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The future of the media and cable industries: A chat with David Faber

December 13, 2023

The future of the media and cable industries: A chat with David Faber

David Faber

Award-Winning Journalist and New York Times Bestselling Author

David Faber is a financial journalist and market news analyst for CNBC, where he co-hosts the legendary morning show Squawk on the Street.

David Faber is a financial journalist and market news analyst for CNBC, where he co-hosts the legendary morning show Squawk on the Street. In addition to his work at CNBC, David is a New York Times best-selling author who has written two books, The Faber Report and And Then the Roof Caved In.

Interviewing Elon Musk

With David’s experience as a veteran interviewer, I was curious about his take on interviewing Elon Musk. Is he difficult to interview? David replied that Musk is difficult in a way, but he’s also the best person you could possibly interview because nothing is off limits at all with Musk. David finds Musk endlessly fascinating because, even though he’s incredibly controversial, he is also one of the most consequential businessmen on the planet.

Disney: Bob Iger and streaming sustainability

In November 2022, Bob Iger returned to Disney as CEO, after stepping down as CEO in 2020. During his first stint at Disney, the stock and the company performed tremendously well, but recently, the stock price has cratered, as business fundamentals deteriorated. David believes the jury is still out on whether Iger will be able to turn the business around. Iger’s strategy looks to be promising, as he is planning to spin off the legacy cable business so that The Walt Disney Company can focus on films, streaming, and parks. Although Disney has had a challenging time with streaming, Netflix has proven that the streaming business can be incredibly profitable. David noted, however, that reaching profitability takes time and considerable investment in content.  

Public market predictions for 2024

Although David is the one who typically asks this kind of question, I had the opportunity to turn the tables on him and get his predictions for the stock market in 2024. David did not want to give a price target or disclose where he thinks the market is going over the course of the next year, but he did mention that he doesn’t believe that the public markets as they exist today are working very well. David believes that the markets don’t reflect fundamentals as well as they should and that trading algorithms have gotten a little out of hand. This has led to the mispricing of many assets, leaving them either undervalued or overvalued. Additionally, David observed that we’ve gotten to a point where indices have become incredibly top-heavy, with just seven stocks representing nearly 30 percent of the S&P 500’s market value.

Public vs. private capital

The issue with public markets outlined above only gets worse when you throw in the fact that public companies face a tremendous amount of scrutiny and that private capital is so easy to come by. After all, why would a company subject itself to the stringent requirements that public companies must abide by, if they can just as easily receive funding from private markets, where they only have to answer to their lenders? This has led to the creation of some of the largest privately owned companies that we’ve ever seen, with relatively new companies like Shein, Stripe, and Databricks reaching 11-figure valuations without having to IPO.

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