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Log In / Register | May 27, 2018

CNBC’s Behind the Counter Back on Air

Camp Bow Wow's CEO Heidi Ganahl speaks with CNBC
Camp Bow Wow's CEO Heidi Ganahl on CNBC.

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. – CNBC's hour-long program "Behind the Counter: The Untold Story of Franchising" will be back on air after a month and a half absence.The longest television documentary to date on the franchise industry will air on Sunday, February 13 at 10pm, replacing the scheduled "Supermarkets Inc: Inside a $500 billion Money Machine."

After spending over four months in researching the franchise industry, CNBC's Emmy Award winning correspondent Darren Rovell goes behind-the-scenes to show various aspects of a franchise chain, such as the enormous supply chain needed to support fast-growing Five Guys Burgers. Rovell inquires into consumer-product giant Proctor & Gamble deciding to dip its toes into franchising — in dry cleaners and car washes. Don Sniegowski, founder of the franchise news site Blue MauMau, shares his insights. And Rovell looks into a second and third generation of immigrant families, professionals and executives who return to run their families' sizable businesses — multi-unit Dunkin' Donut franchises.

"We encourage viewers to see the additions we have made to the show."

But the documentary also explores the lesser known risks in buying a franchise with interviews at Camp Bow Wow and Cold Stone Creamery. For one thing, misinformation abounds. When asked about why she didn't supply franchise investors with store earnings information, Camp Bow Wow's CEO Heidi Ganahl erroneously tells CNBC that the FTC "doesn't allow us to provide some information on profitability and returns."

The FTC was not pleased.  Lois Greisman, associate director of the FTC’s division of marketing practices replied in the original airing, "Give me that person's name. That's a flat out violation of the rule [Franchise Rule]."

The program stopped airing before Christmas when Miami-based attorney Robert Zarco threatened to sue the cable network for its unflattering portrayal of Cold Stone Creamery. Originally, the president of Cold Stone's holding company, Kahala Corp, turned down an interview with the cable news channel because he was concerned the piece would negatively portray the company. After watching the program air, Cold Stone changed course. The franchisor made a surprising move and hired attorney Robert Zarco, regarded as one of the foremost attorneys for franchisees, to go after the news channel.

In answer to a question from Blue MauMau about the program's return to the air Sunday night, CNBC reporter Darren Rovell states, "We encourage viewers to see the additions we have made to the show."


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About BMM

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Staff reporter for Blue MauMau