James Wood High School alumnus Brian Sullivan is behind the anchor desk of CNBC’s new program, “Last Call,” which airs at 7 p.m. weekdays.
“There’s nothing like it on television,” Sullivan said in a recent phone interview about the show, which premiered March 8 on the cable business news channel. “We’re coming at the news of the day from a nonpartisan perspective that takes a look at real world impact. We don’t want to be red or blue. We want to be green. If it impacts people’s pocketbooks, we’ll cover it.”
The Emmy-nominated journalist began his broadcast career 26 years ago, working stints at Bloomberg Television and Fox Business. He joined CNBC in 2011, anchoring shows focused on market coverage including “Street Signs” and “Power Lunch.” Before “Last Call” inverted his schedule, he anchored “Worldwide Exchange” at 5 a.m.
Sullivan’s ties to the Winchester area run deep. He graduated from Frederick County’s James Wood High School in 1989, following in the footsteps of his father who graduated in 1959. His grandfather ran a gas station in Stephens City, and another family member, Jessica Sullivan, was a longtime reporter for The Winchester Star. When he was in ninth grade, Sullivan’s family moved to Winchester, which he refers to as his hometown, from San Diego. The cross-country relocation came with some surprises, as students here were required to wear long pants. Coming from sunny California, he only had shorts.
His parents still reside in the Winchester area, and Sullivan has been known to drive race cars at Summit Point Motorsports Park in nearby Summit Point, West Virginia.
After graduating from high school, Sullivan attended Virginia Tech to study political science. He later earned a graduate degree in journalism from New York University and a law degree from Brooklyn Law School.
“Last Call” features a fast-paced mix of panel discussions and interviews that explores the intersection of money, culture and policy. It replaces “The News With Shepard Smith,” which was canceled.
“There’s financial news, which impacts your portfolio, and there’s business news, which impacts how you live your life. ‘Last Call’ will focus on the latter, making our audience smarter about the people and companies changing our lives,” explained senior executive producer Maxwell Meyers in a media release.
“I think ‘Last Call’ will be an opportunity to find the newsmakers of tomorrow and get these people on the show who have money in the game and the ability to impact policy,” said Sullivan, who pens a piece for CNBC’s website each year with predictions for markets and the economy.
Before his interview with The Star on March 9, Sullivan was writing the lead story for that night’s broadcast as all eyes were on Silicon Valley Bank, which failed March 10.
Sullivan said “money is the overwhelming theme” of the show, hence the green tie he often dons on air.
“I’m not sure there are many things that money doesn’t touch,” he said. “We’ll be putting the news through the CNBC lens in a way that is easy to understand and relevant to viewers at home.”
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