A New Recipe for Cheddar

Moolah. Benjamins. Coin. Bones. Dough. All slang for the same thing, and something that Cheddar, the live-streaming financial news network, is also considering as it scales its operation through a partnership with WeWork. In an effort to implement a cost-effective growth model for the network, Cheddar recently announced that it will build remote studios across various WeWork locations to increase its weekly live interview frequency. Starting with the WeWork location in Hollywood, California, Cheddar plans to create five-to-10 micro studios in 2018 in the U.S. and then expand globally.

Thus far, Cheddar has scaled as quickly as possible without dropping too much, well, cheddar. The company has relied on national partnerships with Sling and Amazon, and an international partnership with Propogate, a global indie studio. According to Cheddar CEO Jon Steinberg, the goal is to build a model now that will work when the company is 10 times its size.

I’m sure you’re now thinking about how many ways this can benefit communicators across the country. Cheddar will no longer be available in New York only. A local strategy will soon unfold. Not only will this mean more interviews overall, but it also calls for a local approach to these interviews — sharing tailored market information and data, and giving local spokespeople the opportunity to bask in the Cheddar limelight.

There’s something much bigger at play behind this partnership. Considering Cheddar and WeWork as separate entities, they both represent a changing of the guard. Gone are the days of being tethered to your TV to get the latest financial news in a dry format. Gone is the “9 to 5” work mentality (cue Dolly Parton) of being strapped to your chair. What both of these companies—and this new partnership—represents is the notion of optionality.

The digitally-native Cheddar, lovingly dubbed “the CNBC for millennials,” was a game changer when it hit the scene. As a live-streaming network that can be viewed from any computer or mobile device, millennials eagerly tuned in, attracted to the viewing convenience, engaging format and variety of guests. It represents a new way to court young business-minded people who are tired of “older” network news.

In the same vein, WeWork is also speaking a new language to capture attention, spreading the message of “do what you love,” encouraging people to think outside of the box—or the cubicle. The idea behind WeWork — that you can allow yourself to be inspired and do your own thing — is a new way of working — and of living.

Fortunately, a new option has also been extended to all of us, as D.C., Chicago and San Francisco are primary targets for new Cheddar/WeWork studio locations, soon to be followed by more cities. As we begin to take advantage of these new locations in 2018, let’s keep in mind the power of optionality—both through this partnership and the way we do our work. Optionality can be our window when there’s no door in a sticky situation. Or, if we’re lucky enough, we may have a handful of options available to us, and have the luxury of choosing which one will maximize impact. Either way, we communicators should remember to always consider your options, especially those that may not be the most obvious (like this partnership!), but can produce great outcomes.

Jill Daneshpour is vice president, Financial Services.

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