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Michael Bloomberg, Stephanie Ruhle’s big boss during her four years as an anchor for his business news network, was skeptical about her foray into cable news.
“When I was leaving, I sat down with Mike, and he said to me, ‘I don’t think you’re going to like cable news. And I’m not sure if you’re going to be successful at it,'” Ruhle recalled in an interview. “And I said, ‘Why? Things went really well for me at Bloomberg.’ And he said, ‘Because in the world of cable news, and specifically politics, what’s successful is people being the loudest, all the way to the right or all the way to the left. Nobody really cares in the middle.”
Ruhle disagreed with the former New York City mayor’s analysis, and she’s proven her point by carving out a successful career in cable news without being relentlessly partisan. Ruhle anchors her own show at 9 a.m. on MSNBC and co-anchors Velshi & Ruhle with her colleague Ali Velshi at 11 a.m. Before that, she anchored a three-hour-long morning show for Bloomberg. After only one month at the network, Business Insider anointed her “the most important new name in financial television.”
“While Mike might be right, from a matter of clicks or attention or tweets, saying the most extreme thing might get the most attention for the moment, but … I really do think this is a moment in time when we can see the center rise,” she said. “When we can see both sides of the coin.”
To that point, Ruhle said she’s open to President Trump’s positions, and rejects his contention that the mainstream, non-Fox News media is out to get him.
“I can only speak for myself: I’m rooting for the administration,” she said. “I root for the president. The things we’re forced to go after are most often unforced errors. On a regular basis, the president is lying. Does it mean we’re attacking him, or I’m attacking him when I go after him? I’m not attacking the president.”
Ruhle, who worked in finance before getting into television in 2011, at the age of 35, said she doesn’t have “exceptionally strong political views.”
“For me, I don’t have a loyalty to a set of ideals,” she said. “I think I have a loyalty to try to make the best news show I can every day. … And, knock on wood, so far it’s really working.” (Ruhle’s 9 a.m. show has a 14-month-long winning streak in total viewers over CNN’s 9 a.m. offering, CNN Newsroom, though it barely lost in the key, 25-54 demo in March.)
Ruhle said she doesn’t feel a “huge liberal influence” at MSNBC, and feels comfortable creating a show she’s proud of every day. “People have criticized me, and I’ve cried on our show a little too much, but all I can do is be myself,” she said.
There’s also a friendly face at the top of the company food chain. Andy Lack, who oversees her network as chairman of NBC News and MSNBC, gave Ruhle her start in TV when he was running Bloomberg’s media division.
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