How do people deal with the torrent of information pouring down on us all? What sources can't they live without? We regularly reach out to prominent figures in media, entertainment, politics, the arts and the literary world, to hear their answers. This is drawn from a conversation with Stuart Varney, anchor of Varney & Co. on the Fox Business Network.
I wake up at 3 a.m., that's my opening bell. I scan the major newspapers: The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Financial Times and The Daily Telegraph, which isn't out of nationalistic obligation, it's just because The Telegraph is accessible and gives a good view of events in Northern Europe. Since nobody will deliver those papers at 3:30 a.m., I'm scanning them online for about 45 minutes. By 4:15, I'm checking quotes on key markets, what's the yield on Italy's 10-year bond, where are prices on the dollar, oil, gold, Dow Jones futures, equities, bonds and currencies. At 4:20 or 4:30 I'm leaving my house for work.
At the office, I'm hashing out what the most important financial story of the day is with Fox & Friends producers and I'll go on air at about 6:15 or 6:30 for the segment. At 6:50, we hold a team meeting for my show Varney & Co. fleshing out the guests and subjects of the show.
So far, I haven't found much need for business websites or blogs. I look at Drudge. I'll check The Daily Caller, I'll look at The Huffington Post but it's not a religion. Is Business Insider any good? I don't know. I try to stay out of the weeds. On television, jargon is the kiss of death. The second you start talking about the Federal Reserve and QE3 you've lost your audience. I mean, how many people really know what the Federal Reserve is and does? Far fewer people know what QE3 is. That's why you'll never hear me say, "The yield on the 10 year bond is X or Y percent." Instead, I'll tell a general audience that Italians are having trouble borrowing money and that's how you pull them in. One of the differences between CNBC and Fox Business is we're going after a different market. We're expanding beyond traders to a broader audience while staying on subjects that are related to money and investing.