Giv­ing the GTA the busi­ness

Jour­nal­ist Amanda Lang ready to bring new life to the re­cently minted Bloomberg TV net­work as it launches in Canada

Richmond Hill Post - - News - By Ryan Ayukawa

Things have come full cir­cle for Amanda Lang. Years ago, she launched her jour­nal­ism ca­reer at the all-busi­ness-all-the-time Fi­nan­cial Post fol­lowed by stints at other prom­i­nent busi­ness out­lets in­clud­ing CNN. Then she ar­rived at CBC and es­tab­lished her­self as one of the most rec­og­niz­able faces of the pub­lic broad­caster, best known for her work op­po­site Mr. Won­der­ful Kevin O’Leary on The Lang and O’Leary Ex­change. Now Lang is back in busi­ness, lit­er­ally, with the re­cent launch of Bloomberg TV in Canada, a global busi­ness net­work ca­ter­ing to the Gor­don Gecko set. Post City spoke with Lang re­gard­ing the change. What has ex­cited you the most about the new op­por­tu­nity at Bloomberg? I think it’s really an op­por­tu­nity to be part of an in­cred­i­ble team [at Bloomberg]. It’s glob­ally a pow­er­house. Their au­di­ence in Canada is very well-known among the busi­ness com­mu­nity. The real ben­e­fit is we can reach a wider au­di­ence. It’s not just for the Bay Street crowd.

How has the tran­si­tion been?

The hard part about leav­ing an or­ga­ni­za­tion is the peo­ple be­cause you build great re­la­tion­ships with them. It’s such a group ef­fort. It’s about leav­ing one team then forg­ing new ties with an­other team. And then con­tent­wise, I’ve been do­ing this long enough. I’m very com­fort­able do­ing what I want to do. And then it’s just a mat­ter of in­ter­act­ing with the au­di­ence. Look­ing back at those past re­la­tion­ships, you and Kevin O’Leary made a pretty fiery team. Do you still keep in touch? We still keep in touch. We’re very friendly. We worked to­gether for close to 15 years. He’s very busy and in the States a lot. I have very high re­gard for Kevin. We have a new leader making left-of-cen­tre over­tones since tak­ing of­fice. Is the busi­ness com­mu­nity hope­ful or scared? I think they aren’t jump­ing the gun in any one di­rec­tion. They’re wait­ing to see just how the econ­omy is go­ing to do. It’s ob­vi­ously much weaker than any­one had hoped. What I really think, from the econ­o­mists’ point of view, is they’re not at­tack­ing with the idea that this is a time for huge re­straint, but for stim­u­lus. A lot of peo­ple would think the econ­omy needs a lit­tle

help­ing hand at the mo­ment. Rob Car­rick in the Globe and Mail re­cently said it was time to sweat about debt. Your thoughts? In­ter­est rates are go­ing to nor­mal­ize. If you have debt, you have monthly pay­ments. You want to pay it down whether it’s your mort­gage or your credit cards. And then the ques­tion is “What’s your cash flow?” Take that same cal­cu­la­tion, which you should be able to do based on to­day, and see what that’s like and, say, nor­mal rates are, say, four to six per cent. And then take worst sce­nario with high in­fla­tion. Let’s say cen­tral banks jack up rates up to eight to 10 per cent (we’re not say­ing those will hap­pen or four to six per cent will even), and then we’re back in the nor­mal ter­ri­tory of four to five per cent in five years. It’s a sim­ple: “What can you af­ford?” It’s go­ing to take a long time for it to take ef­fect, so don’t be wor­ried about it in the short term.

What is your favourite spot for a power lunch?

Kit Kat [King and John] is a place I like to go in re­cent years. And al­most next door is the Shore Club. I un­of­fi­cially have my own ta­ble at the Shore Club. It definitely has to be at the top of my list. As for your end run at CBC, how is your re­la­tion­ship with them now? I’m deeply re­spect­ful of the treat­ment of all of my bosses and work­ers at the CBC. I feel well treated and hope to keep do­ing work with them one way or an­other. Life is long. I have deep re­spect for Peter Mans­bridge and would like to have an as­so­ci­a­tion with that pro­gram [ The Na­tional].

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