Sea ViewsFrom President and COO, Adam Goldstein

Sea Views Blog with Adam Goldstein

A Behind the Scenes Look At My CNBC Interview

We recently announced our second quarter earnings and I was elected (conscripted?) to make a live appearance on CNBC just before 6 pm on a Wednesday to answer questions about our performance. I thought I would describe this experience here on my blog.

First, my Corporate Communications teammates advised me that I must be at the local studio before 5:10 p.m. While being on television may be somewhat glamorous, going to a studio is about as far from glamour as you can get. To get to the NBC studio I needed to go to Bayside Mall in downtown Miami. I had to ask a mall policeman where the studio was. It turned out to be adjacent to the parking lot in a nondescript building with no sign, other than one that says only authorized employees are permitted in the area. I had to guess which door to knock on and door number two did the trick. There were two ladies working in a dimly lit and cluttered office space.

I sat there and was eventually joined by Tracy Quan, our Director of Corporate Communications. After a while we were ushered into a room barely larger than a normal bathroom, full of monitors and wires and dark except for a spotlight shining on a chair. The man in the room “miked” me and stuck an earphone in my ear. With the earphone I could sort of hear the dialogue on the show up in New York. The personalities on the show seemed to be having an uproarious time dissing the pharmaceutical company Pfizer. They just would not let it go. Meanwhile, the studio doesn’t provide makeup so Tracy took out her own supply and put some kind of powder on my forehead. The main purpose of this powder seemed to be to remind me that I should have more hair.

Every once in a while a producer in New York checked in with me through the earpiece to see if I was still alive. I guess it would be embarrassing for the show if I would not answer when they said hello on the air. Finally at 5:50 pm as I was getting nervous about making it home for my table tennis lesson (priorities!) the piece started. After the host Melissa Lee said hello, her first question or statement was about how the market reacted favorably to our earnings announcement because of our cost control. Since there are only nanoseconds between when she stops talking and I have to start talking, I was thinking already while she was talking that while cost control was indeed a factor in our successful quarter, so was the fact that our revenue has been coming in in a stable and consistent manner. So, when it was my turn to speak I acknowledged her statement on cost control and then said what I wanted to say about revenues.

The whole conversation lasted about two minutes. Because our team runs through a press conference’s worth of potential questions with me beforehand, it always seems like the actual interview ends abruptly and after a very small subset of the potential questions. Two minutes, done.

By the time I got home I had five or six emails on my blackberry from a very diverse group of my friends from around the world. Doing a CNBC interview is a good way to find out who is watching television.

Here is the video if you’d like to see it.


5 responses to:
“A Behind the Scenes Look At My CNBC Interview”

  1. aLAN BRILL

    Adam, as someone who’s does the same kind of guest appearance that you did on CNBC every few months, there is no question that it’s always difficult to get your message across in the few seconds you have. I mostly do the pieces from the CNBC HQ studio, but even though I’m in the same room as Melissa or another host, I’m at a separate desk. Yes, they have makeup, which helps (same concern you had, head-shine-wise) but it sounds like you’ve discovered that the guest earpiece leaves a lot to be desired. First, I’m left-eared, so they normally have to scout around to find a left earpiece. Second, they never fit. Keeping them in place without grabbing them, and being able to hear can be a challenge. Worst, you aren’t the first guest using them. Maybe it’s better at the Bayshore site, but some of the earpieces are pretty gross. I finally gave up and found out that the on-airs have a custom molded earpiece made. I asked one of the techs and she told me where they got them. I had one made, and it was the best $50 investment I’ve made. It has a standard broadcast IFB connector, so it works at everyplace I’ve needed it (MSNBC, BBC, CNN), it fits perfectly, and is clear plastic, so it’s invisible.
    For what it’s worth, as a CNBC interview veteran (and a shareholder) I thought you did great on the air.

    • Adam

      Alan, thank you for your feedback, I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed the video. Also, thanks for the great tip for obtaining a custom made earpiece.

  2. capt bob

    Adam,

    Good interview with CNBC. After the 2 Celebrity ships come on line, it looks like the pressure will be to grow earnings with no increase in capacity. If the whole industry pulls back on new builds, maybe some increased pricing can be achieved.

  3. richtucker

    Adam,

    I love that you are using the blog as a backstage pass. Using Social Media to breakdown typical barriers between you and the customer, travel agents, and shareholders. Great work!

    Rich Tucker

    • Adam

      Rich, thank you for the compliment and your feedback. We are happy to hear that you are enjoying my blog and our social media efforts. Have you had a chance to visit our Facebook Page yet? http://www.facebook.com/royalcaribbean

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