SUSIE GHARIB: In tonight’s word on the street: change. A new CEO took
over today of the financial information company. She’s Elisabeth DeMarse
and joins us to talk about her plans for TheStreet.com. Elisabeth, congratulations. Thanks for joining us.
ELISABETH DEMARSE, CEO, THESTREET.COM: Oh, thank you.
GHARIB: So, tell us in a nutshell what is your vision, what is your
mission for TheStreet.com?
DEMARSE: Well, sure. I mean everybody knows that “The Street” was
founded by Jim Cramer in 1997 to bring, you know, Wall Street to Main
Street, and has been delivering on that brand promise for the past 13
years. And our job is to, you know, inform, educate, investigate
everything Wall Street — the money markets, equities, foreign exchange,
commodities, even the investment banks themselves. So, we have a foundation that’s fantastic and a brand name that’s
fantastic, but we need to take it to the next level. And that includes a
number of things like social media, making sure that we have the platforms
on tablets that everyone is moving to. And I have to tell you, this is
happening so fast it’s not even funny. So, I’m very excited.
GHARIB: OK. Let’s talk a little bit about the landscape out there
because competition is fierce. There’s a lot of companies, whether it is
Market Watch or Yahoo! Finance that are also battling for people to come to
their Web site. What are you doing that’s going to differentiate yourself
in the competition?
DEMARSE: Sure, sure, sure. So frustrating to this
company, and this is my first day, that Market Watch was so much bigger and
in fact there’s a lot of technical things we did to the site in the past
year to allow our traffic to growth 45 percent in the last year.
So, we’re kind of shouting distance of Market Watch. It’s just
fantastic. Yahoo is easily 10 times our site, 10 times Market Watch’s
site. But, I do think that the demand for financial information is a huge
category among American consumers and, you know, has advertisers that want
that as well. So, I think that through execution and doing some things with
technology, that haven’t been done at this company before, I think we can
continue to see our users grow, we could totally continue to grow our user
GHARIB: Here at NIGHTLY BUSINESS, we certainly agree with you for
the demand for financial information. But I want to talk to you about a
public company, your stock trading on the NASDAQ. Investors have some
doubts. Your stock has been down something like 48 percent this year
GHARIB: So what do you say to investors who own your stock and
investors who might be interested in buying now that you’re there?
DEMARSE: Well, OK. So, you know, we have a 5 percent dividend, 10
cents a share and $75 million in cash. We are generating cash but we’re
trading below cash. So, I think with the company like ours that that has
been moving– losing money at that income level, people that pay that much
attention, and it just looks like we’re perpetually losing money.
DEMARSE: That’s we’re going to eat into that cash.
GHARIB: I hate to cut you off. We love to know more. Hopefully,
we’ll catch with you.
DEMARSE: That’s fine.
GHARIB: Thank you so much, Elisabeth. Good luck to you.
DEMARSE: OK. You bet. Thanks.
GHARIB: And we have been speaking with Elisabeth DeMarse. She’s the
new CEO of TheStreet.com.