that with strategic guidance from Seven7 and Hedgeye will see a dramatic reversal in its fortunes in the coming months.”