CNBC Plans TV Expansion of Personal Finance Brand “Make It” (Exclusive)

CNBC is expanding its presence in the personal finance space, expanding its Make It brand with new ventures like a weekly TV series and online classes.

While CNBC is entrenched as a top business news outlet on both TV and digital, it only launched Make It in 2016, seeking to carve out a niche in the personal finance sector.

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“Now it’s the largest vertical of,” says CNBC Make It’s executive editor Jenna Goudreau, in an interview. “So we’ve really like grown tremendously. We’re reaching millions of people every month.”

Now the company is bringing the brand to other platforms, including a weekend TV series debuting March 10 at 4 p.m., based on some of the digital video content it has published to CNBC’s website, as well as other platforms like YouTube.

“We launched several series that people really responded to. So our longest running digital video series is called Millennial Money. And it’s really a new modern take on personal finance, where it’s money in action, like you see exactly how much people earn, how much debt they have, how much they spend every month, you meet them, you see inside their homes,” Goudreau says. “And the success of that series actually led into us creating Unlocked, the digital video series, and that really narrowed in on housing. So you go into people’s homes, we hear how much they pay in rent, they tell us if it’s worth it to them, what the upfront costs are. And that was just like a huge instant success.”

“It’s kind of been like a slow moving wheel that’s continued to grow, where we had those digital video successes and we were positioned when this opportunity came to do a TV show, that we had this great content in digital formats, and we could repackage it for TV,” she adds.

Make It has “dabbled” in TV before, with a branded segment on CNBC’s Last Call, but the weekend series will be a significant expansion of that, using a host to weave together some of the stories.

“For us, it’s a new way to reach new audiences, it expands our exposure on the TV side, it’s great content for them and opens up their audience to new content,” she says “I think it was just a group of us inside CNBC that thought it would be a great idea. We wanted to try it. It didn’t cost much. We could throw it together and now we’re able to put it on and see what happens.”

The Make It online courses launched early this year with a course about how to ace a job interview. Registration for the next course, about how to earn passive income, opens today and launches next week.

“They’re paid courses. So it’s a premium offering from us,” Goudreau says, adding that the courses are a little bit of a newer experiment.”

“Around last year, we really started having the idea that because audiences come to Make It to learn to get new ideas and inspiration, this is a way where they could more deeply engage with a topic that they really care about,” she adds.

Cable news channels in general are facing a moment of obsolescence amid cord-cutting, and everyone is trying to figure out a digital strategy that can become a sustainable business that is relevant to the younger consumer that isn’t watching TV news. At least for CNBC, the area of personal finance has been an effective way in, taking advantage of the interest in the topic on YouTube, TikTok and other platforms.

“We’re really trying to reimagine personal finance content, to be compelling to a younger audience, to a wider audience to make it feel relatable,” Goudreau says. “So our voice is we want to be like your smart friend with great advice about money. And I think that money is the through line of CNBC, and even CNBC’s tagline right now is ‘Live Ambitiously.’ And a lot of that is because audiences who come to CNBC they do want to be more successful. They’re aspirational for what they can achieve with their money with their lives. And I think CNBC Make It as a great expression of that for more of a regular person.”

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