Yep, CNBC still dominates the cable news game, even if it let upstart rival Fox Business News have MLK daywhen foreign markets implodedall to itself. In fact, as Fortune's Jessi Hempel points out in a glowing piece on the network, the combination of the credit crunch and line-up of high testosterone programming has fueled higher ratings and profitsad revenue was up 17 percent in 2007, by one outside estimate to, to $211 million. And really, it's not so slow footed: on the Monday that Bear Stearns fell to $2 per share, the channel had a documentary ready to go that night (no doubt we'll be seeing this documentary for some time, probably even next MLK day. Hey, it beats another special on Wal-Mart.).
One dull spot: Digital. The network has significantly beefed up its web presence in recent years, housing it at its natural home, CNBC.com and playing up blogs by its on-air talent. But by one measure, it's still just the 21st-ranked business site, barely ahead of FBN, which comes in at 23. As for the network's premium service CNBC Plus, a live streaming webcast that was launched in late 2006, 15,000 subscribers pay either $9.95/month or $99/year. That works out to around $1.5 million per year, so a very narrow sliver of the overall pie.
By Joseph Weisenthal